National Immigrant Justice Center
208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60604
Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center
Paralegal with NIJC's Immigrant Children's Protection Project
The Immigrant Children’s Protection Project represents and advocates for detained and non-detained immigrant children who face the possibility of deportation to a dangerous homeland. Unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings, like all immigrants in this situation, do not have access to court-appointed counsel. More than half of the estimated 10,000 children per year entangled in the U.S. immigration system go through their hearings without legal representation. NIJC works with a strong network of pro bono attorneys to ensure that every child who comes before the Chicago immigration court has access to legal counsel. The Paralegal provides support through intake, research, case review, documentation preparation and other related tasks to support general operations and the work of staff and pro bono attorneys. Proficiency in Mandarin, Punjabi, Hindi, or Bengali an added plus (although not required).
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Conducts intake, as assigned.
- Conducts legal and factual research.
- Assesses cases to determine eligibility.
- Conducts interviews with clients and witnesses.
- Drafts applications, affidavits, letters and/or legal pleadings and prepares supporting documentation.
- Prepares materials for submission to Department of Homeland Security, Immigration Court, or other entities as appropriate.
- Reviews, analyzes and presents cases to supervisor.
- Conducts educational presentations.
- Remains current on immigration law, policies and procedures.
- Maintains complete, thorough, accurate and current records in an organized fashion in accordance with legal standards, rules and ethics.
- Ensures the accuracy, substance and timeliness of statistical and narrative reports, projects, schedules and other relevant work products.
- In accord with organizational policies and the ethical standards required of the legal profession, the Code of Professional Responsibility, preserves client confidentiality, accounts for client monies and avoids conflicts of interest.
- Education and/or Experience: Bachelors degree with demonstrated experience working with immigrants, refugees and/or asylum seekers. At least one year of experience working with these populations preferred.
- Language Skills: Fluency in another language may be required. Ability to communicate articulately with internal and external audiences.
- Other Qualifications: Excellent writing, editing, organizational and computer skills required. Ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and perform well under strict deadlines.
NIJC is currently accepting applications for post-graduate legal fellowships. NIJC is open to any funding source identified by a candidate, but expects to, at a minimum, identify a candidate for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship application, and possibly a Skadden Fellowship or a Soros Fellowship.
- Cover Letter: Please explain why you are interested in working with NIJC and any experiences you have working with immigrant populations.
- Resume: Be sure to identify any language skills that you have. Fluency in Spanish is required for nearly all positions with NIJC.
- Writing Sample: Please provide a 5-10 page excerpt from a document you have produced in law school or in a legal position that is your own work, with minimal editing by someone else.
- Brief Project Proposal: Most post-graduate legal fellowships require applicants to propose a specific project. Please give a brief description of the kind of work you would like to do. Your proposal should explain why that work is important and how you think it would complement NIJC’s existing work. Do not worry if this proposal is incomplete; NIJC will work with the selected candidate to ensure a strong proposal. Candidates are welcome to propose work with any of NIJC’s existing projects.
If you would like NIJC to host you for a fellowship other than any of the ones listed above, please provide a description of the fellowship and its requirements with your application. In addition to the above information, finalists will be asked to provide references and transcripts, and will be selected for various rounds of interviews.
Documents should be emailed to NIJC. No phone calls please. Applications will not be accepted after August 15, 2015.
NIJC offers internships to law students and undergraduates to work in variety of its different legal services programs. The internships present an excellent opportunity to learn more about U.S. immigration law and policies while making a difference in the lives of low-income and impoverished individuals who are in need of legal representation. NIJC is now accepting applications for spring 2016 and summer 2016 internships for the following programs:
- The Jeanne and Joseph Sullivan Project for Protection of Asylum Seekers
- Detained Immigrant Protection Project
- Immigrant Legal Defense
- Immigrant Children’s Protection Project
- Counter-Trafficking Project
- LGBT Immigrants Rights Project
- Federal Immigration Policy Internship
- National Litigation Project
In your cover letter, please specify for which period you are applying.
NIJC is a program of the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights that champions the human rights and improves the lives of men, women, and children who are threatened by poverty or danger. For more than 100 years we have been providing solutions- both through services and policy- that move individuals from crisis to stability and on to success. Our work in housing, health care, legal protections, and economic security serves more than 100,000 people annually, helping them build better lives. Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at (312) 660-1431.