Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center

Communications Coordinator

NIJC is seeking a communications coordinator to provide media relations and editorial support. NIJC promotes the rights of immigrants through direct legal service, impact litigation and advocacy, and is a regular resource for expert commentary and analysis regarding federal immigration law and policy. NIJC’s communications team works closely with the organization’s legal and policy staff and clients to tell stories that break down barriers to compassion in the immigration debate and hold the U.S. government accountable to uphold human rights. NIJC’s Immigration Detention Transparency and Human Rights Project collaborates with partners nationwide to increase public access to information about the U.S. immigration system and provide groundbreaking research to equip advocates working to end inhumane immigration detention and enforcement practices. The communications coordinator will be a key member of NIJC’s communications team to assist in media relations, website content management, and editorial and multimedia projects. The communications coordinator also will play a key role in maintaining the NIJC website ( and the organization’s online presence.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop brochures and other outreach materials about NIJC’s legal services
  • Draft press releases, letters to the editor, and op eds regarding NIJC’s litigation developments and to promote NIJC’s vision of a more just and transparent immigration system
  • Assist in responding to media inquiries, coordinating interviews with staff, and preparing talking points
  • Assist in management and production of website content
  • Assist in production/layout and media outreach for publications and reports
  • Play a key support role in NIJC’s Immigration Detention Transparency and Human Rights Project:

    • Organize, log, and assist in analysis of government documents received via Freedom of Information Act
    • Participate in the development and execution of publication and outreach strategies to release documents
    • Help supplement document research with client interviews and multimedia production
    • Assist in production (including layout) of Transparency Project reports
    • Help maintain Transparency Project documents and related content on website
    • Coordinate with Online Engagement Manager and Communications Director to assist in execution of media outreach for Transparency Project reports


  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Writing experience, editor, or researcher for advocacy organizations
  • Attention to detail, with the ability to think creatively and strategize about how to present complex research and data in ways that are accessible to a broad audience
  • Highly organized and able to manage and organize large amounts of data
  • Comfort using content management systems, social networking tools, and other media and web technologies, or willingness to learn quickly

Preferred Experience:

  • Graphic design experience desirable.
  • Data analysis experience is not required, but candidates with experience in analyzing and/or visualizing large data sets should highlight the experience in their applications
  • Demonstrated interest in immigrant rights and/or human rights advocacy preferred; knowledge of the U.S. immigration detention system desired
  • Spanish fluency highly recommended to assist in client interviews for inclusion in NIJC reports and publications

Selected candidates will be asked to submit writing samples that demonstrate experience writing about current human rights issues for the media and/or policy makers.

View the full job listing and apply on Heartland Alliance's job board.

Immigrant Legal Defense Project Paralegal

The paralegal provides general paralegal 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. This posting is for a position with NIJC's Immigrant Legal Defense Project, which offers a wide range of low-cost and free legal services to low-income immigrants in jurisdiction of the Chicago immigration court, and represents immigrants before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

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.
  • Other duties may be assigned.


  • 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.

View the full job listing and apply on Heartland Alliance's job board.


NIJC offers internships to law students and undergraduate students to work in a 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 Winter-Spring 2016 part-time internships.

Click here for more information about available internships and how to apply.


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 a Skadden Fellowship or a Soros Fellowship with NIJC's Counter-Trafficking Project. NIJC also welcomes applicants who will be seeking post-graduate fellowship funding through their own law schools.

Application Materials:

  1. Cover Letter: Explain your interest in NIJC and any experiences you have working with immigrant populations.
  2. Resume: Identify any language skills that you have. Fluency in Spanish is required for almost all positions with NIJC.
  3. Writing Sample: 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.
  4. 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. 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, but we are most interested in individuals who are interested in working with immigrant victims of trafficking, detained immigrants, and/or asylum seekers.
  5. Other: 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.

Interested candidates should submit the following information to NIJC by June 30, 2016. Documents should be sent to Tarrajna Walsh. No phone calls please.

 Back to top

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.
 Back to top

Bookmark and Share