Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center

National Project Coordinator

The National Project Coordinator helps implement and support NIJC’s nationwide advocacy and litigation efforts in response to heightened immigration enforcement. As part of this program, the Coordinator, along with NIJC attorneys, will work with NIJC clients and diverse national partners to challenge human rights violations and wrongful immigration enforcement initiatives to promote fairness in our nation’s immigration system. The overall objectives of the position are to: 1) coordinate effective documentation of domestic human rights violations; 2) strengthen the systemic impact of NIJC’s casework through identification of trends and emerging human rights issues; 3) respond and document national calls from immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody; 4) coordinate advocacy efforts in immigration proceedings and federal court; and 5) respond and document the needs of partner organizations, including conducting issue-based training on legal relief available to detainees, detention conditions and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE policies; and facilitate meetings.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Obtain, maintain, and update information in NIJC database
  • Monitor websites to gather current information regarding country conditions abroad and legal developments around the United States
  • Respond to telephonic and written correspondence from detained immigrants for purposes of addressing potential human rights violations
  • Assess whether individuals have legal remedies
  • Investigate immigrant detainee complaints regarding detention conditions
  • Present findings, orally and through written memos, to members of legal team
  • Work with staff to identify appropriate response to inquiries (i.e. provide pro se materials to the individual, coordinate pro bono representation, file administrative complaints, or initiate litigation)
  • Coordinate and attend periodic meetings
  • Gather data, analyze human rights violations, and develop materials for national advocacy efforts
  • Oversee database entry to track responses to inquiries and outcomes


  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s degree and two years of experience in human rights field, legal and/or communications work required. This position may require experience with vulnerable populations.
  • Language Skills: Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Ability to effectively interview clients and engage in fact-gathering for advocacy or litigation in a fast-paced environment.
  • Technical Skills: Ability to design and maintain program website with minimal training; fluency in Microsoft Office especially Word and Excel; ability to maintain and organize large quantities of information in an electronic database
  • Attention to detail and accuracy: Ability to competently and effectively communicate orally and in writing for a variety of audiences; ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigrants’ rights/human rights
  • Volunteer Management: Ability to train interns, to assist with projects, supervise work, and assign additional tasks on an as needed basis
  • Understanding the Importance of Client Confidentiality: In accordance with organizational policies and ethical standards required of the legal profession and the code of professional responsibility, preserves client confidentiality, accounts for client monies, and avoids conflicts of interest.

To Apply: Please read the full job description and apply on Heartland Alliance’s job board.


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.

Application Materials:

  • 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, but we are most interested in individuals who are interested in working with detained immigrants and/or asylum seekers.

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.

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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 will soon be accepting applications for 2014 winter 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 

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

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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.
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