Skip to main content

Sign up to receive updates about opportunities at NIJC

 

Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center:

Associate Director of Legal Services

Equal Justice Works Crimes Victims Justice Corps (CVJC) Fellow

Legal Director

Legal Supervisor

Paralegal, Immigrant Legal Defense Project

Paralegal, LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative

Pro Bono Coordinator, LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative

Staff Attorney, Detention Project

Staff Attorney, Immigrant Children's Protection Project

Internships

Fellowships


Associate Director of Legal Services

The associate director is part of NIJC’s management team and is responsible for the overall direction, coordination and evaluation of all NIJC’s legal services program. The associate director will be responsible for oversight of the daily tasks associated with the provision of primary programmatic and administrative support to NIJC’s immigrant legal services program, unaccompanied immigrant children’s project, gender justice project, and citizenship project. The associate director will maintain a caseload and supervise NIJC’s legal services team. The associate director will identify new and creative ways to respond to internal and external needs in the delivery of legal services, including identification of ways to use new technology. This position will also participate in strategic planning and identification of new funding opportunities, reviewing grant proposals, tracking, maintaining and reporting on current grants, and providing programmatic and budgetary support for projects. Frequent communication with legal team, funders, government officials, immigrant and advocacy organizations will be required. Some travel may be required. The associate director participates in developing legal priorities across projects. The associate director works closely with various project staff in collaboration with the executive director of NIJC.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensures the delivery of quality legal services in the most effective and efficient manner to the greatest number of individuals
  • Provides legal representation to individuals in immigration matters
  • Identifies emerging issues (external and internal) and develops a response to those issues
  • Develops professional development plan for NIJC legal service staff
  • Performs supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws
  • Participates in strategic planning and budget development
  • Manages administrative staff and provides support to supervisors managing projects
  • Interviews, hires and trains employees; plans, assigns, and directs work; appraises performance; addresses complaints and resolves problems for employees and program participants, and implements and ensures that all licensing and agency standards are met
  • Assists in the identification of new funding sources and grant proposals and reports
  • Ensures ongoing compliance with grant requirements and works with program staff to meet grant goals in a timely manner
  • Assumes responsibility for statistical data reports and analyses for NIJC projects
  • Works with program staff and management information system team to ensure that program data input and database functions are targeted to meet grant writing and reporting needs
  • Develops relationships with legal service providers, immigrant service providers, and advocacy organizations throughout the Midwest and represents NIJC to these agencies

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: A Juris Doctor and a minimum of three years of immigration law experience and two years of supervisory experience. Experience working in the nonprofit field preferred.
  • Language Skills: Ability to read, write, analyze and interpret immigration law, professional journals, technical procedures or governmental regulations. Ability to draft briefs, memorandum of law, reports, correspondence, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of funders, managers, clients, media requests, and the general public. Bi-lingual in Spanish.

Apply for associate director of legal services on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Equal Justice Works Crimes Victims Justice Corps (CVJC) Fellow

NIJC has received a new grant through the Equal Justice Works Crimes Victims Justice Corps (CVJC) to increase legal immigration services for survivors of human trafficking. The Counter-Trafficking Project at NIJC is seeking to hire a fellow under this grant for a two-year period beginning on or about June 1, 2018 and ending May/June 2020.

Fellowship Program:

The Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps is a legal fellowship program designed to increase capacity and access to civil legal help for crime victims. A cohort of approximately sixty fellows are placed at nonprofit organizations across the country to provide direct representation to victims of crimes, including human trafficking, fraud/identity theft, campus sexual assault, and hate crime, and immigrant victims of crime with meritorious claims for immigration relief, and outreach and education to community partners. All fellows will incorporate crime victims’ rights enforcement into their practice and will receive training from the National Crime Victim Law Institute and other training and technical assistance providers.

This program is supported by an award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Award Number 2017-MU-MU-K131, and private funding.

NIJC’s Counter-Trafficking Project:

The Counter-Trafficking Project provides direct legal immigration services to immigrant survivors of trafficking including representation before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The clients are survivors of both labor and sex trafficking who are currently in DHS custody or have fled their traffickers and are non-detained. The EJW CVJC fellow will conduct trauma-informed legal screenings, make appropriate referrals to other service providers, provide direct legal representation and advocate on behalf of survivors with criminal justice law enforcement. Additionally, the EJW CVJC fellow will conduct outreach to non-legal service providers in the Chicagoland area in order to increase the identification of trafficking survivors.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide direct immigration legal services to immigrant survivors of labor and sex trafficking before USCIS and EOIR, including both affirmative and defensive representation
  • Travel to Department of Homeland Security Detention Facilities to conduct intake interviews and meetings with detained clients
  • Advise victims on their rights under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act
  • Accompany survivors to law enforcement interviews and advocate on their behalf
  • Train legal and non-legal service providers on how to identify trafficking survivors and provide referrals
  • Train and provide assistance to pro bono attorneys representing trafficking survivors
  • Remain current on immigration law, policies and procedures. Remain current on implications of criminal and civil law as it applies to the representation of immigrants and refugees
  • Maintain complete and accurate client records. Prepare timely statistical reports. Conduct quarterly case audits for presentation and review of the supervisor.
  • Adhere to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, (and/or other appropriate professional associations), private funding sources, organization plans/policies and unit guidelines.
  • Contribute to programmatic reporting required under the federal award
  • Collaborate with other Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellows
  • Actively participate in mandatory in-person training programs including two-day Crime Victims Justice Corps Victim Law Boot Camp training on June 28-29, 2018 in Washington, DC; learning event at the end of the Fellowship; annual three-day Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in October/November 2018 and 2019 in Washington, DC; and training calls with the National Crime Victim Law Institute

Qualifications:

  • Licensed to practice law
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest work and desire to assist indigent clients, particularly survivors of trafficking
  • Strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • Ability to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally competent legal assistance to crime victims/survivors
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a variety of contexts and with multiple organizations to facilitate comprehensive services to crime victims/survivors
  • Ability to begin the fellowship on or about June 1, 2018 and serve for 2 years
  • Those with legal experience in crime victims’ rights enforcement, victim services and/or immigration law are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Law school clinic, externship, summer or other relevant practice experience a plus
  • Language Skills: Fluency in a second language.

Salary and other support:

The Fellow will receive an annual salary, as well as health insurance and other benefits.

Application Instructions:

  • Apply for the Equal Justice Works Crimes Victims Justice Corps (CVJC) Fellowship on Heartland Alliance’s job board.
  • The deadline for applications is May 21, 2018, or until position is filled, but candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
  • NIJC is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.

Apply for the CVJC fellow on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Legal Director

The legal director will be a member of NIJC’s senior management team. In this capacity, the legal director will be responsible for managing NIJC’s legal programs, providing strategic leadership, vision, management and evaluation of NIJC’s programs on a local, regional and national level. The director will ensure current and future programs are consistent with NIJC’s strategic plan and goals. The ideal candidate is an individual with legal expertise and the ability to coordinate legal strategies across projects, as well as the ability to build teams, effectively communicate, collaborate and support a vision for the most efficient and effective operation of NIJC’s legal programs area are key to success in this role.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Strategy, Leadership, and Management
    • Provide strategic leadership and implementation of NIJC’s mission.
    • Support the executive director and the legal teams, facilitate communication between projects and senior management, and develop and implement performance evaluation mechanisms while maintaining a global view of NIJC’s programming to ensure alignment with our mission
    • In consultation with senior staff and local and national partners, identify key legal issues and NIJC’s role in advancing those issues through impact litigation
    • Liaise with and coordinate among all NIJC legal projects
    • Provide leadership in the delivery of legal services to ensure NIJC’s continued growth and success; identify conferences, professional associations and networking opportunities to enhance NIJC’s reputation and opportunities for collaboration
    • Identify the need for and develop new legal program initiatives
  • Operations
    • Responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of programs, including allocating resources in accordance with strategic priorities that will enable NIJC to remain a leader in its field
    • Evaluate NIJC’s legal services and litigation, identify new ways of executing priorities, recommend changes to drive business process improvement, using an innovative approach
    • Identify links and opportunities between litigation and legal services, create connections and use a collaborative approach to build teams and grow NIJC’s offerings
    • Ensure quality and excellence in NIJC legal programs
    • Assess NIJC’s pro bono processes, identify issues and propose solutions to same; implement best practices to ensure NIJC’s continued success
    • Lead the documentation and management of NIJC’s processes
    • Identify technologies that can improve NIJC’s legal programs, providing recommendations for adjustments to improve service delivery
    • Provide leadership and direction for prioritizing programming and resources in accordance with NIJC’s long term goals
    • Identify and evaluate opportunities to deliver recommendations on what NIJC needs to prioritize
    • Work with chief operating officer to assess effectiveness of IT systems and databases to ensure those systems are cost-effective and adequately support NIJC infrastructure
    • Work with legal teams and NIJC’s policy and communications teams to implement NIJC’s priorities
    • Write and present reports to the executive director
    • Present to NIJC Leadership Board on legal issues
  • Performance Management
    • Ensure each team is meeting key performance indicators, measurement and evaluation. Develop and monitor performance metrics to ensure NIJC’s successful growth. Develop metrics to track progress.
    • Engender trust and passion for change among NIJC’s legal teams by demonstrating leadership and communicating a vision that leads to organizational excellence
    • Build a positive culture across teams that allows for the introduction of new processes or services and the winding down of services that are no longer responsive to the needs of the community and/or NIJC priorities
    • Identify training opportunities for team members
  • External Relations and Advocacy
    • Lead and represent NIJC on a national level to help build NIJC’s reputation. Identify areas for collaboration and opportunities for new or improved programing.
    • Contribute to the drafting of concept notes, proposals and reports
    • Serve as a spokesperson and champion for NIJC’s legal programs, promoting NIJC, making tough decisions to maintain NIJC’s position as a leader in the immigrant rights movement

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience:
    • Proven experience as an attorney, with a track record of success in legal services leadership
    • Immigration law experience required, refugee experience a plus
    • At least 15 years of success in the legal profession, operations, strategy planning and development including working with an executive director and senior management team to achieve goals
    • Excellent analytical skills, proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
    • JD required (may or may not be practicing)

Competencies:

  • Deep knowledge of the law, particularly immigration, civil rights, human rights law
  • Understanding of the pro bono culture and experience working with pro bono attorneys
  • Experience managing a legal program, including business processes, performance evaluation, and strategic planning
  • Experience achieving results within a climate of change, where external forces remain uncertain and where stakeholders may have conflicting objectives
  • Exceptional communicator, ability to work with a diverse, talented group of legal professionals, building trust, collaboration and a culture that welcomes change
  • Demonstrated strength in managing and resolving conflict
  • Subscribes to NIJC values, advancing due process and human rights protections for immigrants and refugees
  • Experience balancing long-term strategic vision with short-term implementation taking into account funding limitations
  • Experience seeing the big picture, planning for growth and having a vision to achieve operational efficiency along the way, while attending to details of implementation
  • Strong financial acumen and ability to assess projects
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills. and experience in grant writing and reporting
  • Demonstrated skill in maintaining the balance between running a successful operation and being an NGO

Apply for the legal director on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Legal Supervisor

The Legal Supervisor is a member of the NIJC supervision team and provides legal services and oversight of the immigrant services staff to ensure quality legal representation to immigrants seeking relief under immigration law. The supervisor will directly supervise one or more NIJC staff members and will oversee the day-to-day operations as well was the ongoing training and professional development of supervisees.  As a member of the supervisory team, the legal supervisor will be responsible for knowledge regarding other areas of legal services provided by NIJC and provide supervisory support. The supervisor will be expected to liaise with other NIJC projects and develop and integrate strategic collaborations between projects. The supervisor will also be responsible for internal and external reports and periodic evaluations.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supervises legal services and oversees paralegals, attorneys, and interns providing legal services
  • Ensures accurate data entry by paralegals and attorneys
  • Identifies trends and emerging issues and develops strategies to respond where appropriate
  • Oversees and coordinates legal services schedule to ensure intake coverage
  • Maintains and develops strategic partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Conducts factual and legal research. Trains lawyers and non-lawyers in the field of immigration law.
  • As appropriate, trains pro bono attorneys on immigration matters and oversees applicable pro bono projects
  • Provides legal representation to immigrants in immigration proceedings, including before an immigration officer, an immigration judge, and in state and federal court, as appropriate
  • Collaborates with NIJC’s policy, communications, and litigation teams
  • Drafts correspondence and documents, including applications, briefs, and reports
  • Strategizes methods to improve the delivery of legal services and increase efficiency
  • Conducts legal presentations to NIJC staff and members of the immigrant community
  • Maintains accurate, thorough and timely records
  • Maintains current knowledge regarding immigration law and policies and procedures
  • Reacts to change productively and handles other essentials duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: A law degree (JD), license to practice law and at least 2 years experience in the legal field, preferably in the field of immigration law; or a bachelor’s degree with at least 7 years experience as a Board of Immigration Appeals’ accredited representative.
  • Language Skills: Bilingual in English and Spanish and other languages, as needed. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated competency in public speaking and strong interpersonal skills required.
  • Computer Skills: Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.

Competencies:

  • Knowledge of immigration law, policies and procedures
  • Ability to analyze facts in light of the law
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written
  • Competency in Microsoft Office
  • Knowledge of database and ability to complete timely data entry
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Proficiency in a second language
  • Excellent interpersonal and writing skills
  • Detailed orientated with the ability to handle many different tasks simultaneously and complete them in a timely manner

Apply for the legal supervisor on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Paralegal, Immigrant Legal Defense Project

The paralegal provides general paralegal support for the Legal Protection Team. The paralegal conducts intake, research, case review, documentation preparation and other related tasks to support general operations and the work of staff and pro bono attorneys.

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.
  • Tracks individual cases and outcomes
  • 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.

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor's 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 English and Spanish is 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.

Apply for the paralegal with the Immigrant Legal Defense Project on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Paralegal, LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative

The LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative provides legal services to low-income immigrants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) and those who are living with HIV. The LGBT project paralegal conducts intake, research, case review, documentation preparation, and other related tasks, to support clients, general operations, and the work of project staff. The expected start date for this position is June 25th, no later than July 15th.
 
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Conduct intakes
  • Provide case support to project cases that are in court
  • Prepare release efforts and coordinate with partners on requests for release
  • Draft client and witness affidavits
  • Assist with collection of corroborating evidence
  • Provide primary case representation to LGBT clients with non-court cases (with attorney supervision), including: applications for work authorization, affirmative asylum cases, U-visa/VAWA applications, and marriage based immigration cases
  • Participates in NIJC’s general intake process agency wide
  • Participate in trainings and review legal materials to remain current on immigration law, policies, and procedures

Qualifications:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor's 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 English and another language is required; French- and Spanish-speakers are preferred. Ability to communicate articulately with internal and external audiences. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated competency in public speaking and strong interpersonal skills required. 

Apply for the paralegal with NIJC's LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative on Heartland Alliance's job board.


 

Pro Bono Coordinator, LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative

The LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative provides legal services to low-income immigrants who identify as lesbian, gay bisexual , or transgender (LGBT) and those who are living with HIV. The LGBT Pro Bono Project Coordinator will work with diverse partners to ensure LGBT immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers have access to counsel in immigration proceedings. The LGBT Pro Bono Project Coordinator will be responsible for serving as the NIJC representative with pro bono attorneys and law firms, NIJC staff, and other immigrant and human rights organizations to ensure access to justice for LGBT immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The LGBT Pro Bono Project Coordinator will be expected to lead project outreach and will work closely with the LGBT project’s supervising attorney in order to keep abreast of the most current developments in refugee and immigration law, help oversee Pro Bono LGBT project cases. The expected start date for this position is August 13th, no later than August 20th.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Maintains country conditions packets
  • Drafts applications, affidavits, letters and/or legal pleadings and prepares supporting documentation
  • Corresponds with non-local detainees about local cases
  • Coordinates NIJC’s response to detention conditions concerns for LGBT detainees
  • Facilitates pro bono placement process for LGBT cases
  • Works with and coordinates training of interns
  • Oversees project intake process including conducting intakes
  • Ensures the accuracy, substance, and timeliness of statistical and narrative reports, projects, schedules, and other relevant work products
  • Reviews, analyzes, and presents cases to supervisor
  • Reports on project outcomes and trends and oversees accuracy of database
  • Organizes NIJC’s LGBT community outreach efforts
  • Remains current knowledge of immigration policies, procedures, and internal structures
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s degree required. Masters’ degree preferred. Minimum of two years of experience in human rights field, legal and/or communications work required. May give credit towards years of experience if attained a degree higher than a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Language Skills: Fluency in English and another language is required; French- and Spanish-speakers are preferred. Ability to communicate effectively with internal and external audiences. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated competency in public speaking and strong interpersonal skills required.
  • Computer Skills: Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.
  • Other Skills:
    • Knowledge of: principles and practices of communications and public information techniques through different mediums, including print, television, and internet; writing and editing techniques for a variety of audiences. 
    • Ability to: assimilate and convey messages on a variety of issues relating to due process violations and immigration detention in a succinct and compelling way and tailored to different audiences; write effective copy, press releases, design and layout electronic and print newsletters and website pages; work independently with limited supervision; be goal-oriented and multi-task; have a diplomatic presence; develop and maintain good working relationships with a wide variety of peer organizations; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Apply for the pro bono coordinator with NIJC's LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Staff Attorney, Detention Project

NIJC is hiring a bi-lingual immigration staff attorney to join its Detention Project. NIJC’s Detention Project provides removal defense and detention-related advocacy to noncitizens detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its Chicago Area of Responsibility. With the support of pro bono attorneys, the project (1) represents detained individuals before the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Chicago Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. district courts, and Courts of Appeals, (2) advocates for improved conditions for detained individuals, and (3) advises criminal defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. The staff attorney will participate in multiple areas of the project’s work and will be expected to visit detention centers and advise detained noncitizens on a regular basis. The attorney will implement NIJC’s Legal Orientation Program (LOP) to detained immigrants in McHenry County Jail (IL) and other jails in the area. The attorney will conduct know your rights presentations, individual consultations and pro se workshops. The attorney will help build pro bono capacity. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conducts preliminary intake interview, gathers all relevant facts for presentation at unit meetings. Makes assessment of income eligibility and makes appropriate referrals for those individuals not eligible for organization services. Recommends exceptions to financial guidelines to the supervisor.
  • Develops and implements preliminary case strategy in terms of immigration law and procedure. Develops further strategy in terms of immigration law and procedure. Develops further strategy in consultation with supervisor.
  • Prepares the case for hearing, drafting legal papers, engaging in negotiation, presenting evidence, etc. in accord with the Code of Professional Responsibility for the legal profession.
  • Conducts assessment of client on social, psychological and economic functioning and determines appropriate interventions and referrals. Ensures the provision of a wide range of services for clients.
  • Carries a volume of work as required by the department. Has in-depth knowledge of legal and other resources. Provides a wide range of court advocacy services.
  • Remains current on immigration law, policies and procedures. Remains current on implications of criminal and civil law as it apples to the representation of immigrants and refugees.
  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), government and social service organizations and community organizations. Interprets immigration and department policies and programs to the public, including public speaking.
  • In accord with the ethical standards required of the legal profession, the Code of Professional Responsibility, preserves client confidentiality, accounts for client monies and avoids conflict of interest.
  • Maintains complete and accurate client records. Prepares timely statistical reports. Conducts quarterly case audits for presentation and review of the supervisor.
  • Participates in training on immigration procedures as assigned by the supervisor. May conduct training sessions as assigned by the supervisor.
  • Participates in developing and implementing special projects. May have the primary responsibility for a project involving presentation of a particular ethnic group, immigration problem or advocacy issues on a systematic level.
  • Identifies trends and recurring legal and social concerns. Recommends strategies for solutions and other needed advocacy.
  • Interprets and translates for department and other organization staff as needed.

Qualifications:

  • Law degree from ABA accredited law school and a law license
  • Individuals with at least one year of experience working with noncitizens are preferred (NIJC will recognize internships and relevant pre-law school work).
  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Excellent writing, editing, organizational, analytical, and computer skills
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and perform well under strict deadlines; Ability to work in fast paced, professional, environment; Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange, Windows operating systems, and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance

Apply for the Detention Project staff attorney on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Staff Attorney, Immigrant Children's Protection Project

This position provides legal representation and immigration service counseling to immigrants and refugees appearing before the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The staff attorney advocates for clients before other government administrative agencies and before other service agencies, as needed and/or as appropriate. This position works with NIJC's Immigrant Children's Protection Project, which helps children who entered the country as unaccompanied minors assess their options for immigration legal relief.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Conducts preliminary intake interview, gathers all relevant facts for presentation at Unit meetings. Makes assessment of income eligibility and makes appropriate referrals for those individuals not eligible for organization services. Recommends exceptions to financial guidelines to the supervisor.
  • Develops and implements preliminary case strategy in terms of immigration law and procedure. Develops further strategy in terms of immigration law and procedure. Develops further strategy in consultation with supervisor.
  • Prepares the case for hearing, drafting legal papers, engaging in negotiation, presenting evidence, etc. in accord with the Code of Professional Responsibility for the legal profession.
  • Conducts assessment of client on social, psychological and economic functioning and determines appropriate interventions and referrals. Ensures the provision of a wide range of services for clients.
  • Carries a volume of work as required by the department. Has in-depth knowledge of legal and other resources.  Provides a wide range of court advocacy services.
  • Remains current on immigration law, policies and procedures. Remains current on implications of criminal and civil law as it apples to the representation of immigrants and refugees.
  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), government and social service organizations and community organizations. Interprets immigration and department policies and programs to the public, including public speaking.
  • In accord with the ethical standards required of the legal profession, the Code of Professional Responsibility, preserves client confidentiality, accounts for client monies and avoids conflict of interest.
  • Maintains complete and accurate client records. Prepares timely statistical reports. Conducts quarterly case audits for presentation and review of the supervisor.
  • Participates in training on immigration procedures as assigned by the supervisor. May conduct training sessions as assigned by the supervisor.
  • Participates in developing and implementing special projects, may have the primary responsibility for a project involving presentation of a particular ethnic group, immigration problem or advocacy issues on a systematic level.
  • Identifies trends and recurring legal and social concerns. Recommends strategies for solutions and other needed advocacy.
  • Interprets and translates for department and other organization staff as needed.

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: Juris Doctorate Degree required; and one year of direct experience in social service counseling and/or legal representation.
  • Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public. Ability to read, speak and write in at least one non-English language.

Apply for the Immigrant Children's Protection Project staff attorney on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Internships

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 not accepting internship applications at this time. Please check back as we will begin accepting applications for fall soon.

Click here for more information about internships.


Fellowships

NIJC will be 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. NIJC also welcomes applicants who will be seeking post-graduate fellowship funding through their own law schools. Please contact us if you are interested in a fellowship. No phone calls please.

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.
     

All positions are based out of NIJC's Chicago loop office unless otherwise indicated in the job description.

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. Heartland Alliance's 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.