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Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center:

National Director of Legal Services

Director of Analytics and Decision Support

Policy Associate

Staff Attorney - Immigrant Children's Protection Project

Asylum Pro Bono Project Coordinator

Paralegal - Asylum Project

Internships

Fellowships

 

 

National Director of Legal Services

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), a program of Heartland Alliance, has a 30+ year track record of successful legal representation for vulnerable immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.  NIJC is a leading human rights organization dedicated to providing quality legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. NIJC is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, has an office in Goshen and Indianapolis, Indiana, San Diego, California, Washington, DC and works in Laredo, Texas with partners. NIJC provides legal services to individuals detained in remote areas of the country.  NIJC has a strong management team that focus on various populations:  immigrant children, asylum seekers, LGBT individuals, detained individuals, survivors of gender violence, including human trafficking, and individuals seeking family unification. NIJC provides legal information to the immigrant community and their families to prevent exploitation by individuals engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and to empower individuals to make informed decisions on their legal options.  NIJC leverages support from a large pro bono network. 

Summary: The National Director of Legal Services will manage and support NIJC’s legal services management team. The director will work with the legal team to set priorities and identify opportunities to respond to community needs. The director of legal services will assess the present and future immigration landscape to identify opportunities for the delivery of quality legal services consistent with NIJC’s strategic plan. The director will participate in and guide the organization’s handling of individual matters and identify issues ripe for impact litigation, policy reform and strategic communications. The director will ensure that NIJC’s legal team is sufficiently nimble to react quickly to new threats and opportunities to immigrant rights. The director will be responsible for collaboration with law schools, legal aid and national human and immigrant rights organizations, community groups, and elected officials to advance legal services for immigrants. The director of legal services serves on the senior leadership team to assure the highest level of quality and access to NIJC’s full continuum of services; model NIJC’s vision and mission and achieve the organization’s strategic objectives. The director will collaborate with NIJC’s technology team to identify innovative ways to deliver legal services using technology.  This role requires exceptional interpersonal, management, strategic leadership, and partnership skills combined with creativity, administrative aptitude, and critical-thinking abilities. This role will build on NIJC’s history as a leader in the delivery of quality legal services and community education to promote immigrant rights and access to justice.

Supervision: The Director of Legal Services will report to the Executive Director.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Adhere to the principles set forth in NIJC’s strategic plan to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Direct, support and manage the associate directors and managers of each project responsible for the delivery of NIJC’s legal services.
  • Ensure priorities and operating procedures are established and met to deliver strategic outcomes.
  • Contribute to positive, focused, determined, collaborative, entrepreneurial and high-expectation attitude and atmosphere.
  • Identify legal services’ priorities based on the immigration landscape, NIJC’s capacity/expertise, and unmet community needs.
  • Contribute to the implementation of NIJC’s strategic plan, including populations served and/or geographic locations.
  • Oversee the development of relationships with pro bono partners, including new opportunities for collaboration.
  • Maintain and establish strong relationships with colleagues at other legal aid organizations.
  • Represent NIJC’s Legal Service Team at outside events, including with high-profile officials and/or funders.
  • Assist in the development of legal program grant proposals.
  • Ensure systems to monitor and evaluate programs are accurate and provide necessary information.
  • Ensure program accessibility for clients seeking legal services and support.
  • Oversee the development of community and systems change partnerships to ensure that a wide range of resources are responsive and available to meet client needs.
  • Identify opportunities for high-impact legal action.
  • Responsible for training programs, as needed, for new NIJC attorneys.
  • Identify priorities within the legal services program consistent with the strategic plan and allocate resources accordingly.
  • Partner with NIJC’s development and communications team to promote NIJC’s legal services to funders and national entities.
  • Ensure balance between legal presentations to the community and legal representation.
  • Contribute to the authorship of training and educational materials to promote immigrant rights.
  • Review team reports and analyze data as necessary to ensure compliance, identify outcomes and access trends.
  • Understand current spending relative to budget allocation for each projects, i.e. professional development and translator/interpreter budgets.

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.

  • Management experience, including an understanding of team leadership and a commitment to building and maintaining a multi-disciplinary team of professional excellence.
  • J.D., bar admission, and a minimum of 8 years of immigration law practice experience are required for this position.
  • Strong leadership qualities including an ability to build productive relationships with staff, clients, community partners, pro bono partners including law enforcement, court personnel, judges, and prosecutors.
  • Broad knowledge of and experience in immigration law and the delivery of direct legal services.
  • Experience working with pro bono attorneys and law students
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise and foster growth in other attorneys.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent legal research and analysis skills.
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple tasks at once, respond to tight timelines, pay attention to detail, and operate effectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong leadership, relationship development, collaborative, and team building skills.
  • Bilingual/bicultural background highly desirable.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Frequently required to sit, stand and walk

Work Environment: 

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • Robust benefits package

Apply for the National Director of Legal Services position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board. 

 

 

Director of Analytics and Decision Support

The Director Analytics and Decision Support is responsible for the program level day-to-day oversight of financial and cost center activities for the National Immigrant Justice Center.  We invite applications from persons who are passionate about NIJC’s mission and have the ability to energize others about NIJC’s work. We work with Federal, State and City programs—which include various immigration services which are supported by city, state, federal, and private foundation dollars. The director will ensure the financial health of NIJC by overseeing these multiple funding streams, by understanding the programs within NIJC, and through collaboration with program managers and staff. The director also serves as the liaison to Financial and Accountability Services (FAS), and coordinates with FAS to ensure that all accounting information is consistent and accurately reported and monitored. The director must have experience in managing multiple, complex funding streams, creating and managing complex budgets and experienced in cost allocation and payroll allocation analysis.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual success objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serves as liaison and primary contact between NIJC and FAS;
  • Ensures budgets are managed according to contract requirements;
  • Generates and maintains budgets and assists with budget narratives for Federal/State/City contracts;
  • Prepares budgets for grant applications in collaboration with Development, FAS and Operations departments;
  • In collaboration with FAS, prepares and reviews reports on behalf of NIJC as required by external agencies and contractual obligations;
  • Initiates communication regarding the status of and issues affecting service revenues and expenses; identifies strategies for resolution of outstanding issues;
  • Reviews, tracks, and analyzes financial and operational performance and proactively identifies and supports funding-related decisions/changes;
  • Provides NIJC leadership and management with timely reviews of financial status and progress in its various programs and activities;
  •  Demonstrates a thorough understanding of contracts, funder requirements, allowable expenses, and reporting tools (such as VERA funding and City of Chicago vouchering);
  • Reviews and reports on monthly operating statements and detail reports, financial documents and analyses, explains variances within these financial documents and develops corrective actions and spend down initiatives;
  • Analyze opportunities by developing businesses cases, conducting analytics, building growth strategies, and implementation plans, including project management at times;
  • Create and maintain financial and operational dashboards to better assist management and leadership
  • Monitors and reviews employee transactions/expenses to ensure compliance with agency and division policies;
  • Ensures compliance with contract obligations and works with Heartland Alliance and internal NIJC to meet the requirements;
  • Conforms with and abides by all internal and external applicable regulations, policies, and contractual guidelines and obligations;
  • Other duties as assigned.

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 in accounting finance or business; a minimum of 5 years prior accounting/financial experience or 10 years related experience and training. Will consider years of experience in accounting and finance in lieu of a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Demonstrated experience in financial management and accounting, ideally in the nonprofit sector
  • Demonstrated experience working with multiple funding streams, understanding and application of accounting principles, cost accounting and cost management; experience with operational budget management and creation and interacting with managers regarding financial decision making;
  • Demonstrated experience with federal, city and state funding strongly preferred.
  • Experience in analyzing general ledger accounts and payroll entries.
  • Experience in training financial concepts to non-financial people

Competencies

Integrity - Ability to manage multiple tasks and projects under the pressure of deadlines, be detail oriented and organized, work independently, synthesize information, communicate effectively and follow-through with others, and maintain the highest regard for confidentiality and ethical standards.

Project Management – Develops project plans and realistic action plans based on data-driven analysis; Creates project budgets; Communicates changes and progress to stakeholders; Manages project team activities through timetables, metrics reporting, and visual presentations.

Relationship Management – Creates and maintains an environment of camaraderie and positivity and strong work ethic; Communicates purposes, goals, timelines, and strategies clearly; Ability to manage up, across and down effectively.

Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; Presents numerical data effectively;

Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem-solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.

Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.

Adaptability – Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events; Able to multi-task and lead in a fast-paced environment.

Dependability – Follows instructions and responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with alternative plan; good sense of humor.

Computer Skills: Advanced Microsoft Excel skills required; Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; experience with computerized accounting systems and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance such as Financial Edge.

Language Skills: Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated competency in public speaking and strong interpersonal skills required.

Other Skills and Qualifications: Demonstrated successful experience managing large government contracts. High level of knowledge and experience in analyzing, interpreting and reporting variety of financial data; high level knowledge of accounting principles and techniques;

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • This work includes both remote and onsite work.

Apply for the Director of Analytics and Decision Support position at Heartland Alliance's Job Board. 

 

 

Policy Associate

NIJC’s Washington, D.C. office develops policy priorities toward the advancement of human rights and due process for immigrant communities. NIJC seeks to advance fair and just policies.  Priority areas include: access to counsel and due process rights; ending immigration detention; combatting harsh immigration enforcement and the criminalization of migrants; and defending the right to asylum. The Policy Associate will support and further the goals of the Policy Team. Responsibilities will include working with legal service teams, coordinating strategic congressional tracking and outreach tools, coordinating and implementing a strategy for elevating detention conditions concerns to the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and supporting the team in research, writing, and coalition work. The Policy Associate will be directly supervised by the Associate Director of Policy in NIJC’s Washington, D.C. office.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate strategic approach to management of congressional outreach: Develop and maintain systems for coordinating congressional outreach and developing congressional target lists to support campaign work, coalition work, and policy work on appropriations and other legislation.  
  • Support and liaise with legal service teams to facilitate congressional support for NIJC clients: Work with legal services and litigation teams to develop case summaries and supportive materials seeking congressional support for NIJC clients.
  • Coordinating CRCL complaint hub for NIJC clients in detention: Conduct client interviews and support drafting of complaints with the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for NIJC clients in detention.
  • Research and writing support for Policy Team reports and policy briefs
  • Administrative and managerial support for campaign and coalition work

Qualifications:

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • Education and / or Experience: Undergraduate degree required. At least two to three years professional experience required, preferably working on issues involving immigration law and policy
  • Language Skills: Spanish language skills required.

Competencies:

To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies.

  • Experience working on issues involving immigration law and policy 
  • 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
  • Exceptional research and writing skills
  • Subscribes to NIJC values, advancing due process and human rights protections for immigrants and refugees

Apply for the Policy Associate position at Heartland Alliance's Job Board. 

 

 

Staff Attorney - Immigrant Children's Protection Project

This position provides legal representation and counseling to detained and non-detained unaccompanied immigrant children before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Chicago Immigration Court.  A Staff Attorney also advocates for clients before other government administrative agencies and before other service agencies, as needed and/or as appropriate.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Conducts preliminary intake interviews. Gathers all relevant facts for each case for presentation at team meetings or to legal supervisors.  Makes assessments of income eligibility, if applicable, and makes appropriate referrals for those individuals not eligible for NIJC services.  Recommends exceptions to financial guidelines to supervisors when appropriate.
  • Develops and implements case strategy in terms of immigration law and procedure. 
  • Prepares cases for interviews and/or hearings, drafting legal cover letters and briefs, engaging in negotiation, presenting evidence, etc., in accord with the Code of Professional Responsibility for the legal profession.
  • Provides Know Your Rights presentations to detained children.
  • Carries a volume of work as required by the project. 
  • Remains current on immigration law, policies and procedures.  Remains current on criminal and civil law as they apply to the representation of immigrants and refugees.
  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with all stakeholders, including with representatives of government agencies, the Immigration Court, and family members and caretakers of clients. 
  • Interprets immigration laws and governmental policies and programs for the public, including at outreach and public speaking events. 
  • 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 conflicts of interest.
  • Maintains complete and accurate client records.  Ensures timely entry of all statistical data into databases/servers.  Conducts independent and team case audits. 
  • Participates in training on immigration law and procedures as assigned by legal supervisors.  May conduct trainings as assigned by legal supervisors, as well.
  • Participates in developing and implementing special projects.   Such projects could include presentations on certain legal issues, problems, topics, or developments in immigration law, or new initiatives within the project relating to representation of individual clients or groups of clients.
  • Identifies trends and recurring legal and social concerns.  Recommends strategies for solutions and other needed advocacy.
  • Interprets for NIJC clients and staff and translates documents and other materials as needed.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, private funding sources, NIJC plans/policies, and project guidelines.  Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff trainings to ensure understanding of and adherence to such standards.  Requests assistance or guidance from legal supervisors as needed to address new issues or complex concepts affecting adherence to professional standards.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

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:  Juris Doctorate Degree required. One year of direct experience in legal representation preferred.
  • Language Skills:  Ability to read, analyze, and interpret case law, statutes, governmental regulations, professional journals, and other forms of legal writing.  Ability to write legal briefs, cover letters, procedural guidelines, and professional emails and other correspondence.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from co-workers, managers, clients, and the general public.  Ability to read, speak, and write in Spanish.  Additional non-English language skills are preferred.
  • Driving: May be required to have a current, valid IL Driver’s License.  May be required to drive their own vehicle and/or an Organization vehicle to and from sites.
  • Mathematical Skills:  Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.  Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.
  • Reasoning Ability:  Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.  Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

Competencies: 

To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data; Designs work flows and procedures.
  • Design - Generates creative solutions; Translates concepts and information into images; Uses feedback to modify designs; Applies design principles; Demonstrates attention to detail.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Project Management - Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget; Manages project and team activities.
  • Technical Skills - Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; Pursues training and development opportunities; Strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; Shares expertise with others.
  • Customer Service - Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; Responds promptly to customer needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service; Responds to requests for service and assistance; Meets commitments.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Teamwork - Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed.
  • Visionary Leadership - Displays passion and optimism; Inspires respect and trust; Mobilizes others to fulfill the vision; Provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates.
  • Change Management - Develops workable implementation plans; Communicates changes effectively; Builds commitment and overcomes resistance; Prepares and supports those affected by change; Monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Delegation - Delegates work assignments; Matches the responsibility to the person; Sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; Provides recognition for results.
  • Leadership - Exhibits confidence in self and others; Inspires and motivates others to perform well; Effectively influences actions and opinions of others; Accepts feedback from others; Gives appropriate recognition to others.
  • Quality Management - Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Business Acumen - Understands business implications of decisions; Demonstrates knowledge of market and competition; Aligns work with strategic goals.
  • Cost Consciousness - Works within approved budget; Develops and implements cost saving measures; Conserves organizational resources.
  • Diversity - Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; Educates others on the value of diversity; Promotes a harassment-free environment; Builds a diverse workforce.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; Understands organization's strengths & weaknesses; Analyzes market and competition; Identifies external threats and opportunities; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Motivation - Sets and achieves challenging goals; Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; Measures self against standard of excellence; Takes calculated risks to accomplish goals.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Quality - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.
  • Quantity - Meets productivity standards; Completes work in timely manner; Strives to increase productivity; Works quickly.
  • Safety and Security - Observes safety and security procedures; Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; Reports potentially unsafe conditions; Uses equipment and materials properly.
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Attendance/Punctuality - Is consistently at work and on time; Ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; Arrives at meetings and appointments on time.
  • Dependability - Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Initiative - Volunteers readily; Undertakes self-development activities; Seeks increased responsibilities; Takes independent actions and calculated risks; Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed.
  • Innovation - Displays original thinking and creativity; Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Generates suggestions for improving work; Develops innovative approaches and ideas; Presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others' attention.

Physical Demands:  

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment:  

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The employee may be required to remain on Organization premises during breaks and/or meal periods and may be required to stay on Organization premises until their replacement arrives.
  • This position will require the ability to travel throughout the country, and may include weekend and overnight travel.

Apply for the Immigrant Children's Protection Project Staff Attorney position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board. 

 

 

Asylum Pro Bono Project Coordinator

The Asylum Pro Bono Coordinator will be the initial point-of-contact for NIJC’s pro bono projects and pro bono opportunities. In conjunction with other NIJC pro bono coordinators, the asylum pro bono coordinator will provide data regarding pro bono services, including monthly reports on trainings, workshops, and the recruitment of new pro bono attorneys.  Within NIJC’s asylum pro bono project, the pro bono coordinator will conduct asylum intake, provide support to pro bono attorneys handling asylum matters, and assist with the development of asylum pro bono materials and trainings.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Generate reports regarding NIJC’s asylum pro bono work
  • Ensure proper database entries on asylum pro bono cases
  • Compile pro bono summaries from other projects for distribution in the monthly pro bono newsletter and prepare quarterly pro bono thank you emails
  • Serve as the initial point-of-contact for pro bono inquiries from current and prospective pro bono attorneys and coordinators at law firms and corporations across the country regarding NIJC’s work
  • Manage NIJC’s asylum intake system
  • Respond to NIJC’s asylum hotline and internal/external referrals
  • Track individual asylum cases, pro bono placement and outcomes in NIJC’s database
  • Conduct asylum intake
  • Provide referrals for post-asylum ancillary services for NIJC asylum clients
  • Coordinate legal trainings and workshops for asylum pro bono attorneys
  • Create and update NIJC asylum pro bono training materials in collaboration with the managing attorney
  • Coordinate the referral of asylum cases to pro bono attorneys (excluding LGBT and detention project cases) in conjunction with other asylum project staff
  • Respond to questions from asylum pro bono attorneys and refer questions to the managing attorney as appropriate
  • Conduct a bi-annual audit of NIJC’s affirmative asylum cases
  • Coordinate undergraduate interns
  • Participate in legal trainings and review legal materials to remain current on immigration law, policies, and procedures
  • Interpret for Spanish-speaking clients and translate for Spanish-language documents as needed
  • Assist in the representation of in-house asylum clients, as needed
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, the ideal candidate must be able to perform each essential duty.  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. The ideal candidate is a mature professional who can work independently and “goes the extra mile,” particularly in response to tight deadlines and emerging opportunities.  The ideal candidate needs to be able to identify/anticipate emerging opportunities or issues. The ideal candidate pays attention to detail, knows how to prioritize his/her work, has strong organizational skills, maintains confidentiality, thrives in a fast-paced and demanding environment, and is open to change. 

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s degree required. Masters’ degree preferred. Minimum of three 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 Spanish. 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.

  • Computer Skills: Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.

  • Other Skills: Ability to: assimilate and convey messages on a variety of issues relating to immigration in a succinct and compelling way and tailored to different audiences; 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 legal entities; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.

  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

  • The employee may be required to remain on Organization premises during breaks and/or meal periods and may be required to stay on Organization premises until their replacement arrives.

  • This position will require the ability to travel throughout the country, and may include weekend and overnight travel.

Apply for the Asylum Pro Bono Project Coordinator position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board. 

 

 

Paralegal - Asylum Project

The Paralegal I provides general paralegal support for non-detained unaccompanied immigrant children (UICs) seeking protection through asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and other forms of relief.  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. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responds to NIJC’s non-detained UIC hotline and 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.
  • Assists in the placement of SIJS cases with pro bono attorneys and 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.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

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.
  • Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:  May be required to have a current, valid IL Driver’s License. 
  • Other Skills and Qualifications: Must successfully pass background check.
  • 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.

Competencies:

To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data; Designs work flows and procedures.
  • Design - Generates creative solutions; Translates concepts and information into images; Uses feedback to modify designs; Applies design principles; Demonstrates attention to detail.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Project Management - Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget; Manages project and team activities.
  • Technical Skills - Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; Pursues training and development opportunities; Strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; Shares expertise with others.
  • Customer Service - Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; Responds promptly to customer needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service; Responds to requests for service and assistance; Meets commitments.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Teamwork - Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed.
  • Visionary Leadership - Displays passion and optimism; Inspires respect and trust; Mobilizes others to fulfill the vision; Provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates.
  • Change Management - Develops workable implementation plans; Communicates changes effectively; Builds commitment and overcomes resistance; Prepares and supports those affected by change; Monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Delegation - Delegates work assignments; Matches the responsibility to the person; Sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; Provides recognition for results.
  • Leadership - Exhibits confidence in self and others; Inspires and motivates others to perform well; Effectively influences actions and opinions of others; Accepts feedback from others; Gives appropriate recognition to others.
  • Quality Management - Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Business Acumen - Understands business implications of decisions; Demonstrates knowledge of market and competition; Aligns work with strategic goals.
  • Cost Consciousness - Works within approved budget; Develops and implements cost saving measures; Conserves organizational resources.
  • Diversity - Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; Educates others on the value of diversity; Promotes a harassment-free environment; Builds a diverse workforce.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; Understands organization's strengths & weaknesses; Analyzes market and competition; Identifies external threats and opportunities; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Motivation - Sets and achieves challenging goals; Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; Measures self against standard of excellence; Takes calculated risks to accomplish goals.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Quality - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.
  • Quantity - Meets productivity standards; Completes work in timely manner; Strives to increase productivity; Works quickly.
  • Safety and Security - Observes safety and security procedures; Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; Reports potentially unsafe conditions; Uses equipment and materials properly.
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Attendance/Punctuality - Is consistently at work and on time; Ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; Arrives at meetings and appointments on time.
  • Dependability - Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Initiative - Volunteers readily; Undertakes self-development activities; Seeks increased responsibilities; Takes independent actions and calculated risks; Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed.
  • Innovation - Displays original thinking and creativity; Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Generates suggestions for improving work; Develops innovative approaches and ideas; Presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others' attention.


Physical Demands:  

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The employee may be required to remain on Organization premises during breaks and/or meal periods and may be required to stay on Organization premises until their replacement arrives.
  • This position will require the ability to travel throughout the country, and may include weekend and overnight travel.

Apply for the Asylum Project Paralegal position 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 currently accepting internship applications for summer 2021. See our open internships and how to apply.



Fellowships

NIJC is accepting applications for post-graduate legal fellowships at NIJC's Chicago, Indianapolis, and San Diego offices. 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, 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.  All applications must be received by August 1, 2020. 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 proposals that focus on work connected with NIJC's Asylum Project, Detention Project, and/or LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Initiative.
  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.