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Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center:

Director Level Positions:

National Director of Legal Services

Legal Program Director

Associate Director, Major and Individual Giving

Supervisory Positions:

Legal Project Manager

Senior Attorney Positions:

Senior Litigation Attorney

Senior Attorney - Detention Project

Staff Attorney Positions:

Staff Attorney - Detention Project

Staff Attorney - Detention Project (LOP)

Staff Attorney - Immigrant Legal Defense Project

Coordinator Positions:

Legal Orientation Program Coordinator - Detention Project

Program Assistant - Immigrant Legal Defense Project

Pro Bono Coordinator - Immigrant Legal Defense Project

Paralegal Positions:

Paralegal - Detention Project

Paralegal - Immigrant Children's Protection Project

Paralegal - Immigrant Legal Defense Project

Internships & Fellowships:

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.

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

 

 

Legal Program Director

The Legal Program Director (LPD) will be a member of NIJC’s Senior Management team, reporting to the Executive Director. In this capacity, the LPD 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 LPD will ensure current and future programs are consistent with NIJC’s strategic plan and goals. The ideal candidate is an individual with management experience, an effective communicator and adaptable. The candidate should also demonstrate an ability to build teams and coordinate strategies across projects. The LPD will collaborate and support a vision for the most efficient and effective implementation of its legal programs to advance NIJC’s mission.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

Strategy, Leadership, and Management  

(40% of time)

  • Provide strategic leadership and implementation of NIJC’s mission.
  • Manages legal directors and associate directors to build their teams and retain high-performing staff.
  • In consultation with senior staff and local and national partners, identify key legal issues and NIJC’s role in advancing those issues  
  • Liaise with and coordinate among all NIJC legal projects.  
  • Work with direct reports to develop their leadership in the delivery of legal services to ensure NIJC’s continued growth and success and to enhance NIJC’s reputation and opportunities for collaboration.
  • Identify the need for and develop new legal program initiatives.   

Operations

(20% of time)

  • Work with the COO and budget team in the allocation of resources and the development, implementation, and monitoring of programs, in accordance with strategic priorities that will enable NIJC to remain a leader in its field.
  • Evaluate NIJC’s legal services, identify new ways of executing priorities, recommend changes to drive business process improvement using an innovative approach. 
  • Support project leaders to identify opportunities to work together, create connections and use a collaborative approach to build teams and grow NIJC’s offerings.
  • Work with directors and associate directors to ensure quality and excellence in NIJC legal programs and ensure that each project’s qualitative and quantitative measurements are implemented and met Key Performance Indicators in NIJC legal programs and in our contracts and grants
  • Work with the pro bono manager to assess NIJC’s pro bono processes, identify issues and propose solutions to same. 
  • Work with COO and NIJC’s technology person to 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.
  • Write and present reports to the Executive Director.
  • Present to NIJC Leadership Board on new initiatives or changes in NIJC’s priorities 

Performance Management

(20% of time)

  • Support directors and associate directors to develop and meet key performance indicators, measurement and evaluation, including metrics to track progress.
  • Encourage 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.
  • Manage, develop, coach and train supervisees  

External Relations and Advocacy

(20% of time)

  • Identify areas for NIJC to collaborate and opportunities on a national level to strengthen NIJC’s reputation.   
  • 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.

Competencies include:

  • Strong leadership skills, including in the areas of strategic planning and business processes, preferably with experience overseeing legal programs
  • Experienced manager of people, including demonstrated strength managing performance evaluation  
  • 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 to build trust, collaboration, and a culture that welcomes change
  • Demonstrated strength in managing and resolving conflict
  • Subscribes to NIJC values of 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 overseeing and supporting details of implementation.
  • Strong financial acumen and ability to assess projects  
  • Knowledge of the law, particularly immigration, civil rights, and human rights law is preferred
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, 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 business operation and maintaining a strong mission focus as a nonprofit organization
  • Ability to be adaptable and nimble

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: Advanced degree (JD or MBA) preferred
  • Experience: Five to 10 years of leadership experience, including experience working with an executive director and senior management team to achieve goals.
    • Proven experience building teams and strengthening organizational leadership
    • Experience in organizational change management 
    • Legal experience preferred, particularly immigration law experience
  • Computer Skills: Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Reasoning Ability: Excellent analytical skills required. 

Apply for the Legal Program Director position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board. 

 

 

Associate Director, Major and Individual Giving

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), a program of Heartland Alliance, is a leading human rights organization dedicated to advancing the rights of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The Associate Director, Major and Individual Giving is a key role on NIJC’s development team that will support the continued growth of NIJC by identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts from individual donors. The Associate Director will also work closely with the Director of Development to plan and build NIJC’s major gifts program. This is a new position that has been created to grow individual giving, particularly major gifts, as a strategic and sustainable source of revenue for NIJC.

The successful candidate will be a driven, entrepreneurial fundraising professional who is passionate about NIJC’s mission and has the ability to inspire and energize others about NIJC’s work. The Associate Director is a motivated self-starter with the creativity to generate new ideas and the strategic depth to maintain and grow a dynamic major gift program. The ideal candidate should be mission driven, have excellent communication skills, and demonstrated success fostering and building relationships.

NIJC is currently a hybrid workplace, and the Associate Director can expect continued opportunity for remote and in-office work but must be based in the Chicagoland area to facilitate donor visits and support fundraising events. The Associate Director reports to the Director of Development and will have significant interaction with NIJC’s Executive Director and advisory board.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

Major and Mid-Level Gifts

  • In collaboration with the Director of Development, develop and implement NIJC’s major gifts program, including identifying and qualifying donors and prospects; developing best practices and tools for cultivation, solicitation, acknowledgment, and stewardship; and establishing goals and ensuring alignment with the development team’s strategic planning
  • Support the Director of Development, Executive Director, and advisory board members in their engagement of major donor prospects and solicitation of new and renewed major gifts
  • Research and identify new prospects; develop donor strategy documents, briefing memos, stewardship/cultivation strategies, gift request proposals, and other materials to move prospects through the donor cycle
  • Manage a personal portfolio of major and mid-level donors/prospects; serve as the primary relationship manager for this portfolio, building relationships and meeting with these donors to solicit, secure, and steward their financial support
  • In partnership with Development team colleagues, develop and utilize a moves management system for all donor segments to drive and stabilize revenue growth
  • Creatively contribute to the implementation and expansion of NIJC’s ambitious fundraising efforts and serve as a thought leader for continued expansion of NIJC’s major gifts program
  • Innovate on strategies and events to engage fundraising from NIJC’s advisory boards (Leadership Board and Associate Leadership Board)

Fundraising Appeals and Campaigns

  • Collaborate with Development and Communications team colleagues to plan and execute NIJC’s multi-channel year-end appeal, including setting goals and targets, writing appeal letter, and coordinating with advisory board, Executive Director, and Director of Development to fundraise
  • Support NIJC’s annual Human Rights Awards event and other fundraising campaigns, with a specific focus on developing and aligning strategies for major and mid-level donors/prospects and maximizing opportunities with existing campaigns

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Ensure effective reporting for major gifts management, and monitor weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual activity to inform strategies and achieve major gift revenue goals
  • Assist with review and verification of major gift donor recognition lists
  • Track relationship management activity using constituent relationship management system including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospective and current individual major donors
  • Provide a dashboard and feedback to the executive team highlighting cultivation efforts and providing guidance and strategy to increase the portfolio
  • Articulate the qualitative and quantitative aspects of our programs and services to key donors and provide input on strategy in tune with the giving landscape

Teamwork

  • Participate in regular Development staff and organization-wide meetings
  • Provide input to colleagues regarding donor interests and perspectives to assist in the evolution of NIJC’s effective messaging
  • Represent NIJC at special events, business networking events, and community outreach events
  • Work collaboratively with program teams on shared goals, such as identifying new initiatives that may align with donor interests

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum of 3-5 years of experience in nonprofit development and fundraising
  • Demonstrated success in personally implementing cultivation strategies to successfully secure major gifts of at least five figures ($10,000+)
  • Ability to leverage key relationships and assist with seeking new relationships both locally and nationally
  • Knowledge of nonprofit fundraising principles and strategies, including best practices in the areas of donor relationship management, moves management, and major giving
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication (written and verbal) skills, documented record of excellent customer/donor service, and demonstrated ability to build relationships
  • Self-starter with the ability to think creatively and strategically and conceive, plan, execute, evaluate a program from start to finish
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills and ability to prioritize and meet deadlines in a time-sensitive environment with attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to interact with a diverse and varied constituency, as well as the capacity to motivate and collaborate successfully with board members, volunteers, and colleagues
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced and high-energy organization; a team player willing to take on new challenges and partner across organizational levels and departments
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and working knowledge of constituent relationship management systems and wealth screening databases. Knowledge of Raisers Edge a plus.

Apply for the Associate Director of Major and Individual Giving position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board.

 

 

Legal Project Manager

The Legal Project Manager works closely with the Associate Director of Legal Services to ensure strategic leadership and implementation of NIJC’s mission in its Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD) project.  The Legal Project Manager supports client-facing legal services and internal projects to ensure successful implementation of such projects, provide support for direct legal services, and improve efficiency, quality, and client satisfaction.  The Legal Project Manager will be a member of the Immigrant Legal Defense team reporting directly to the Associate Director.

The Legal Project Manager will organize, manage, and plan complex projects for the direct legal services teams in areas of onboarding, staff development, benchmarking, intake, and case management.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Creates plan to ensure consistent onboarding, training, and benchmarks for new and evolving staff paralegals, coordinators and attorneys in coordination with management team
  • Communicates and collaborates with direct legal services team to provide training and information required to onboard staff and maintain quality
  • Conducts quality review checks as appropriate
  • Mentors NIJC staff members in their applications for DOJ recognition
  • Responsible for preparing all necessary annual reports and renewal applications to maintain NIJC’s DOJ Accreditation
  • Creates systems and documentation on procedures to ensure consistency, accuracy, and quality in intakes, documentation, and case management. Drives continuous improvement process for the teams including client satisfaction, efficiency of teams etc.
  • Updates NIJC’s immigrant legal defense case management manual, including annual federal poverty guideline updates, and coordinates with other NIJC projects to ensure consistency in delivery of legal services to the extent appropriate.
  • Leads project in providing training and technical support to pro bono attorneys and direct representation to immigrants in immigration applications before the Department of Homeland Security, Executive Office for Immigration Review, and/or Department of States, ensuring completion of assigned projects/cases on time, to specifications, and with accuracy and efficiency.
  • Outlines the tasks involved in the projects and delegates accordingly.
  • Oversees the creation of quality and accurate training materials, including PowerPoints and ensures consistency with NIJC brand
  • Creates ILD intake schedule, including intake at remote locations, and supervises ILD intake in coordination with the ILD supervisory and management team, as assigned.
  • Provides client intake and represents in limited number of immigration cases as needed.
  • Conducts risk assessments; reports identified risks to management; provides recommendations for mitigation of risk
  • Identifies gaps in services and improves collaboration with other service providers (HA programs and others).
  • Participates in trainings and conferences on management, as well as on substantive areas of the law.
  • Understands applicable legal, financial, and project-management related concepts. Asks appropriate questions and provides clear and concise responses.
  • Ensures compliance with federal, state, local, industry, contractual, and company regulations, standards, specifications, and best practices.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Oversees  the onboarding of ILD staff to ensure quality
  • Creates benchmarks and KPI’s (key performance indicators) for staff in conjunction with the legal supervisors/managers
  • Builds a positive culture in ILD 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.
  • Provides direct supervision to an internal team. Supports supervisors, staff, interns and volunteers as assigned
  • Delegates work and assignments to team members based on expertise, work experience, and time constraints.
  • Overseas NIJC’s DOJ Recognition and Accreditation Program, and provides mentorship to team members applying for accreditation
  • Advances an anti-racist organization that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion

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 Experience: Bachelors degree or JD or related field, which may include business management, quality assurance or organizational development.
  • At least 3 years as DOJ Accredited Representative or Licensed Attorney in the immigration field highly desirable
  • At least 2 years of legal case management
  • Demonstrates skills in project management and outcomes measurement highly desirable. (for example certifications in PMP, PgMP, CAPM, and/or comparable project management certifications)
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent training and development skills
  • Excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong supervisory and leadership skills.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate them when appropriate.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software.

Apply for the Legal Project Manager position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board.

 

 

Senior Litigation Attorney

NIJC seeks an attorney with litigation experience, including federal litigation, for a full-time federal-court litigation position. We invite applications from attorneys who have a demonstrated commitment to immigrant and civil rights, and who would be interested in, and capable of, contributing to innovative litigation and policy advocacy in the federal courts, both at the district court and in the courts of appeal. Litigation tasks include legal research, drafting of pleadings and briefs, discovery, motion practice, and trials and appeals in both state and federal courts. The litigation attorney will work to develop and implement advocacy strategies in identified areas. The litigation attorney may also be called upon to provide immigration-court level representation for clients in litigation matters (e.g. representing a named-plaintiff in a district court action in his related immigration case). The litigator will collaborate with the NIJC direct service, policy and communications teams. The litigator will work with pro bono attorneys.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Identify litigation issues and collaborate with NIJC’s communication, policy, and litigation teams
  • Develop legal strategies
  • Provide legal representation and/or lead or participate in litigation efforts through all phases of litigation, including motions practice, discovery, trial, brief writing, and oral argument (as appropriate)
  • Conduct legal research and draft pleadings and briefs
  • Collaborate with community-based organizations to identify cases/plaintiffs
  • Work with pro bono partners
  • Communicate via the media regarding legal advocacy and policy efforts
  • Identify trends and emerging issues

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.

  • Juris Doctorate Degree required; at least two years practicing law is required, four years is preferred. Preferred experience is in immigration and/or human rights law.
  • Candidates with at least two years of litigation experience preferred.
  • Spanish fluency strongly preferred. However, speakers of other languages are encouraged to apply.
  • Self-motivated and committed to civil liberties advocacy
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, and diverse community organizations and coalitions
  • Ability to communicate effectively in legal and non-legal settings with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
  • Ability to represent individuals in complex cases and to formulate and implement sophisticated legal strategies

Competencies: 

  • Interpersonal skills:  Focuses on resolving conflict; maintains confidentiality; listens and remains open to others’ ideas; and introduces new initiatives strategically and tactfully.
  • Oral Communication: Speaks clearly and persuasively; listens actively and gets clarification; responds well to questions; has 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 data effectively; able to read and interpret written information.
  • Managing People:  Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; takes responsibility for subordinates’ activities; applies program participants’ feedback, as well as feedback from collaborating agencies; fosters quality focus in others; improves processes and services; continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Quality Management: Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • 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; benefits organization through outside activities; supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Planning/Organizing: Sets priorities and plans work activities; uses time efficiently; plans for additional resources; sets goals and objectives; organizes or schedules other people and their tasks in a way that ensures coverage at all times; develops realist action plans.
  • Professionalism:  Approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats co-workers and participants with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; accepts responsibility for own actions; follows through on commitments.
  • 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.

Apply for the Senior Litigation Attorney position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board.

 

 

Senior Attorney - Detention Project

This position provides legal representation and counseling to immigrants and asylum-seekers appearing before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with a focus on representation of individuals in DHS custody in their bond and removal proceedings, and appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Legal representation may also include work on federal habeas corpus petitions challenging the legality of clients’ detention and detention conditions. The position also provides technical support to pro bono counsel assigned to NIJC cases, both locally and nationally. The Senior Attorney will serve as a mentor to junior staff, as well as the development of new initiatives or projects within the team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Minimum 3 years’ experience in the area of immigration law, with a strong preference for candidates with a background in removal defense and the intersection of criminal and immigration law, or related fields
  • 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 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. 
    • With the Supervisor and NIJC Pro Bono Manager, prepares cases for recruitment of pro bono counsel, and provides technical support to pro bono counsel assigned to NIJC cases, locally and nationally.
    • Travel to detention centers in the Chicago area as well as nationwide is required.
  • Remains current on immigration law, policies and procedures.  Remains current on implications of criminal and civil law as it applies to the representation of immigrants and asylum seekers.
  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with EOIR, DHS, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), government and social service organizations and community organizations as necessary.  Interprets immigration and department policies and programs to the public, including through public speaking engagements or trainings. 
  • 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.
  • Identifies trends and recurring legal and social concerns.  Recommends strategies for solutions and other needed advocacy.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, (and/or other appropriate professional associations), private funding sources, Organization plans/policies and Unit guidelines.  Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that she/he understand and continues to adhere to such standards.  Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor 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; minimum of three years’ experience in removal defense and/or the intersection of criminal and immigration law.
  • 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. Spanish language fluency is preferred but not required, and speakers of other languages are encouraged to apply.
  • 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.

Apply for the Detention Project Senior Attorney position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board.

 

 

Staff Attorney - Detention Project

This position provides legal representation and immigration consultations to immigrants within the custody of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), including Chicago and State of Illinois residents who have been detained by ICE.  The Staff Attorney will advocate for clients before the Immigration Court, ICE, and on occasion USCIS.  As the majority of client work will be in Spanish, this position requires Spanish fluency.

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 applies 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.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, (and/or other appropriate professional associations), private funding sources, Organization plans/policies and Unit guidelines.  Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that she/he understand and continues to adhere to such standards.  Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor 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; 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 Spanish.
  • 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.

Apply for the Detention Staff Attorney position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board.

 

 

Staff Attorney - Detention Project, LOP

This posting is for a position with NIJC's Detention Project, which works to uphold the due process protections of detained individuals. This position requires providing legal education to individuals in Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody through the Legal Orientation Program (LOP).  Outside of LOP, the staff attorney will provide direct representation to individuals in ICE custody before the Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, ICE, and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). This staff attorney requires Spanish fluency.

Legal Orientation Program: 

LOP is a federally-funded program through which NIJC provides legal education at local facilities housing ICE detainees.  NIJC aims to provide group orientations to all interested individuals and individual orientations to all pro se individuals seeking our assistance. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Periodic travels to McHenry County Jail in Woodstock, Illinois or another jail that detains immigrants. 
  • Implements LOP at McHenry County Jail or another jail by:
    • Conducting group orientations to new arrivals prior to their initial master calendar hearing
    • Conducting individual orientations with pro se detained individuals
    • Conducting pro se workshops with pro se detained individuals
    • Referring cases for pro bono representation by NIJC staff and pro bono attorneys
    • Currently LOP is functioning on a remote basis. Travel to the facility may resume as pandemic conditions change.
  • 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.
  • Represents detained individuals before the Immigration Court, BIA, ICE, and USCIS.  Prepares cases 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 applies to the representation of immigrants and refugees.
  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with 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.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, (and/or other appropriate professional associations), private funding sources, Organization plans/policies and Unit guidelines.  Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that she/he understand and continues to adhere to such standards.  Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor 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; 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 Spanish.
  • 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.

Apply for the Detention LOP Staff Attorney position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board.

 

 

Staff Attorney - Immigrant Legal Defense Project

NIJC's Immigrant Legal Defense Project is seeking an attorney to provide legal consultations, advice and representation to low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Justice. The staff attorney will also provide training and technical support to pro bono attorneys with a focus on asylee and refugee adjustment of status, family petitions cases, and related cases.   This staff attorney position requires Spanish fluency, ability to engage in community outreach, and provide legal consultations at off-site locations.

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 applies 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 regular 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.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, (and/or other appropriate professional associations), private funding sources, Organization plans/policies and Unit guidelines.  Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that she/he understands and continues to adhere to such standards.  Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor 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; and one year of direct experience in social service counseling and/or legal representation.
  • Language Skills: Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated competency in public speaking and strong interpersonal skills required.  Additional non-English language skills are preferred.
  • Computer Skills:  Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.
  • 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.

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

 

 

Legal Orientation Program Coordinator - Detention Project

The Legal Orientation Program (LOP) Coordinator position is part of NIJC’s detention team.  The coordinator will divide their time between LOP and traditional detention work.  The coordinator will devote 50% of work time to LOP and 50% to traditional detention work and is encouraged to seek accreditation with the Department of Justice after sufficient training and time providing legal services.  The LOP Coordinator must be fluent in Spanish. 

Legal Orientation Program: 

LOP is a federally-funded program through which NIJC provides legal education at local facilities housing ICE detainees.  NIJC aims to provide group orientations to all interested individuals and individual orientations to all pro se individuals seeking our assistance. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Create Group and Individual Orientation lists identifying the individuals in immigration detention seeking LOP services
  • Work with LOP attorneys to ensure accuracy and clarity of the list and assess urgency for LOP assistance
  • Conduct weekly LOP or individual orientations with LOP participants, remotely or in-person when jail visits can safely resume
  • Input data and manage LOP data entry in compliance with donor requirements.
  • Ensure all data for the month is accurately inputted in the Vera database in accordance with Vera deadlines.
  • Ensure appropriate follow-up with LOP participants (e.g. that participants marked for detention project follow-up are distributed to detention project staff for follow-up; rejection letters are sent to remaining participants; participants are invited to pro se workshops as needed and other responsibilities)
  • Ensure communication, reporting and data-tracking procedures remain in compliance with security requirements per funding contract.
  • Develop and update systems for tracking and evaluating LOP activities in line with funder requirements and project goals.
  • Assist with LOP logistics including assisting with vehicle rentals and staff scheduling for LOP visits.
  • Participate on an as-needed basis in monthly funder update conference calls, identifying trends and changes relevant to LOP programming.
  • Participate in weekly detention team meetings and monthly internal LOP meetings.
  • Create materials for pro se respondents.
  • Ensure appropriate follow-up following supervisor assessment of individual cases.

Detention Intake, Case Screening and Case Support:

  • Conduct detention intake interviews with detained non-citizens and their family members.
  • Present detention intake interviews for legal assessment.
  • In coordination with the assigned attorney, conduct factual, legal and country-conditions research to assess claims and eligibility for immigration relief.
  • Prepare immigration cases for filing in coordination with detention project staff attorneys.
  • Prepare affidavits and supporting documents.
  • Conduct country research and draft country conditions sections of filings.
  • Assist detention project staff attorneys in preparation of pre-hearing statements.
  • Participate in trainings and review legal materials to remain current on immigration law, policies, and procedures.
  • Train and oversee interns on administrative procedures and case assessment protocol.
  • Assist with the recruitment and onboarding of interns and new project staff.
  • Any 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: The Coordinator must have a bachelor’s degree with demonstrated experience, preferably at least two years, working with immigrants or other vulnerable populations. 
  • Language Skills: Fluency in Spanish is required.  The Coordinator must be able to communicate clearly and professionally, orally and in writing, with individuals of a variety of educational, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.  Must be comfortable working with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including those with criminal records. 
  • 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.
  • Computer Skills: Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.
  • Other Skills: Excellent writing and organizational skills, as well as the ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and perform under time constraints, are also required.

Apply for the Detention Project Legal Orientation Program Coordinator position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board.

 

 

Program Assistant - Immigrant Legal Defense Project

 

This position provides a broad range of specialized program support services, including but not limited to specialized administrative tasks, data processing and records management.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Coordinates and performs specialized data processing tasks for the program/department, as defined by program needs and contractual requirements.  Performs non-specialized tasks, as needed, including but not limited to filing, photocopying, scanning, and processing mail correspondence in accordance with organizational standards and program guidelines.
  • Tracks referrals from community partners.  Conducts prescreen and schedules individuals referred for consultation appointments. Confirms scheduled appointments.
  • Supports off-site intake by greeting and checking in clients and scheduling follow up appointments.  Travel to different locations is required.
  • Communicates with external partners regarding outreach and NIJC services. 
  • Updates materials for community outreach and know your rights presentations. Prepares necessary materials for all presentations.  May attend and provides support to presenters during community presentations.
  • Maintains copies and up to date versions of all documents necessary for intake.
  • Assists in preparing documents for regular case and program audit. 
  • Manages internal referrals between NIJC programs.  Maintains a baseline knowledge of relevant program and service-related terminology.
  • Develops and maintains filing systems and ensures accuracy, confidentiality and consistency of filing systems, database entry, and records. Contributes to organizational efficiencies, including using technology to improve delivery of legal services and data management.
  • Maintains an appropriate professional demeanor towards co-workers, visitors, clients, supervisors and other non-personnel.
  • Develops and maintains schedules (conference room, staff, off-site intake, etc.).
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, private funding sources, organizational plans/policies and program guidelines.  Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that he/she understands and continues to adhere to such standards.  Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor 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: Associates or bachelor’s degree required. 
  • Language Skills:  Fluency in Spanish is required.  Ability to write reports, correspondence, and instructions.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from staff, managers, participants, vendors, and the general public.
  • Other Qualifications:  Demonstrated computer proficiency, including knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet and database software.  A familiarity with or understanding of program-specific terminology (i.e., immigration law) may be required.
  • Reasoning Ability:  Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.  Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

Apply for the Immigrant Legal Defense Project Program Assistant position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board. 

 

 

Pro Bono Coordinator - Immigrant Legal Defense Project

The Pro Bono Project Coordinator will work with diverse partners to ensure immigrants have access to counsel.  The objectives of the project are to: 1) coordinate effective representation of vulnerable immigrant populations; 2) increase the broad-based impact of NIJC’ legal services program by coordinating regular pro bono training and clinic opportunities;  and 3) respond and document the needs of partner organizations, including conducting issue-based training on legal relief available to immigrants.

The 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 immigrants. The Coordinator will be expected to lead organizational outreach: identify potential partner organizations, and develop strong networks among peer organizations on a national level.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Maintain database to track individual cases and outcome.

  • Maintain case files for all pro bono matters, ensuring thoroughness and accuracy

  • Contribute to the publication and distribution of NIJC’s pro bono training materials and online educational webinars

  • Maintain current knowledge of immigration policies, procedures, and internal structures

  • Collaborate with other NIJC projects (communications, litigation, policy etc.) to identify issues pertaining to their specific pro bono project

  • Serve as conduit of current information for law firms and non-governmental organizations

  • Coordinate educational trainings and clinics at  law firms, non-governmental organizations, and government offices

  • Contribute to NIJC’s pro bono outreach at pro bono events

  • Conduct a biannual audit of pending pro bono matters in collaboration with supervisor

  • Conduct intake under the supervision of an attorney or DOJ accredited representative

  • Prepare applications and legal arguments for case filings with U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services and U.S. Department of State

  • Supervise pro bono project interns

  • Performs other job-related 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 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 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:  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 Immigrant Legal Defense Project Pro Bono Coordinator position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board. 

 

 

Paralegal - Detention Project 

The detention project paralegal is a member of NIJC’s detention project and is primarily responsible for conducting detention intake and providing case support (including research, case review, documentation preparation and other related tasks to support general operations and the work of staff and pro bono attorneys). The paralegal must be fluent in Spanish.  The paralegal is encouraged to seek accreditation with the Department of Justice if appropriate.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Detention Intake & Case Screening & Case Support:

  • Conduct intake interviews with detained non-citizens and their family members
  • Present intake interviews for legal assessment
  • In coordination with the assigned attorney, conduct legal and country-conditions research to assess claims and eligibility for immigration relief
  • Manage coverage for phone intake hotline
  • Staff weekly phone intake hotline
  • Monitor and respond, as needed, to voicemails on the intake line outside of intake hours
  • Manage and respond to mail and faxes from individuals in ICE custody
  • Manage and respond to mail from non-citizens in state custody
  • Respond to referrals from community and legal organizations seeking to refer detained cases Prepare case acceptance packets and case closing letters for attorneys
  • Organize and scan closed case files
  • Prepare immigration cases for filing with attorneys:
    • Prepare affidavits and indexes; gather supporting documents
    • Conduct country research and draft country conditions sections of filings
    • Assist attorneys in preparation of pre-hearing statements

 Miscellaneous:

  • Participate in trainings and review legal materials to remain current on immigration law, policies, and procedures
  • Once travel to facilities resumes, participate in overnight Know Your Rights trips to detention facilities as needed, 2-3 times per year
  • Serve as a backup for conducting individual orientations at LOP facilities when additional support is needed
  • Train and supervise interns on administrative procedures and case assessment protocol
  • Any 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 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 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 Detention Project paralegal position on Heartland Alliance's Job Board.

 

 

Paralegal - Immigrant Children's Protection Project

The Paralegal provides general paralegal support for detained and non-detained unaccompanied immigrant children (UICs) seeking protection through asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and other forms of relief.  The paralegal conducts Know Your Rights presentations, intakes, research, case review, affidavit writing, 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:

  • Give Know Your Rights presentations on the immigration process and legal rights.
  • Conduct legal screenings with detained children.
  • 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.
  • 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:  Must have or is able to get a current, valid IL Driver’s License.  Travel to sites around the Chicago area is required.
  • 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.

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

 

 

Paralegal - Immigrant Legal Defense Project

The Paralegal provides general paralegal support for the Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD) 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. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Immigrant Legal Defense 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 Fall 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.