The Temporary Staff Attorney in the New York, NY office will assist in administering Human Rights First’s Refugee Representation program. The Temporary Staff Attorney will help to identify cases for pro bono representation and mentor law firm attorneys to handle these cases, in addition to mentoring asylum cases more broadly. This includes supervision of asylum claims filed at the Asylum Office, the New York Immigration Court, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. This position may also help supervise legal services coordinators, fellows and/or volunteers. The Temporary Staff Attorney should be available to work appx. 5 months, beginning mid-October through mid-March 2018.
Assist in the identification of cases appropriate for pro bono representation, including through the conduct of individual interviews and screening of asylum seekers, immigrant children and families in the NYC metro area;
Ensure that the refugees and other immigrants represented by Human Rights First’s pro bono program receive high-quality legal representation, through careful screening and assessment of their claims and through support of their pro bono counsel;
Ensure that volunteer attorneys receive prompt and complete legal and procedural support on our pro bono asylum, including conducting trainings, strategizing on individual cases, reviewing draft submissions, and preparing memoranda informing volunteers of significant legal developments;
Ensure that volunteer attorneys receive that same level of support for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”) cases, if the Temporary Staff Attorney has expertise in that type of case;
Build and maintain strong relationships with local law firms and volunteer attorneys;
Assist with trainings for lawyers and workshops and legal information presentations for indigent immigrants, including children and families;
Collaborate with other local service providers to strategize on how to best meet the needs of the immigrant population and improve access to legal representation;
Spot, analyze, and respond to legal or procedural changes that affect asylum seekers, including statutory changes, proposed regulations, and decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals or federal courts;
Help review and supervise case management and quality control systems for pro bono program cases;
Provide legal oversight to legal service coordinators and assist in supervision of interns, fellows, and volunteers;
Supervise, mentor and support legal services coordinators, fellows and/or volunteers, as needed;
Engage in advocacy on behalf of asylum seekers by meeting with local officials at the Department of Homeland Security, and its various agencies, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, as needed;
Other duties as requested based on department and/or organizational need.
EDUCATION requirements: U.S. law degree (J.D.)
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
A U.S. law degree (J.D.) and admission to the New York bar (admission to other state bars acceptable);
At least one year, and ideally several years, of direct representation of asylum applicants at all levels of the administrative process; specific experience working on SIJS, refugee/asylee family reunification petitions and refugee/asylee adjustment of status applications preferable;
Knowledge of U.S. immigration law and policy;
Fluency in Spanish or French is required. Fluency in an additional language, particularly Arabic, is highly desirable;
Commitment to working with volunteer lawyers, with preference given to candidates with experience in mentoring other attorneys, especially on immigration law matters;
Ability to communicate patiently, respectfully, and empathetically with individuals from a variety of backgrounds as well as survivors of trauma or torture;
Ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, work under pressure and meet deadlines, and to identify and analyze legal issues;
Excellent oral and written communication skills;
Strong interpersonal and communication skills characterized by clarity and accuracy;
Demonstrated ability to work independently, as well as collaboratively with colleagues in other offices; a team-building, collegial approach to work;
Demonstrated ability to work successfully across organization lines, to work comfortably in a variety of settings, including legal, academic, and advocacy, and to work confidently with government officials and the media.
Interested candidates, please visit https://goo.gl/8xDb3r and complete the online application process. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.
Human Rights first is committed to recruiting, retaining, and developing staff from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.
Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the global struggle for human rights, so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms.