Posted on September 13, 2012
Program Associate/Legal Assistant
Human Rights First
Human Rights First - Program Associate/Legal Assistant
Human Rights First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington DC. We build respect for human rights and the rule of law to help ensure the dignity to which everyone is entitled and to stem intolerance, tyranny, and violence.
Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting staff across all programs and departments from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTI 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 advances the rights of refugees and U.S. leadership to protect rights for refugees in the United States and around the world. We work to protect refugees and other vulnerable migrants from a range of human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, violence, and lack of access to protection, by advocating for access to asylum and other protection, fair asylum and immigration court procedures, and for U.S. compliance with international refugee and human rights law. A key part of our strategy to achieve these goals is to help hundreds of individual refugees in the United States each year to win asylum through access to pro bono legal representation in the New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. areas. Our policy and legal advocacy is informed by the experiences of our refugee clients and their pro bono lawyers.
The Program Associate / Legal Assistant will work as part of the Refugee Protection team. He/She will work closely with the pro bono attorneys who represent refugees in their asylum cases through our program; handle the complex administrative details of the asylum legal representation program; schedule, coordinate and conduct initial interviews in detained and non-detained settings with refugees seeking legal representation; assist with outreach and advocacy goals related to asylum and refugee protection; and handle this complex process confidentially and competently.
Assist in managing the administrative/clerical details of the program, which will include the coordination of schedules and compiling informational packets and case summaries;
Assist in responding to inquiries and requests for assistance from asylum seekers, including scheduling, coordinating, and conducting initial screening interviews;
Perform in-depth, detailed interviews in-house and at area detention facilities with potential clients, who are often victims of torture and human rights abuses; conduct country research;
- Assist in placing accepted cases with appropriate volunteer attorneys; communicate in a responsive and efficient manner with volunteer attorneys, other human rights organizations, and the public; organize legal trainings and assist in the provision of support for volunteer attorneys;
- Help with outreach and advocacy objectives, including assistance with web materials, written materials, coalition-building, newsletters, and e-advocacy;
- Assist with the hiring, orientation, and supervision of interns and assuring that these volunteers are used as quality resources for the Refugee Protection program;
- Data entry, updating, maintenance, and retrieval, including the entry of new cases and contacts into the database, and coordinating with the information services department on database and technology issues for the program;
Maintain and organize electronic files, hard copy files, correspondence files, legal and policy publications, and legal representation files;
Assist with foundation reporting and maintenance of program statistics;
Coordinate meetings and agendas, as requested; and
- Contact volunteer attorneys to obtain updates on asylum cases, recognizing their work on successful cases, and coordinating the case closure process.
EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: College degree
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
- Bachelor’s degree and at least one year of post-college working experience in a related field, with previous experience working with asylum seekers or refugees strongly preferred;
- Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication, with advanced research and analytical skills;
- Superb organizational skills, including the ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, work under pressure, and meet deadlines;
- Capacity to take initiative, prioritize duties, and work independently while functioning as a member of a team;
- Ability to communicate patiently, respectfully and empathically with individuals from a variety of backgrounds;
- Excellent computer skills, including knowledge of database, word processing, and spreadsheet applications;
- Good judgment and attention to detail;
- Fluency in Spanish required.
OTHER USEFUL SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
Fluency in other relevant languages, particularly French, Mandarin Chinese, or Arabic is welcome.
ANNUAL SALARY: Competitive with comprehensive benefits package.
START DATE: Immediately
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: September 21, 2012. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Please complete the online application found at our website www.humanrightsfirst.org under ABOUT US / JOB OPPORTUNITIES links.
You will be requested to provide:
- Resume (upload);
- Cover letter (secondary upload*);
- Writing sample (secondary upload*);
- Names and contact details for three (3) references (enter online).
* After completing the initial application and uploading your resume, please select VIEW PROFILE and UPLOAD ATTACHMENT to upload additional documents. You can also log into your profile from the top of the Job Opportunities page. When logged into your profile, you can upload cover letter, writing sample, and any other relevant documents by selecting UPLOAD ATTACHMENT at the top of the page.
Applicants will receive a confirmation email with their username and password once they’ve created a profile. Please keep this information to access your application and make changes at any time.
Only selected applicants will be contacted for phone or in-person interviews. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.