Posted on September 13, 2012
Human Rights First
Human Rights First - Staff Attorney
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 Staff Attorney in the Washington, DC office will assist in administering Human Rights Firstís pro bono asylum legal representation program, primarily within the DC Metro area. This includes supervision of asylum claims filed at the Arlington Asylum Office, the Arlington Immigration Court, the Baltimore Immigration Court, and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
- Ensure that the refugees represented by Human Rights Firstís pro bono program receive high-quality legal representation, by providing training, guidance, advice, and legal updates to volunteer attorneys on asylum and immigration law;
- Ensure that volunteer attorneys receive prompt and complete legal and procedural support on our pro bono asylum cases, including conducting trainings, strategizing on individual cases, reviewing draft submissions, and preparing memoranda informing volunteers of significant legal developments;
- Participate in HRF efforts to assist asylum seekers detained at area detention facilities;
- Assist in the identification of cases appropriate for pro bono representation, including through the conduct of individual interviews;
- Build and maintain strong relationships with local law firms and volunteer attorneys;
- Help review and supervise case management and quality control systems for pro bono program cases;
- Provide legal oversight to legal assistants and assist in supervision of interns;
- Develop training materials for volunteer attorneys, including manuals, memoranda, , seminars, and symposia, and update probono.net, an online resource hosted by HRF;
- 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;
- Assist in efforts to secure and maintain funding for program activities, and to promote interest in our pro bono work including through identifying and drafting profiles of refugees or lawyer client stories to illustrate the importance of legal representation;
- Assist in the conduct of advocacy on behalf of asylum seekers by meeting with local officials at the Department of Homeland Security, and its various bureaus, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
EDUCATION requirements: U.S. law degree (J.D.)
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
- A legal degree and admission to the bar, preferably in Maryland, Virginia, or District of Columbia admission to other state bars acceptable;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills;
- At least one year, and ideally several years, of direct representation of asylum applicants at all levels of the administrative process;
- Knowledge of U.S. immigration law and policy;
- Commitment to working with volunteer lawyers;
- 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.
OTHER USEFUL SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
Fluency in one or more relevant second languages, particularly French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, or Arabic is highly desirable.
ANNUAL SALARY: Competitive with comprehensive benefits package.
START DATE: Immediate
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: September 21, 2012. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Please complete the online application found at our Web site 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 theyíve 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.