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Human Rights First
Refugee Protection Program
Leon Levy Fellowship
New York, NY
Human Rights First is seeking a two-year Leon Levy Fellow for the Refugee Protection program in the New York office. The Leon Levy Fellow will play a key role in developing and overseeing the asylum screening program designed to promote and facilitate pro bono representation in the asylum and immigration adjudication systems.
Many immigrants in removal proceedings—including asylum seekers and others with legitimate claims to lawful immigration status—face the harsh prospect of being removed from the United States simply because they cannot afford competent attorneys. Without a right to government-funded counsel in immigration proceedings, there is a need for legal service providers to partner with law firms to provide pro bono legal representation for these individuals.
About the Leon Levy Foundation Fellowship
The Study Group on Immigrant Representation, led by Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, proposed this fellowship and pilot project, and selected Human Rights First to host it. The project aims to provide adequate counsel for immigrants by challenging the private bar to take on more pro bono asylum cases by creating greater capacity to screen potential clients, conduct intake interviews, place new pro bono cases with law firms, and mentor the pro bono attorneys in that representation. The goal of the Leon Levy Fellowship is to advance pro bono representation to help address the needs of asylum seekers in the area. The Leon Levy Fellow will help Human Rights First build upon its decades of success in operating a pro bono representation program which partners with law firms to obtain immigration status from asylum seekers. Through these combined efforts, and with the help of the Leon Levy Fellow, Human Rights First will continue to improve access to legal counsel for asylum seekers.
- Work with representatives of the New York Immigration Court to coordinate monthly screenings;
- Educate immigration judges about the screening program to ensure their full participation in directing unrepresented indigent asylum seekers to the monthly screenings;
- Assist with the recruitment, coordination, training, and oversight of volunteer attorneys assisting with monthly screenings;
- Conduct screenings, following up with potential clients as needed;
- In coordination with an attorney in the Refugee Protection program, provide guidance and advice to the volunteer attorneys participating in the screening program;
- Assist with consultations and intake interviews for potential clients identified during the monthly screenings;
- Conduct legal research and research on country conditions, as needed, to help identify meritorious claims;
- Assist Human Rights First with the placement of meritorious cases at law firms for pro bono representation;
- Assist with organizing and publicizing trainings for pro bono attorneys representing indigent asylum-seekers, including through the screening program;
- Support other Refugee Protection program work, as needed;
- Work with the Study Group on Immigrant Representation to support the promotion of immigrant representation.
EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: Law Degree (J.D.)
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
- Admission to the bar in any state, and eligibility to practice law;
- At least one year of legal experience;
- Demonstrated interest in asylum and general immigration law;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills;
- Excellent project management skills, capacity to take initiative, to finish assignments under pressure and to work collegially with others;
- Ability to communicate patiently, respectfully and empathically with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, particularly those who speak English as a second language;
- Fluency in Spanish and/or French; other languages are also desirable.
ANNUAL SALARY: Competitive with comprehensive benefits package
START DATE: September 1, 2011
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Please complete the online application found at http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/Jobs/apply_staff.aspx?qs=F
You will be requested to provide:
- Resume (upload)
- Cover letter (upload)
- Writing sample (upload)
- Names and contact details for three (3) references (enter online)
- Please enter Recruitment Code 000 when completing the application.