Legal Program Director
Location: TBD, position can be based among multiple IRC locations in Europe
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933, the IRC is at work today in more than 40 countries. The IRC’s Resettlement, Asylum and Integration (RAI) department creates opportunities for refugees and other vulnerable migrants to survive and thrive in the US and Europe. RAI’s programs are aimed at achieving outcomes in five impact areas: Health, Safety, Economic Wellbeing, Education, and Power.
IRC seeks a Legal Program Director to launch a legal support project for Afghan asylum seekers in Europe. Through this project, Afghan asylum seekers in European target countries will receive high-quality information, advice, and direct pro bono legal services to claim and exercise their rights, particularly the right to seek asylum or reunify with family members. The legal support project is a response to hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals fleeing their country and finding themselves in legal limbo, with hopes of resettling in countries such as the US, Canada, UK, or EU Member States. Many of these Afghan asylum seekers need information and legal counseling in connection with their legal process. As IRC’s first legal assistance project in Europe, this position also collaborates with a range of colleagues to shape a new area of programming at the regional level.
•Develop materials for legal orientations tailored to Afghan client needs in third countries, with a focus on legal pathways to select EU Member States, the US, UK and Canada, and their rights in these processes. Those materials will be used for staff training as well as for information dissemination to partners and clients through IRC staff.
•Collaborate with US-based IRC legal staff to provide information to Afghan clients in European target countries with information on US legal pathways.
•Cultivate relationships with expert legal practitioners where needed to ensure accuracy of legal information; exercise excellent judgment in implementing boundaries where the project lacks competence to inform or advise on a particular area of the law.
•Prepare and deliver training and technical assistance for IRC staff and partners working with Afghan nationals on the various legal pathways to asylum and protection that they might have access to, best options for legal referrals.
•Deliver trainings on best practices to provide basic legal information while understanding the boundaries and risks to clients of providing legal advice without the appropriate qualifications.
•Provide technical oversight of the work of partner organizations in Albania, Kosovo and Greece conducting outreach and limited scope legal intakes for Afghan nationals in Europe. These partners provide 1:1 counselling on specific cases and identify potential IRC clients with immediate legal needs to be addressed by pro bono partners or peers.
Coaching of pro bono service providers
•Train and coach pro bono attorneys who will then be matched with IRC or partner clients with legal needs.
•Manage the legal support project, including detailed planning, timely reporting, monitoring results and spending, and evaluation of program effectiveness.
•Develop and refine clear roles, expectations, divisions of labor, measurements of success for all components of the legal support project.
•Oversee the various components of the legal support project in a manner that supports exchange of ideas, encourages camaraderie and collaboration, and fosters professional development among staff and partners.
•Responsible for hiring, onboarding and managing employees for the legal support project; planning, assigning and directing work; appraising and assessing employee performance; as well as problem resolution.
•Work with project staff, partners, and IRC colleagues to ensure project data is collected consistently, managed appropriately and reported timely, using IRC’s legal case management database and other relevant case management and data management systems.
•Coordinate with other IRC teams, including the Safety Health & Wellness Program and country teams in RAI Europe, to develop multidisciplinary approaches and strategies to address client needs.
•Collaborate with IRC’s Asylum and Immigration Legal Services Technical Unit to develop and ensure adherence to program procedures for legal support in RAI Europe (equivalent to IRC’s Immigration Legal Services Program Policy Manual in the US) to maintain and improve the quality and efficiency of legal service delivery.
•Work with RAI Europe leadership and IRC HQ on fundraising strategies to expand IRC’s asylum and legal services programming in Europe, including through grant writing and communications efforts.
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS:
Position reports to: Deputy Regional Director – RAI Europe and Director, Asylum and Immigration Legal Services (Management in Partnership). Position liaises closely with IRC HQ Asylum and Immigration Legal Services Technical Unit.