Immigration Legal Assistant
- Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
- Location: Oakland
- Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
- Legal - Broad
- Administrative support
- Closing Date:
A part of RAI, IRC's immigration legal services program serves more than 14,000 individuals in 23 sites throughout the U.S. each year, providing accessible and critical legal representation and advice to immigrants and their families in order to acquire the highest level of immigration status available, keep families together, access their full rights, and successfully integrate in the U.S.
The position supports the Afghan Parolees Program in the IRC Oakland office. The Legal Assistant will support and assist legal practitioners (attorneys and/or Department of Justice (DOJ) accredited representatives) with gathering information and evidence, preparing and filing immigration applications and petitions before USCIS , and maintaining contact with clients. The Legal Assistant may also assist in facilitating Know Your Rights workshops, presentations, and trainings. The ideal candidate will have a clear passion for working with vulnerable immigrant populations, trauma-informed listening skills, be highly organized, have excellent attention to detail, and be able to work both in a collaborative team environment and independently on assignments. It is encouraged that staff hired in this role will work towards DOJ accreditation with support from IRC’s Immigration Technical Unit based at IRC Headquarters.
- Under the supervision of attorney, provide clients information on immigration benefits before USCIS, work with clients to gather documents, and assist clients to complete applications.
- Assist in conducting intakes or follow-up meetings with clients, gathering supporting documents
- Respond to inquiries from clients regarding case status and submit inquiries on case status to USCIS and Department of State (DOS).
- Assist in preparing filings for the Asylum Office and USCIS
- Process correspondence from USCIS and DOS, including notifying clients, assisting clients to prepare responses to notices or evidence requests as appropriate, and following up with relevant parties.
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date physical and electronic files and detailed case notes, enter required data in a timely manner, meet all case reporting requirements within established timelines and standards, and assist in the completion of statistical, narrative, and financial reports.
- Represent the IRC with clients, community members, and partners by receiving and returning phone calls and emails, scheduling appointments, supporting events (including group processing events), and conducting outreach for legal services.
- Provide interpretation for clients at interviews and during meetings, as needed;
- Assist in facilitating Know Your Rights workshops, presentations, and trainings;
- Coordinate with other IRC program staff to provide wrap-around services, where appropriate;
- Support development of partnerships that have potential to bring valuable resources to clients.
- Maintain strict client confidentiality and observe all other ethical practices/obligations as outlined in IRC’s Immigration Program Policies Manual.
- Pursue Department of Justice accreditation by successfully completing all vital training.
- Manage intern and volunteer support as needed.
- Other duties, as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree in relevant field.
- Demonstrated success working and communicating effectively in a multi-cultural environment and with Limited English Proficient populations.
- Able to work effectively in a team environment, as well as take independent initiative
- Excellent attention to detail and strong organizational skills
- Proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook) and comfortable utilizing online software and programs.
- Excellent communication skills with proficiency in written and spoken English is required.
- Proficiency in another language- Dari/Farsi/Pashto, strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated dedication to immigrant rights, social justice, and/or human rights based on work experience, volunteer service, or educational activities.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, solve problems and exercise sound judgment;
- Evidence of capacity to be a strong team member in a highly collaborative social service environment;
- Trauma-informed and sensitive listening and communication skills;
- Personal integrity in handling ethically complex and confidential situations; and
- Strong computer literacy, research, and analysis skills.
Preferred experience & skills:
- Previous experience with immigration legal or social services is strongly preferred.
- Familiarity with immigration software and experience with data entry and management are a plus.
- Community-based outreach and/or work promoting immigrant rights experience is preferred.
- Standard office environment with occasional opportunities to participate in community outreach and legal assistance events.
- May require occasional weekend and/or evening work.
Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.
Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.
US Benefits: We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested matching, disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.