International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Job Title: Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney
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 and in 24 U.S. cities. The IRC’s U.S. Programs (USP) department creates opportunities for refugees and other vulnerable migrants to survive and thrive in America. USP serves more than 40,000 individuals each year, including thousands of newly arrived refugees, through a diverse portfolio of programs aimed at achieving outcomes in five impact areas: Health, Safety, Economic Wellbeing, Education, and Power.
The IRC opened its Denver office in 2016 to provide reception and placement services to newly arrived refugees. The office is slated to resettle approximately 250 refugees per year and provides additional programming to assist refugees and similar populations for up to five years following their arrival in the U.S., including case management, employment, family stabilization, financial capability, health education and medical case management, health insurance literacy, job readiness, public benefits navigation, psychosocial support and other services. IRC in Denver’s service approach is client-centered, empowerment-focused, trauma-informed and multigenerational.
The Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney has the opportunity to pioneer an exciting new area of services for IRC’s U.S. Programs—that of access to legal representation for individuals seeking asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection. Under a 4-year grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), IRC in Denver is launching a program to provide direct service to survivors of torture (SOTs), with the goal of holistically supporting survivors and their families in their rehabilitation. Case management, psychosocial support and legal services will be offered in-house; medical and mental health services will be offered through referral to community partners. In addition, the SOT program will cultivate and train a network of pro bono and “low bono” legal, medical and mental health providers that are equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively address the specific needs of the torture survivor population.
Under the IRC in Denver’s new Survivors of Torture program, the Coordinating Attorney will coordinate provision of pro bono representation, focusing on indigent, non-detained survivors of torture seeking asylum or other forms of humanitarian protection. The Pro Coordinating Attorney will bring not only technical expertise and a passion for this area of work, but also the creativity and flexibility needed to lead the process of designing and implementing the program. The position will work in close collaboration with the Immigration Technical Unit at IRC’s headquarters and with a range of community partners. Drawing on promising practices in the field, the Coordinating Attorney will facilitate access to legal services by recruiting, training, coordinating and mentoring a network of pro bono attorneys, law school clinics and other entities, and through direct services as needed.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the items listed below.
Intake, Case Selection, and Service Coordination
- Conduct intakes with SOT clients to determine eligibility for the program’s immigration legal services.
- Gather case information to develop case descriptions and facilitate matching with a pro bono provider.
- Coordinate within IRC’s multidisciplinary SOT team, including the SOT Clinical Coordinator, SOT Clinical Caseworker and Wellbeing Promoter to identify need for legal services and ensure client access to such services.
- Maintain open communication with the SOT team to facilitate referrals to services offered in-house and through partnerships with external providers.
- Serve as a strong advocate for survivors and exercise due diligence in serving them.
Pro Bono Recruitment and Training
- Work with area law firms, private practices, AILA Colorado, the University of Colorado Law School, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and others to cultivate a strong network of pro bono providers.
- In coordination with IRC’s Immigration Technical Unit, develop a comprehensive program of initial and ongoing training, technical assistance, and mentoring for SOT program pro bono attorneys, interns, and fellows, including guidance on providing trauma-informed services.
Pro Bono Mentoring
- Provide technical assistance and legal and procedural support for pro bono attorneys and law clinics, including guidance to build asylum law knowledge, strategic consultation on individual cases, legal submission and application evidence packet review, and quality control to verify that services meet the program’s quality standards and provide effective asylum representation.
- On an as needed basis, offer remote technical consultation to legal providers assisting survivors of torture outside of the Denver Metro Area.
- Create and maintain a viable outreach strategy to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with local immigration attorneys and nonprofit legal providers.
- Collaborate with other providers to disseminate information about services available to survivors of torture in need of legal representation, and to build community awareness of such services.
- Coordinate, oversee and document all legal services provided by IRC pro bono attorneys and through other legal services partnerships, such as law school clinics.
- Ensure program data is collected consistently, managed appropriately and reported timely, using IRC’s Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) database.
- In collaboration with IRC’s Immigration Technical Unit, establish, maintain and periodically refresh legal services program policies and procedures.
- Update the SOT team, pro bono attorneys, law clinics and other relevant partners regarding changes in immigration law affecting the SOT population, via communications from IRC’s Immigration Technical Unit, updates at service coordination meetings and info sessions.
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS:
Position Reports to: Executive Director, Denver. Position liaises closely with USP Director, Immigration.
Position Directly Supervises: Provides mentorship to pro bono attorneys and partners, and supervises interns.
- Law degree (JD or LLM) from an ABA-accredited U.S. institution and admission to any state bar;
- 3+ years directly representing asylum applicants, preferably survivors of torture, before USCIS Asylum Offices, EOIR Courts, BIA/OLAP, or other federal courts;
- An understanding of private law firm culture and experience working with volunteers or pro bono lawyers;
- Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills; written and verbal English fluency;
- Bilingual in one or more languages of the survivor population preferred;
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, solve problems and exercise sound judgement;
- Evidence of capacity to be a strong team member in a highly collaborative social service environment;
- Deep commitment to working with survivors of torture and ridding the world of torture;
- Trauma-informed and sensitive listening and communication skills;
- Personal integrity in handling ethically complex and confidential situations;
- Strong computer literacy, research and analysis skills; and
- Must have a valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle, active insurance policy and ability to travel frequently in and around the service area to engage with clients and community partners.
To apply for this job please visit rescue.csod.com.