the Florence Project is hiring a
The Florence Project was founded in 1989 to respond to a representation crisis for indigent non-citizens detained at the rural Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. Through our programs today, we provide services to thousands of adults, youth, and children detained in Eloy, Florence, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona on any given day. In 2001, the Florence Project implemented our Integrated Social Services Program, one of the first of its kind in this field. The Florence Project provides high quality legal and social services and supports initiatives for national changes in immigration law and policy.
The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project’s Border Fellow position is a unique Border Action Team attorney position intended to enhance representation of asylum seekers encountered at the U.S. southern border. The Border Fellow will be under the direction of the Border Action Team’s Managing Attorney and will collaborate with a team comprised of legal assistants and a project coordinator. This position is intended to be adaptive, based on the constantly evolving landscape of U.S. border policy – including, but not limited to, policies like metering, Title 42, MPP, and various forms of expedited removal – as well as the impact those policies have on the use of detention. The Border Fellow will provide legal orientation, consultation, and some direct representation to asylum seekers at the Arizona/Sonora border, in the credible fear process at the border or in ICE detention, in immigration courts, and/or before the Board of Immigration Appeals. The distribution of tasks is highly dependent upon team priorities at the time, based upon current border and asylum policies. The Border Fellow will, in a limited capacity, also collaborate on advocacy efforts to protect and improve due process in the asylum process. The Border Fellow will be an employee of FIRRP but, like all members on the Border Action Team, will work closely with the Kino Border Initiative staff and other NGO community partners as well. This position is based out of FIRRP’s Tucson office but requires frequent travel to Sonora, Mexico and the detention facilities and Immigration Courts in Eloy and Florence, Arizona.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
Legal Orientation and Education:
Conduct regular “Know Your Rights” presentations, legal orientations, and/or group workshops in, but not limited to, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico or within Arizona.
Communicate and interpret immigration and department policies and programs to the public, including public speaking on such matters as “Know Your Rights” and other matters as requested.
Develop or update pro se materials for the populations the Border Action Team serves
Conduct in-depth intake interviews. Visit with clients to obtain initial and follow-up information.
Provide either pro se support or direct representation to any of the following individuals:
Individuals seeking immigration relief at the Arizona/Sonora border, including evaluating for not only underlying immigration relief but also for exemptions or exceptions from any current deterrence-based border policies.
Individuals who are detained by ICE within Arizona detention facilities in a variety of matters, including but not limited to bond; parole; requests for asylum, withholding, or CAT relief; or in appellate matters. Track cases and outcomes accordingly.
Prepare legal memorandums, motions, briefs, pre-hearing statements, and other legal documents in support of immigration benefits, as determined by border policies and Border Action Team priorities
Gather resources on expert witnesses and country conditions to serve as evidence for asylum seekers.
Refer clients who are released from ICE custody to appropriate pro bono resources in their destination community when such resources are available.
Track and monitor caseload and relevant deadlines.
Work with other team members to develop case strategies consistent with immigration law and procedure. Assist in implementing agreed-upon strategy.
Keep clients informed of the status of matters and comply with reasonable requests for information. Investigate and develop evidence to support clients' fear-based claims, such as drafting client declarations, witness letters and obtaining supporting documents from feared country of return.
Conduct case and legal research (e.g., country conditions).
Communicate with experts or witnesses as needed.
Prepare legal filings and submissions (make copies) and submit to the court as needed by the attorneys.
Maintains complete and accurate case notes and client records. Prepares timely statistical reports.
Remain current on implications of criminal and civil law as it applies to immigrants and refugees’ representation.
In accordance with required ethical standards, preserves client confidentiality and avoids conflicts of interest.
Support the Florence Project’s efforts to document cases of due process violations at the Arizona/Sonora border and collaborate in the preparation of reports and advocacy documents explaining the legal implications and human consequences of these violations.
Proactively communicate with community partners and supervisors at FIRRP, including participating in joint quarterly meetings to review caseload, documentation for advocacy efforts, and other emerging considerations.
Participate in local, regional, and national stakeholder meetings, as necessary, to stay abreast of border policy.
Create agendas and track deliverables and requests in stakeholder meetings and relay that information to the team or external stakeholders, as appropriate.
Administrative / Data Entry:
Attend all relevant meetings, trainings.
Work with legal staff to organize and maintain client files (both paper and electronic);
Prepare, proofread, and send documents as assigned.
Other Duties & Responsibilities:
Participate in organizational fundraising and outreach efforts as requested.
Participate in developing and implementing special projects or presentations.
Other duties as assigned.
Juris Doctorate Degree from an accredited law school.
Have taken the bar exam prior to beginning the fellowship.
Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish required.
Must be comfortable working regularly crossing the border to work in Mexico.
Ability to work independently, be highly adaptable and reliable in the face of conflict, pressure, crisis or changing priorities.
Sharp legal mind; strong litigation experience and/or oral advocacy skills.
Accuracy and attention to detail a must.
Enjoys high-volume and challenging casework and is successful in obtaining results.
Demonstrated commitment to advocating for indigent immigrant clients in a respectful and empowering way, zealous support of the Florence Project’s mission, and displays a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Must be comfortable working with people with criminal convictions.
Strong litigation experience and/or oral advocacy skills.
Strong legal research.
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with diverse populations.
Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
Highly organized, an innovative thinker, and work in high-volume settings with limited resources.
Excellent problem solving, research and analytical skills.
Effectively manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
Demonstrate to be a hardworking, flexible, respectful team player that can work effectively in a collaborative, innovative, and client centered work environment.
Exhibit high ethical standards and the ability to maintain confidentiality.
Must be able to pass federal and state background checks.
Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish required.
Travel is required for this position.
Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
Proven computer skills, including advanced understanding of basic office applications.
Licensed to practice law and in good standing in any state in the U.S. Bar membership in Arizona preferred.
Experience working within removal defense previously is strongly preferred.
Experience working with nonprofit organizations that engage with government entities is a plus
Prior advocacy, practice, or clinical experience in immigration law and specifically asylum law is strongly preferred.
Experience working with survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma is a plus.
Experience with databases and data tracking (i.e., Legal Server).
Working Conditions/Physical Demands:
Operate in a professional office environment and requires the ability to sit for long periods of time with intermittent walking, standing, bending, squatting, pulling and pushing.
Essential physical requirements, such as climbing stairs.
Ability to use standard office equipment such as scanners, computers, keyboards, phones, shredders, photocopiers, and filing cabinets. Requires the ability to lift up to ten pounds – accommodations may be available.
This position is based out of FIRRP’s Tucson office and requires frequent travel to the detention facilities and Immigration Courts in Eloy and Florence and regular travel to the U.S. southern border and Sonora, Mexico.
Salary & Benefits:
This fellow position is a full-time position. Salary is competitive for our field and geographical area and is commensurate with experience: $61,000-$67,000 Annually DOE. We strive to create and uphold a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff. We offer excellent benefits, including:
Medical plans including health, dental, vision coverage, subject to plan terms
Short Term Disability
Eligibility for group benefits such as voluntary life insurance, subject to applicable waiting periods
Retirement plan, subject to plan terms
Paid Time Off earned on a biweekly accrual basis- Twenty-five (25) Days of Vacation Time, annually
Five (5) Days of Medical/Sick Time, annually
One (1) Day of Personal Time, monthly
Eight (8) Week Paid Sabbatical, after three years of employment
Company-paid federal holidays, all observed
Eligible for Parental Leave which includes Twelve (12) paid weeks
Mileage reimbursement for travel between offices and places of work.
Relocation Assistance for out of state new hires.
This is an immediate opening. Salary is commensurate with experience. The position will remain open until we receive enough qualified applicants. To apply, please submit a cover letter detailing your interest in the position as well as your resume, three professional references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and candidates are encouraged to apply early. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The Florence Project values diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and members of underrepresented communities.
At FIRRP, we recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the requirements of a job. If your experience is close to what you see listed in our current job opportunities, please still consider applying. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and excellence, which is very much valued at FIRRP. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions. Please let us know if you require accommodations during the interview process.
This job announcement is for informational purposes only and is subject to change and modification without notice. This job announcement includes a non-exhaustive list of responsibilities, qualifications and requirements of the position, but does not necessarily include all the job functions of the position.