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 Accredited Representative is responsible to provide unaccompanied children representation in front of the Immigration Court (EOIR) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and request/obtain release on their own recognizance. Drafts necessary legal documents or forms in support of employment/immigration benefits.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
Conducts preliminary intake interview, identifies issues, performs research, gathers all relevant facts, and recommends appropriate legal course of action to the managing attorney.
Extensive client contact with youth, including indigenous youth and youth who have suffered abuse, abandonment, neglect or other emotional and physical trauma. Conducts assessments of clients’ social, emotional, and financial well -being and determines appropriate interventions and referrals.
Regularly keeps clients informed of the status of matters and complies with reasonable requests for information.
Appears as the representative for unaccompanied children. An individual who receives full accreditation may represent clients before the Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and DHS (including USCIS, ICE, and CBP). An individual who receives partial accreditation may represent clients only before DHS (including USCIS, ICE, and CBP).
Supervises legal assistants assigned to each case.
Coordinates and leads special projects dedicated to maximizing the support to the Children’s
Program and clients when changes in law and/or procedure require this. For example, coordinating responses to status dockets, coordinating standardized client communication, managing deferred action notifications and applications.
Drafts employment authorization renewals, legal memoranda, motions, briefs, pre-hearing statements, and other legal documents in support of immigration benefits and removal defense.
Files applications for relief and benefits, including but not limited to asylum, T visas, U-visa, Adjustment of Status and Special Immigrant Juvenile petitions, and employment authorization documents.
Maintains complete, timely, and accurate case notes and client records. Prepares timely statistical reports. Conducts regular case audits for presentation and review of the Managing Attorney.
Refer cases to Integrated Social Services Program for support and follow-up work when appropriate.
Attends and is engaged in all attorney meetings, training, and is well versed in immigration law, policies and procedures. Remains current on implications of criminal and civil law as it applies to the representation of immigrants and refugees.
In accordance with required ethical standards, preserves client confidentiality in all circumstances, and avoids conflicts of interest.
Develop and maintain professional relationships with the Immigration Court (EOIR) and the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), government and social service organizations, and community organizations. Communicates and interprets immigration and department policies and programs to the public, including public speaking on such matters as “Know Your Rights,” and other matters as requested.
Other Duties & Responsibilities:
Participate in developing and implementing special projects or presentations.
Other duties as assigned.
Bachelor's Degree, preferably in the legal or human services field.
Must have two years of relevant experience with immigration law, family law, working with teenagers, and/or survivors of trauma. Some experience with the Immigration Courts, or USCIS.
Will work with the Florence Project in the process of accreditation through the Department of Justice and within 3 months of accepting the position, must submit the application,
If already an accredited representative through the Florence Project, must be in good standing and ensure all necessary renewals are filed.
Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish required.
Strong written and oral communication in both English and Spanish.
Able to present persuasive arguments to judges and adjudicators including oral and written motions.
Demonstrate commitment to advocating for indigent immigrant clients in a respectful and empowering way.
Demonstrate a zealous support of the Florence Project’s mission.
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 works 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.
Ability to work independently, be adaptable and reliable in the face of conflict, pressure, crisis or changing priorities.
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. Advanced understanding of basic office applications.
Demonstrates a strong commitment to immigration issues and displays a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Preferred Knowledge, Experience, Skills, and Abilities:
Working Conditions/Physical Demands:
Salary & Benefits:
This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive for our field and geographical area and is commensurate with experience: $46,000-$57,000 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, and a writing sample. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and candidates are encouraged to apply early. An additional writing component will be assigned as a part of the application process for this position. Further instructions will be provided to qualified candidates on or after 6/28/22. 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. This position is eligible for membership in the union Proyecto Solidaridad-FIRRP affiliated with OPEIU Local 251.