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.
Primary Purpose of the Job:
The Senior Legal Assistant, under the direction of the Managing Legal Assistant and, in collaboration with a team composed of Staff Attorneys, and Social Workers, will provide representation, and “Know Your Rights” presentations to unaccompanied children. The position includes extensive client contact with youth, including indigenous youth and youth who have suffered abuse, abandonment, neglect, or other emotional and physical trauma. It requires regular time in state and immigration court. The position also provides the opportunity to participate in outreach activities and collaborative projects within a national network of legal service providers for unaccompanied immigrant children.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
Work with team members to develop case strategies consistent with immigration law and procedure. Assist in implementing agreed upon strategy.
Assist attorneys as requested in the representation of unaccompanied children regarding legal matters such as asylum, adjustment of status, naturalizations, and petitions for relatives/special immigrants’ special protected status, family unity, and employment authorization.
Contact and serve parents in their home country.
Assist clients in gathering relevant evidence for their legal case.
Assist attorneys as requested with drafts of declarations, employment authorization renewals, legal memoranda, motions, briefs, pre-hearing statements, and other legal documents in support of immigration benefits.
As assigned, assist with detained and released docket on Fridays. This task will include gathering the updates prior to the docket, briefing attorney/accredited representative prior to docket, and providing “Know Your Rights” at the court
Conduct research as needed regarding immigration and juvenile law issues.
Maintain complete, timely, and accurate case notes and client records.
Prepares timely statistical reports.
Is present and engaged in all team meetings and trainings.
Well-versed in immigration law, policies and procedures.
Remain current on implications of criminal and civil law as it applies to the representation of immigrants and refugees.
Participate in hiring of new legal assistants; responsible for effective onboarding of new hires and assume lead trainer role.
As assigned, assist with creating and updating training materials for new staff, including best practices for legal screenings, post-release referrals, data entry, and case work support.
In accordance with required ethical standards, preserves client confidentiality, 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.
Training and Mentoring
Train new Legal Assistants (LA) in all legal assistant duties, including but not limited to:
Intakes (identifying forms of relief and follow-up).
Saving population reports.
Legal Server (entering intakes, referring to workshops.
Assigning self to cases, adding notes, CCing attorneys etc.)
Application assistance; application reviews
Document gathering; file reviews; release plans, etc.
New Legal Assistants shadow Senior Legal Assistants to observe various tasks and responsibilities including application reviews, application assistance, intakes using interpreter, follow ups using interpreter, file reviews, document gathering, court observation.
Act as co-legal assistant on one substantial case with new Legal Assistants which entails guiding them through the process, discussing appropriate follow up, checking in on status of case, looking over motions and indexes, providing templates and examples, being available to answer any and all questions, aiding in court prep and filing.
Debrief after General Orientations to answer LA questions regarding intakes and follow up.
Provide ongoing support and mentorship to LAs as needed.
Other Duties & Responsibilities:
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. 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 available for some positions.
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. This position is eligible for membership in the union Proyecto Solidaridad-FIRRP affiliated with OPEIU Local 251.