Job Description
Job Title National Pro Bono Promotion Counsel-Refugee Protection Program
Job ID 647223
Begin Date 8/17/12
Location New York,  NY 10001
Other Location
Description Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington DC. We build respect for human rights and the rule of law to help ensure the dignity to which everyone is entitled and to stem intolerance, tyranny, and violence.
Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting staff across all programs and departments from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTI people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.
Human Rights First advances the rights of refugees and U.S. leadership to protect rights for refugees in the United States and around the world.  We work to protect refugees and other vulnerable migrants from a range of human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, violence, and lack of access to protection, by advocating for access to asylum and other protection, fair asylum and immigration court procedures, and for U.S. compliance with international refugee and human rights law.  A key part of our strategy to achieve these goals is to help hundreds of individual refugees in the United States each year to win asylum through access to pro bono legal representation in the New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. areas.  Our policy and legal advocacy is informed by the experiences of our refugee clients and their pro bono lawyers.  

The Pro Bono Promotion Counsel will play a leading role in advancing Human Rights First’s efforts to improve access to legal representation for indigent asylum seekers and immigrants across the United States – including by increasing access to legal representation, pro bono counsel and legal orientation presentations for those in immigration detention and/or in U.S. immigration and asylum proceedings.  A major part of that effort will be to assess and potentially expand Human Rights First’s legal representation program to one or more additional locations in the United States.      

The Pro Bono Promotion Counsel will work as part of the Refugee Protection team, reporting to the Director of the Refugee Protection program, and working in close collaboration with the Advocacy Counsel and other Refugee Protection team members in Washington, D.C. and New York, as well as staff from other programs and departments.

  • Lead the organization’s development of a strategy to increase legal representation for indigent immigrants and asylum seekers in the United States;
  • Review statistics, conduct interviews, and gather other information and prepare an analysis of legal representation needs and opportunities relating to indigent immigrants and asylum seekers nationally and in a number of key locations; identify options for steps that can be taken by Human Rights First and others with whom the organization has or could have influence to address those needs;
  • Identify and implement strategies to strengthen and build relationships with individuals and organizations necessary to advance the organization’s legal representation objectives, including bar associations, law firms, legal providers, community groups, U.S. immigration and asylum officials, judges and others concerned about the gaps in legal representation facing indigent immigrants and asylum seekers;
  • In several locations, support existing efforts and/or help launch new efforts, to bring together multiple stakeholders – including law firms, judges, government officials, nonprofit providers and bar associations - to identify and take steps to address the legal representation needs of indigent immigrants and asylum seekers; 
  • Engage, reengage, and amplify voices of key influential allies and recruit new allies – including federal judges, retired judges, bar associations, faith groups, academics, and others – in highlighting the need for increased quality legal counsel in immigration and asylum proceedings;
  • Coordinate efforts to assess the potential to expand Human Rights First’s pro bono representation model to one or more other locations where there are gaps in legal representation and where HRF’s  pro bono model would be effective in helping to address  this gap including by analyzing the fit between the need for representation and the ability of Human Rights First’s pro bono representation model to help address the need, developing and assessing options  in one or more locations, and identifying potential partners;   
  • Enhance support for other existing legal providers and  projects that provide legal representation to asylum seekers and immigrants, including through organizing briefings, panel discussions and other events as well through the media and various communication tools;  
  • Assist in efforts to build support  - including from legal community, judges and key government officials - for expansion of legal orientation programs, access to counsel, and other initiatives to improve legal access for indigent asylum seekers and immigrants including those in immigration detention;
  • Coordinate or participate in events – featuring bar association leaders, federal judges, leading pro bono attorneys, government officials and others - held in a number of locations around the country aimed at highlighting the significant need for legal representation in immigration matters; and
  • In coordination with Program and Communications staff, develop profiles, videos, blogs and other materials to tell the stories of individuals who suffer the consequences of lack of legal representation or illustrate the success of pro bono representation, and reach out to legal and other media to encourage press on issues relating to legal representation in asylum and immigration proceedings.
Law and/or another advanced degree (J.D. strongly preferred)

ANNUAL SALARY:  Competitive with comprehensive benefits package

START DATE:  Immediately

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  September 21, 2012  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please complete the online application found at our website under ABOUT US / JOB OPPORTUNITIES links.
You will be requested to provide:
-  Resume (upload)
-  Cover letter (secondary upload*)
-  Writing sample (secondary upload*)
-  Names and contact details for three (3) references (enter online)

* After completing the initial application and uploading your resume, please select VIEW PROFILE and UPLOAD ATTACHMENT to upload additional documents.  You can also log into your profile from the top of the Job Opportunities page.  When logged into your profile, you can upload cover letter, writing sample, and any other relevant documents by selecting UPLOAD ATTACHMENT at the top of the page.

Applicants will receive a confirmation email with their username and password once they’ve created a profile.  Please keep this information to access your application and make changes at any time.

Only selected applicants will be contacted for phone or in-person interviews. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.

Required Skills •Significant experience (at least 3 years) with pro bono legal programs and/or immigration and asylum legal representation;

•Strong knowledge of U.S. immigration law and policy;

•Excellent written and oral communication skills, and a demonstrated ability to translate technical material for a variety of audiences;

•Excellent project management skills, capacity to take initiative, to finish assignments under pressure and to work collegially with others in a team environment;

•Demonstrated ability to cultivate and manage relationships with the legal community, government decision-makers, coalition advocacy partners, and/or others;

•Ability and willingness to travel; and

•Media and/or U.S. government advocacy experience a plus.
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