Legal Assistant - Deportation Defense, Justice for our Neighbors Houston
“Deportation Defense Houston” is a project of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, which brings together a cohort of immigration legal services providers (currently, YMCA International Services, BakerRipley, Justice for Our Neighbors-Houston, and the South Texas College of Law Houston) to take on an innovative and aggressive approach to defending immigrants who are detained while their removal proceedings are pending. Members of the cohort will be working as a cohort by meeting regularly, collaboratively placing cases, sharing data, tracking trends, and adjusting strategies as needed.
Deportation Defense Houston will shift the culture of the non-profit immigration legal services community by focusing on detained representation through an innovative and collaborative approach, that includes public engagement, the Immigrant Rights Hotline, a new deportation defense legal clinic, and impact litigation. The cohort will also work to educate policy-makers and the public about the detention and deportation systems through tours of the detention facility, presentations, and community outreach. Organizations (and attorneys) will be asked to step out of their current comfort zones in order to create a new, creative system of representation that is responsive to the needs of the Houston community.
The Legal Assistant will provide the DDH Staff Attorney assistance in the provision of high quality immigration legal services to low-income detained immigrants at the three Houston area detention facilities. The Legal Assistant should have a strong commitment to public interest law and to the empowerment of immigrant communities. He/she will be under the supervision of the Managing Attorney.
- Conduct client screening, intakes, and follow-up interviews at detention facilities
- Prepare immigration applications and documents to be filed with the Immigration Court, DHS, and USCIS
- Meet with clients to prepare and review applications for filing
- Receive case assignment, organize case files, maintain case list for the attorney and generate case statistics
- Maintain case files and update the case-tracking system
- Provide interpretation and translation support in client matters
- Conduct research in law and country conditions background
- Prepare documents and files for Immigration Court, DHS, and USCIS
- Conduct community outreach and community legal education
- Collect and process in-coming mail and prepare packages for mailing
- Other duties, activities, and responsibilities, as assigned
Required Qualifications and Work Experience:
- Bachelor’s Degree
- One to two years’ work experience in legal services or human services (one year of recent paralegal experience in family-based immigration or removal defense strongly preferred)
- Fluency in English and Spanish (written, spoken and comprehension)
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Spanish
- Dedication to and experience in serving low income or immigrant populations
- Strong organizational skills, ability to manage caseload, strict deadlines, and other tasks simultaneously
- Proficiency in MS Office applications, especially Word, Excel, Outlook, and Access
- Reliable transportation, valid Texas Driver’s License and evidence of insurability
How to Apply:
Position is open until filled. Please email a cover letter, resume, and list of three references to Joy Green, Legal Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidates must be authorized to work in the United States for any employer, and must have reliable transportation.