Staff Attorney Position
The Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors (NIJFON) mission is to provide free, high-quality immigration legal services; engage in education and advocacy; and build cross-cultural communities. Our vision is a world where immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees are welcomed, supported, and able to live without fear. NIJFON represents low-income immigrant communities throughout Northern Illinois. Please visit our website for more information: www.nijfon.org.
The Staff Attorney will represent individuals in immigration and related matters before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and other related entities. The Staff Attorney will also help implement and coordinate NIJFON’s legal services under any grant or other programs for which we currently receive funding or may receive in the future.
As caseload allows, the Staff Attorney will also conduct educational presentations about immigration laws and policies to the general public and immigrant community, as well as engage in advocacy for just and humane immigration policies throughout the state of Illinois and the United States.
This position is based in Chicago and is flexible regarding remote work. Appearances before the Chicago Immigration Court (EOIR) and Chicago USCIS (including the Asylum Office) will be required. The work we do at NIJFON is broad; to the extent possible, we will make every effort to accommodate the specific caseload and other interests for the Staff Attorney in order to ensure they are doing work they find interesting and meaningful.
- Represent individuals in immigration and related cases before USCIS, EOIR, the BIA, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and other related entities.
- Oversee client intakes remotely, in the office, and potentially at clinics in locations throughout Northern Illinois.
- Oversee and train volunteers for legal work.
- Ensure that legal and case management practices comply with the relevant principles and rules of professional responsibility for attorneys in the jurisdiction in which the staff attorney is licensed and practices. The staff attorney must also observe National JFON practice standards and policies.
- Participate in outreach and educational efforts as much as the legal workload may permit and as deemed appropriate pursuant to consultation with the Supervisory Attorney.
- Work closely with the Executive Director, Supervisory Attorney, other staff, and Board of Directors to further the strategic vision of NIJFON.
The staff attorney should have a strong commitment to public interest legal service and to the enfranchisement and empowerment of immigrant communities. Justice for Our Neighbors is based in the United Methodist Church, and the work involves many diverse individuals, cultures, and faiths who come together to welcome immigrants to our communities. As such, the staff attorney should have an appreciation of this work and an ability to work sensitively with numerous volunteers and clients having diverse personalities, lifestyles, cultures, political orientations, and faiths.
Proficiency in written and spoken Spanish is required, and fluency is preferred. Proficiency in other languages is a plus.
PROFESSIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
- JD and license to practice law within any jurisdiction in the United States (Illinois preferred) are required. We will also consider individuals who will be sitting for the Summer 2022 Bar Exam.
- Knowledge of immigration and nationality law and experience filing and preparing immigration forms and cases is highly preferred.
STAFF ATTORNEY SALARY AND BENEFITS
Salary: $55,000. A full benefits package, including option for full health insurance coverage and pension, is included, along with generous vacation and holiday (12 holidays observed and NIJFON is closed from Christmas day through New Year’s Day) policies. NIJFON also pays annual ARDC licensing fees, as well as membership fees for two bar associations of the Staff Attorney’s choosing.
Furthermore, NIJFON is part of a broader network of 19 sites across the network, which provides the following benefits: connection with a Consulting Attorney designated by National JFON and connection to the other sites for case consultations; malpractice insurance coverage; and memberships to AILA, the Practicing Law Institute, CLINIC, and ASISTA, among other professional development resources and databases. There is also an Employee Assistance Program, which provides discounts on goods and services, as well as access to free legal and mental health services.
It is the policy of NIJFON to recruit, employ, recompense, and promote our professional staff in a manner that does not involve segregation or discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, sex, or disability, including HIV status, or sexual orientation. NIJFON complies with all governmental non-discrimination rules for its employment locations, including those for citizenship status, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.
HOW TO APPLY
Those interested in applying should submit a cover letter, resume, a brief writing sample (make it creative- it doesn’t have to be a legal document), and a list of three references (telephone numbers and email addresses) to: firstname.lastname@example.org with “NIJFON Staff Attorney” in the subject line.