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Asylum Pro Bono Project Coordinator

Req ID: 7207
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


Summary:  The Asylum Pro Bono Coordinator will be the initial point-of-contact for NIJC’s pro bono projects and pro bono opportunities. In conjunction with other NIJC pro bono coordinators, the asylum pro bono coordinator will provide data regarding pro bono services, including monthly reports on trainings, workshops, and the recruitment of new pro bono attorneys.  Within NIJC’s asylum pro bono project, the pro bono coordinator will conduct asylum intake, provide support to pro bono attorneys handling asylum matters, and assist with the development of asylum pro bono materials and trainings.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Generate reports regarding NIJC’s asylum pro bono work
  • Ensure proper database entries on asylum pro bono cases
  • Compile pro bono summaries from other projects for distribution in the monthly pro bono newsletter and prepare quarterly pro bono thank you emails
  • Serve as the initial point-of-contact for pro bono inquiries from current and prospective pro bono attorneys and coordinators at law firms and corporations across the country regarding NIJC’s work
  • Manage NIJC’s asylum intake system
  • Respond to NIJC’s asylum hotline and internal/external referrals
  • Track individual asylum cases, pro bono placement and outcomes in NIJC’s database
  • Conduct asylum intake
  • Provide referrals for post-asylum ancillary services for NIJC asylum clients
  • Coordinate legal trainings and workshops for asylum pro bono attorneys
  • Create and update NIJC asylum pro bono training materials in collaboration with the managing attorney
  • Coordinate the referral of asylum cases to pro bono attorneys (excluding LGBT and detention project cases) in conjunction with other asylum project staff
  • Respond to questions from asylum pro bono attorneys and refer questions to the managing attorney as appropriate
  • Conduct a bi-annual audit of NIJC’s affirmative asylum cases
  • Coordinate undergraduate interns
  • Participate in legal trainings and review legal materials to remain current on immigration law, policies, and procedures
  • Interpret for Spanish-speaking clients and translate for Spanish-language documents as needed
  • Assist in the representation of in-house asylum clients, as needed
  • Other duties as assigned


Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, the ideal candidate must be able to perform each essential duty.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The ideal candidate is a mature professional who can work independently and “goes the extra mile,” particularly in response to tight deadlines and emerging opportunities.  The ideal candidate needs to be able to identify/anticipate emerging opportunities or issues. The ideal candidate pays attention to detail, knows how to prioritize his/her work, has strong organizational skills, maintains confidentiality, thrives in a fast-paced and demanding environment, and is open to change. 


  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s degree required. Masters’ degree preferred. Minimum of three years of experience in human rights field, legal and/or communications work required. May give credit towards years of experience if attained a degree higher than a Bachelor’s Degree.

  • Language Skills: Fluency in English and Spanish. Ability to communicate articulately with internal and external audiences. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated competency in public speaking and strong interpersonal skills required.

  • Computer Skills: Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.

  • Other Skills: Ability to: assimilate and convey messages on a variety of issues relating to immigration in a succinct and compelling way and tailored to different audiences; work independently with limited supervision; be goal-oriented and multi-task; have a diplomatic presence; develop and maintain good working relationships with a wide variety of legal entities; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.


Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.

  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

  • The employee may be required to remain on Organization premises during breaks and/or meal periods and may be required to stay on Organization premises until their replacement arrives.

  • This position will require the ability to travel throughout the country, and may include weekend and overnight travel.


Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.




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