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Senior Litigation Attorney

Req ID: 7368
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule: Grade 107
Job Notes:


Senior Litigation Attorney


Program Description:

The National Immigrant Justice Center ( NIJC) provides direct legal services to, and advocates for, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. Since its founding more than three decades ago, NIJC has been unique in blending individual client advocacy with broad-based systemic change. Headquartered in Chicago, IL with offices in Washington, DC, San Diego, CA, and Indiana, the physical location of this position will be determined during the interview process. 


Job Description:

NIJC seeks an attorney with litigation experience, including federal litigation, for a full-time federal-court litigation position. We invite applications from attorneys who have a demonstrated commitment to immigrant and civil rights, and who would be interested in, and capable of, contributing to innovative litigation and policy advocacy in the federal courts, both at the district court and in the courts of appeal. Litigation tasks include legal research, drafting of pleadings and briefs, discovery, motion practice, and trials and appeals in both state and federal courts. The litigation attorney will work to develop and implement advocacy strategies in identified areas. The litigation attorney may also be called upon to provide immigration-court level representation for clients in litigation matters (e.g. representing a named-plaintiff in a district court action in his related immigration case). The litigator will collaborate with the NIJC direct service, policy and communications teams. The litigator will work with pro bono attorneys.


Duties and Responsibilities :

  • Identify litigation issues and collaborate with NIJC’s communication, policy, and litigation teams
  • Develop legal strategies
  • Provide legal representation and/or lead or participate in litigation efforts through all phases of litigation, including motions practice, discovery, trial, brief writing, and oral argument (as appropriate)
  • Conduct legal research and draft pleadings and briefs
  • Collaborate with community-based organizations to identify cases/plaintiffs
  • Work with pro bono partners
  • Communicate via the media regarding legal advocacy and policy efforts
  • Identify trends and emerging issues



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. 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.

  • Juris Doctorate Degree required; at least two years practicing law is required, four years is preferred. Preferred experience is in immigration and/or human rights law.
  • Candidates with at least two years of litigation experience preferred.
  • Spanish fluency strongly preferred. However, speakers of other languages are encouraged to apply.
  • Self-motivated and committed to civil liberties advocacy
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, and diverse community organizations and coalitions
  • Ability to communicate effectively in legal and non-legal settings with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
  • Ability to represent individuals in complex cases and to formulate and implement sophisticated legal strategies



  • Interpersonal skills:  Focuses on resolving conflict; maintains confidentiality; listens and remains open to others’ ideas; and introduces new initiatives strategically and tactfully.
  • Oral Communication: Speaks clearly and persuasively; listens actively and gets clarification; responds well to questions; has group presentation skills; participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication: Writes clearly and informatively; edits work for spelling and grammar; varies writing style to meet needs; presents data effectively; able to read and interpret written information.
  • Managing People:  Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; takes responsibility for subordinates’ activities; applies program participants’ feedback, as well as feedback from collaborating agencies; fosters quality focus in others; improves processes and services; continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Quality Management: Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Ethics: Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works with integrity and ethically; upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support: Follows policies and procedures; completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization’s goals and values; benefits organization through outside activities; supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Planning/Organizing: Sets priorities and plans work activities; uses time efficiently; plans for additional resources; sets goals and objectives; organizes or schedules other people and their tasks in a way that ensures coverage at all times; develops realist action plans.
  • Professionalism:  Approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats co-workers and participants with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; accepts responsibility for own actions; follows through on commitments.
  • Adaptability:  Adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation, able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.


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. Frequently required to sit, stand, and walk.


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.


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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