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Project Coordinator, Immigrant Legal Defense Project

Req ID: 7394
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule: 3
Job Notes:


Program Description:

The National Immigrant Justice Center ( NIJC), a program of Heartland Alliance, 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 with offices in Washington, DC, Indiana and San Diego, NIJC’s team of 100 attorneys, paralegals and professionals, along with 2,000 pro bono attorneys, is at the forefront of immigration reform.



The Project Coordinator will work with diverse community-based partners to ensure immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers have access to counsel in immigration proceedings.  The objectives of the project are to: 1) coordinate effective representation of vulnerable immigrant populations including immigrants in removal proceedings, immigrant victims of crime, unaccompanied immigrant children, and asylum seekers; 2) receive and review intake referrals; prescreen the referrals; and schedule consultation appointments; 3) prepare regular reports for funders; 4) develop materials to share with the organizations’ staff and materials for clients/constituents, and create networks for collaboration in the delivery of legal services to low-income immigrants and asylum seekers. The Coordinator will work closely with in-house and external experts on the use of technology in the delivery of legal services, as well as with managers from NIJC’s programs in order to keep abreast of the most current developments in immigration law. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Serve as the external representative to partner organizations and conduct outreach to immigrants and/or immigrant communities and to organizations working in these communities
  • Secure and review intake referrals to and from partner organizations
  • Schedule consultation appointments with referrals after conducting a prescreening and advising the individual of the necessary documents to bring to the intake appointment
  • Monitor number of intake referrals weekly
  • Identify and collaborate with strategic partners for effective outreach to immigrant communities
  • Maintain database to track intake and case outcome and outreach
  • Prepare regular reports for funders
  • Manage registration for NIJC’s online educational webinars and publication and distribution of NIJC’s materials
  • Maintain current knowledge of immigration policies, procedures, and internal structures
  • Conduct intakes on a regular basis and assess cases for eligibility for immigration relief
  • Prepare applications and evidence to support applications, including affidavits,
  • Supervise project interns
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned.



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.

  • Education and/or Experience:   Bachelor’s degree required.  Minimum of two 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 is required; Additional non-English language skills are preferred. 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: be goal-oriented and multi-task; have a diplomatic presence; develop and maintain good working relationships with a wide variety of peer organizations; 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.


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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