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Litigation Project Coordinator

Req ID: 7432
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


National Immigrant Justice Center

Litigation Project Coordinator


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 Litigation Project Coordinator helps implement and support NIJC’s nationwide advocacy and litigation efforts. NIJC relies on federal court litigation to challenge erroneous agency level decisions, respond to heightened immigration enforcement, challenge immigration detention, and advocate for reform of the immigration system. As part of this program, the Coordinator, along with NIJC attorneys, will work with NIJC clients and diverse national partners to challenge human rights violations and wrongful immigration enforcement initiatives and policies to promote fairness in our nation’s immigration system. Travel may be required to carry out the program objectives. Please note this is not an attorney position. 


The overall responsibilities of this position involve: (1) working with attorneys to keep the project organized and on track for deadlines and responsibilities; this work requires maintaining dockets and calendars and managing client case files in NIJC’s database, (2) conducting client intakes and investigation for litigation-related case work, which entails review of case records for appeals and interviewing clients who may become plaintiffs in future cases, (3) synthesizing data and helping to identify trends in immigration practices, (5) conducting research in support of individual cases, (6) drafting client affidavits and declarations in support of litigation or related immigration court proceedings, and (7) assembling filings and assisting with formatting and citations on briefs for in-house cases. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Draft affidavits, complete immigration applications, and collect evidence in support of an application;
  • Conduct client intakes;
  • Investigate factual basis of a potential appeal or district court action in collaboration with litigation attorneys;
  • Work with attorneys to decipher, organize, and identify trends in data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA);
  • Proofread, cite check, and format briefs for federal court filings;
  • Become familiar with NIJC’s database and work with litigation staff to ensure proper case tracking procedures are used;
  • Track federal litigation, both internal to NIJC and nationally at the Supreme Court level;
  • Provide support to the pro bono component of the project; maintain pro bono assignments and activities in the database, write thank you notes and case summaries for possible case placement; and
  • Troubleshoot across departments as issues arise.





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 and at least one year of experience in human rights field, legal and/or communications work required. Work done while the applicant was in school can be counted toward this requirement. This position may require experience with vulnerable populations.
  • Language Skills: Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Individuals with fluency in a third language are highly encouraged to apply. Ability to effectively interview clients and engage in fact-gathering for advocacy or litigation in a fast-paced environment.
  • Technical Skills: Fluency in Microsoft Office especially Word and Excel; Ability to maintain and organize large quantities of information in an electronic database
  • Attention to detail and accuracy: Ability to competently and effectively communicate orally and in writing for a variety of audiences; Ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigrants’ rights/human rights
  • Volunteer Management: Ability to train interns, to assist with projects, supervise work, and assign additional tasks on an as-needed basis
  • Client Confidentiality: Ability to maintain client confidentiality, account for client monies, and avoid conflicts of interest in accordance with organizational policies and ethical standards required of the legal profession and the code of professional responsibility.



To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Leadership & Teamwork - Works with staff and external partners on all projects.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings. Effectively communicates utilizing a variety of technologies such as phone or video phone (i.e. Skype).
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet target audience needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Is able to read and interpret written information; Effectively communicates and manages electronic communication such as email; Is able to use publisher or other tools to format materials persuasively.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Is able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Project Management - Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget; Manages project team activities.


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.
  • The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.


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 in the work environment is 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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