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Program Assistant, Immigrant Legal Defense Project

Req ID: 7488
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


Program Assistant, Immigrant Legal Defense Project


The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) advances human rights and due process for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers through direct legal services, impact litigation, advocacy and public education.  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.



This position provides a broad range of specialized program support services, including but not limited to specialized administrative tasks, data processing and records management.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Coordinates and performs specialized data processing tasks for the program/department, as defined by program needs and contractual requirements.  Performs non-specialized tasks, as needed, including but not limited to filing, photocopying, scanning, and processing mail correspondence in accordance with organizational standards and program guidelines.
  • Tracks referrals from community partners.  Conducts prescreen and schedules individuals referred for consultation appointments. Confirms scheduled appointments.
  • Supports off-site intake by greeting and checking in clients and scheduling follow up appointments.  Travel to different locations is required.
  • Communicates with external partners regarding outreach and NIJC services. 
  • Updates materials for community outreach and know your rights presentations. Prepares necessary materials for all presentations.  May attend and provides support to presenters during community presentations.
  • Maintains copies and up to date versions of all documents necessary for intake.
  • Assists in preparing documents for regular case and program audit. 
  • Manages internal referrals between NIJC programs.  Maintains a baseline knowledge of relevant program and service-related terminology.
  • Develops and maintains filing systems and ensures accuracy, confidentiality and consistency of filing systems, database entry, and records. Contributes to organizational efficiencies, including using technology to improve delivery of legal services and data management.
  • Maintains an appropriate professional demeanor towards co-workers, visitors, clients, supervisors and other non-personnel.
  • Develops and maintains schedules (conference room, staff, off-site intake, etc.).
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, private funding sources, organizational plans/policies and program guidelines.  Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that he/she understands and continues to adhere to such standards.  Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor to address new issues or complex concepts affecting adherence to professional standards.
  • Other duties may be 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: Associates or bachelor’s degree required. 
  • Language Skills:  Fluency in Spanish is required.  Ability to write reports, correspondence, and instructions.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from staff, managers, participants, vendors, and the general public.
  • Other Qualifications:  Demonstrated computer proficiency, including knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet and database software.  A familiarity with or understanding of program-specific terminology (i.e., immigration law) may be required.
  • Reasoning Ability:  Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.  Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.


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 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 organizations AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987 I,A3303_837_0


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