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Managing Attorney, Capacity Building & Mentorship

Req ID: 7657
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


National Immigrant Justice Center

Managing Attorney, Capacity Building & Mentorship


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.



NIJC seeks an experienced attorney with removal defense and other relevant immigration experience to serve as the organization’s Managing Attorney of Capacity Building and Mentorship. This position seeks to build capacity for the delivery of immigrant legal services. This position will be integrated into NIJC’s new universal representation initiative—aimed at providing removal defense to detained immigrants in the Chicago Immigration Court—and support these efforts across our partner organizations by providing mentorship, sharing resources, and organizing relevant trainings. This position will also work across NIJC projects and oversee professional development opportunities and initiatives within the organization and be responsive to the training needs of NIJC legal staff. This position will report to NIJC’s legal director and serve as a member of NIJC’s management team.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Work with NIJC’s legal services teams and partner organizations to identify training and mentorship needs for attorneys and legal staff serving detained immigrants in the Chicago Immigration Court
  • Design and conduct meaningful trainings for different experience/knowledge levels
  • Convene periodic meetings of partner organizations in the universal representation initiative to discuss and troubleshoot case-related issues and provide relevant legal updates
  • Collaborate with other partners that conduct training programs on a national scale to avoid duplication of efforts and to identify best practices
  • Administer and oversee a listserv for use by NIJC and partner organizations providing detained removal defense
  • Develop and oversee a bank of template briefs and motions and relevant advisories for use by detained removal defense providers.
  • Draft new practice advisories and template motions and briefs for detained defense providers as needed
  • Collaborate with partner organizations and academic institutions to organize and facilitate periodic trainings for removal defense providers in Chicago
  • Work across NIJC legal services projects to identify training and professional development needs and provide/organize trainings responsive to those issues identified
  • Maintain a training calendar for NIJC staff
  • Represent NIJC and its priorities at external meetings
  • Stay up-to-date on immigration issues and closely monitor legal, policy, and political developments with regard to immigration detention and enforcement to educate staff
  • Exercise leadership in NIJC’s trainings, both for internal and external audiences 
  • Advances an anti-racist organization that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Demonstrates commitment to NIJC’s mission and vision



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 these essential functions. 

  • Education / Experience : A law degree (JD), license to practice law and at least six years of practicing law is required, minimum eight years preferred. Preferred experience is in immigration law with particular experience in detained removal defense, the intersection of criminal and immigration law, asylum and protection law, and other relevant removal defense topics. Prior experience in designing, providing and leading trainings is preferred.
  • Language Skills: Spanish language abilities preferred but not required.
  • Driving: Travel by personal or organizational vehicle is required. Must have or is able to get a current, valid Driver’s License.
  • Excellent writing, organizational, analytical, and communication skills.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively 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.


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 10 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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