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Afghan Response Coordinator

Req ID: 7751
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


National Immigrant Justice Center

Afghan Response 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.


Position Summary:

The Afghan Response Coordinator helps implement and support NIJC’s efforts to provide legal services to immigrants, specifically Afghan parolees in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. NIJC’s Afghan Response focuses on providing in-depth legal orientations, pro see asylum support, and direct representation to Afghan nationals who were evacuated to the United States following the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. As part of this program, the Coordinator, along with NIJC attorneys and paralegals, will coordinate monthly legal orientations, pro se workshops, and technical assistance trainings; respond to inquiries from community partners and Afghan nationals; track participation data; and manage referrals. 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; (2) communicating with community partners, interpreters, funders, and legal service providers to organize legal orientation, pro se workshops, and technical assistance trainings; (3) tracking demographic and outcome data related to orientation/workshop participants; (4) managing a referral system for asylum intakes with Afghan nationals and conducting intakes; (5) assisting in the preparation of orientation/workshop materials, web-based resources, and individual case files. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate legal orientations and pro se asylum workshops, organize event registration and volunteer and interpreter participation.
  • Help create and disseminate orientation and workshop information.
  • Monitor feedback and evaluations, help develop best practices based on feedback.
  • Participate in meetings with community partners and funders to share NIJC’s work and discuss opportunities for collaboration and training.
  • Organize technical assistance trainings for legal service partners.
  • Document and track data related to orientation and workshop participants in NIJC’s database, utilize data to determine trends and legal and resource needs.
  • Respond to inquiries from partners, community members, and potential clients regarding NIJC’s services.
  • Manage NIJC’s client referral and intake system for Afghan asylum seekers.
  • Conduct client intakes, including with non-Afghan asylum seekers, document information in NIJC’s client database, communicate with potential clients regarding the supervisor’s legal assessment.
  • Conduct country condition research and track legal and policy developments related to immigration options.
  • Draft affidavits, complete immigration applications, and collect evidence in support of an application.
  • Assist with compiling data for and drafting reports to funders and other stakeholders and ensuring compliance across the project to funder guidelines.



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 is required. Individuals with fluency in Dari, Pashto or Spanish 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 volunteers, 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.


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.
  • 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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