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Pro Bono Coordinator, Immigrant Legal Defense Project

Req ID: 7782
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule: 3
Job Notes:


National Immigrant Justice Center

Pro Bono Coordinator, Immigrant Legal Defense Project


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 Pro Bono Project Coordinator will work with diverse national 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 asylees, refugees, victims of crime including trafficking and immigrants seeking to naturalize; 2) increase the broad-based impact of NIJC’ legal services program by coordinating regular pro bono training opportunities; and 3) respond and document the needs of partner organizations, including facilitating training on legal relief available to immigrants.


The Coordinator will be responsible for serving as the NIJC representative with pro bono attorneys and law firms, NIJC staff and other immigrant and human rights organizations to ensure access to justice for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The Coordinator will work closely with supervising attorneys from NIJC’s programs in order to keep abreast of the most current developments in refugee and 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: 

  • Review and prepare case files, including client documents to ensure client is ready to proceed to a pro bono clinic
  • Update materials for clinics, including sign-in sheet, CLE certificate, attendee list, evaluation sheet and power point presentation
  • Serve as main point of contact for pro bono clients prior to the clinic
  • Communicate with the relevant law firms in preparation of the clinic, including coordinating logistics and sending the attendee list and training materials for each clinic
  • Participate in pro bono trainings, including naturalization and counter-trafficking clinics
  • Respond to procedural questions from pro bono attorneys
  • Maintain updated records and activities in NIJC database to comply with grant requirements
  • Enter all pro bono attorneys in database and maintain current contact information
  • Oversee data entry to track individual cases and outcomes by conducting regular audits
  • Upon approval, prepare case win summary and follow procedures to close case at NIJC
  • Manage the publication and distribution of NIJC’s pro bono training materials and online educational webinars
  • Maintain current knowledge of immigration policies, procedures, and internal structures
  • Serve as conduit of current information for participating law firms
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned 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:   Bachelor’s degree required. Masters’ degree preferred. 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. 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:   Knowledge of: principles and practices of communications and public information techniques through different mediums, including print, television, and internet; writing and editing techniques for a variety of audiences. 


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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