Legal Assistant Immigrants’ Rights Project
Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) is seeking a full-time, bilingual (Spanish/English) legal assistant to work with our program serving detained immigrants. The position is currently funded for a one-year period.
Public Counsel is the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the country. Founded in 1970, it is dedicated to advancing equal justice under the law and addressing economic, racial, and other inequities by delivering free legal and social services to the most vulnerable members of our community. Public Counsel operates eight legal projects: Children’s Rights, Community Development, Consumer Rights, Homelessness Prevention, Immigrants’ Rights, Veterans’ Rights, the Audrey Irmas Project for Women & Girls’ Rights, and our impact litigation project, Opportunity Under Law. Public Counsel’s full-time staff of over 120 serves highly diverse communities. To ensure that we are best positioned to serve these communities, we strive to promote behaviors, attitudes and policies that help us work effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, our coworkers, and our communities. We seek to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.
Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project provides direct legal representation to non-citizens seeking asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, VAWA, T and U visas, and other relief. In addition to direct representation, IRP engages in advocacy at the local and national levels, runs legal programs serving detained immigrants and deported veterans, recruits and trains hundreds of pro bono attorneys each year, handles appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Court of Appeals, and conducts impact litigation. For 30 years, IRP has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of immigrants in Los Angeles.
Working alongside the attorneys, paralegal, and social worker in Public Counsel’s IRP’s detention team, the legal assistant will play a central role in our provision of services to immigrants incarcerated at the Adelanto Detention Facility. We also anticipate expanding to serve a limited number of individuals in Tijuana who are seeking asylum but subject to the Administration’s Remain in Mexico policy.
The legal assistant’s primary responsibilities will fall into two categories: administrative tasks and case support. With respect to administrative tasks, the legal assistant will screen and respond to incoming calls and letters from people in detention and their loved ones; help establish, organize and maintain files; request criminal and immigration documents; provide translation assistance, primarily of written materials; prepare case filings using Adobe Acrobat; scan, copy and input documents into case management systems; and assist in maintaining calendars. The legal assistant will also help with data tracking and data management.
With respect to case support tasks, the legal assistant will be an integral member of our legal team, helping to prepare applications for relief and court filings, communicating with clients and their loved ones, contributing to strategy discussions, and providing limited case management support to identify and link clients to community resources.
The legal assistant will benefit from being part of an experienced and creative team at Public Counsel, and also part of a larger community of advocates housed at other grass-roots and non-profit organizations fighting alongside people incarcerated by the immigration system.
ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED
- Bachelor’s degree with at least one year of relevant experience in an administrative, social justice, or legal services environment strongly preferred;
- Oral and written fluency in Spanish required;
- Prior experience working with immigrant community and/or in immigration law preferred, and grassroots or non-profit experience a plus;
- Excellent organizational skills; ability to be detail-oriented, multi-task, set priorities, and work independently, but in close coordination with other staff;
- Experience working with individuals of diverse cultural, geographic, and economic backgrounds including individuals with a history of trauma or criminal records;
- Ability to communicate in an empathetic and professional manner with supervisor, team members, and clients; and
- Commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of Public Counsel.
START DATE AND COMPENSATION
The preferred start date for this position is January 13, 2020. The legal assistant position is a full-time, non-exempt position. Salary is commensurate with abilities and experience. Excellent benefits.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until December 2, 2019. Candidates encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Please send a cover letter and resume to:
610 South Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90005
Reference list will be requested if interviewed. No phone calls please.
Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer
All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, political affiliation, condition of physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, in accordance with requirements of Federal and State laws.
All qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.