Ayuda is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing direct legal, social and language access services, education, and outreach to low-income immigrants in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Since 1973, Ayuda has provided critical services on a wide range of issues, in the process acquiring nationally recognized expertise in several fields including immigration law, language access, domestic violence and human trafficking. Ayuda has office locations in Washington, DC, Silver Spring, MD and Falls Church, VA.
WHY YOU WANT THIS JOB?
Because, just like everyone at Ayuda, you believe:
- In seeing communities where all immigrants succeed and thrive in the United States.
- In the overall success of our organization and all our programs.
- That families should be healthy and safe from harm.
- That all people should have access to professional, honest, and ethical services, regardless of ability to pay or status in this country.
- That diversity and equality make this country better.
WHAT WILL THIS JOB ENTAIL?
- Screen potential clients for eligibility for Ayuda’s services, under the supervision of attorneys, for both family law and immigration programs, including providing emergency assessments for survivors of trauma and, where appropriate, referrals;
- Assist attorneys with preparing and drafting documents, including correspondence, immigration forms,
- client declarations, and court filings;
- File and serve documents as required in court cases;
- Maintain client information and documents using internal database;
- Work with organizational partners to arrange dates and locations for educational outreach presentations
- concerning legal services provided by Ayuda;
- Coordinate outreach and referrals to and from organizational partners to ensure potential clients are aware of and able to access Ayuda’s services;
- Assist in recruiting volunteers & interns to assist Ayuda in providing legal services;
- Provide front-desk coverage as needed when Ayuda’s intake specialist is out of the office;
- Assist with grant reports as assigned;
- Other duties as assigned.
- Meet with clients to prepare declarations, forms, and other evidence under attorney supervision;
- Develop expertise with Ayuda’s case management system, LegalServer, and assist with grant reports as well as training new staff members on using the system consistent with Ayuda’s policies and procedures;
- When requested, accompany clients for critical appointments and appearances that do not require an attorney;
- Assist with intern recruitment and training.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU CAN DO THIS JOB?
Must be legally able to work in the United States and maintain proper work authorization throughout employment. Must be able to meet the physical requirements of the position presented in a general office environment.
Education/Experience Required for Legal Assistant:
- Must be detail oriented and able to comply with deadlines
- Must be organized and able to handle multiple matters simultaneously, as well as able to change direction quickly when required
- Must be able to communicate effectively and clearly to diverse audiences and able to exercise judgment in communications with media and client communities
- Must be able to work effectively and compassionately with survivors of trauma
- Must have strong writing and editing skills
- Must have a customer service orientation
- Spanish language fluency required (must be able to speak, understand, read and write)
- Experience working with an immigration legal services provider or law firm strongly preferred.
Education/Experience Required for Paralegal:
- Meet all of the above qualifications;
- Have at least one year of experience working as a legal assistant or paralegal at an immigration legal services provider serving low-income immigrants;
- Have a basic understanding of U Visas, T Visas, Adjustment of Status, Asylum, and/or SIJS;
- Ability to work independently but also familiarity with the prohibition on unauthorized practice of law and knowledge of when to seek attorney assistance;
- Experience assisting attorneys with a significant removal defense docket strongly preferred;
- Experience working with survivors of trafficking and participation in community coalitions or other groups focused on identifying human trafficking strongly preferred;
- Comfort with public speaking, including offering trainings about working with survivors of trafficking and/or other forms of trauma preferred.
- Technological Skills: Proficient in Microsoft Office
Required Knowledge and Skills:
- Fluency in written and spoken English and Spanish
- Demonstrated sensitivity to and knowledge of issues involved in working with diverse populations, including survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking
- Excellent written and verbal communications skills, must be comfortable presenting
- Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse multidisciplinary team
- Professionalism with both internal and external customers
- Professional demeanor, strong work ethic, discrete, resources, and ability to maintain confidentiality
- Ability to communicate with a variety of people, both internal and external
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
- Excellent time management skills
- Ability to meet assigned deadlines
- Ability to adapt to changing priorities
- Excellent customer service skills
- Proven problem solving skills with ability to analyze situations, identify existing or potential problems, and recommend solutions
- Strong analytical skills
- Strong multi-tasking abilities
- Strong ethics and sound judgment
- Decisive, with ability to exercise independent judgment
- Ability to maintain and contribute to a positive team environment
SALARY AND BENEFITS:
The salary is commensurate with experience, with legal assistant salaries beginning at $45,500 for entry-level positions and comes with a robust benefits package that includes medical and dental insurance, long-term disability insurance, life and AD&D insurance as well as an employer-provided retirement match. All federal holidays are observed, and Ayuda offers paid leave for the week of Christmas through New Year’s Day.
Please apply with resume and cover letter. Writing samples may be requested.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Apply early for full consideration.
No phone calls, please.
Ayuda is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability. We value a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. We encourage applications from members of underrepresented communities.