RSD Volunteer Legal Advisor, Refugee Legal Aid Program

Job Type

Full Time


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Start Date


Application Deadline



38, 26th of July Street
(near Nasser Metro)


Project Description: Refugee Legal Aid Program

The Refugee Legal Aid Program (RLAP) provides advice and representation to refugees seeking recognition by UNHCR through refugee status determination (RSD) procedures in Egypt and assists refugees in accessing resettlement to safe third countries. We serve people from many places, including Ethiopia, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Syria. Read more at



Each year, RLAP offers several unpaid internships for qualified candidates who can join us for six months. Under the supervision of the RSD Coordinator and RSDSenior Legal Officers, the RSD Volunteer Legal Advisors are responsible for the provision of legal advice and representation to urban refugees in matters related to their RSD procedures with UNHCR Egypt.


Among other responsibilities, RSD Volunteer Legal Advisors conduct group RSD workshops to educate refugees about the RSD process in Egypt; accompany clients to RSD interviews at UNHCR; conduct screening interviews with clients seeking assistance appealing the rejection of their RSD claims or seeking to reopen their UNHCR files; represent clients in various RSD procedures, including RSD appeals; and serve as on-call legal advisors, providing information and assistance to clients on a walk-in basis.

RSD Volunteer Legal Advisors are responsible for their own caseloads of RSD cases and get extensive direct experience representing refugees. Following the completion of their six-month commitment, RLAP Volunteer Legal Advisors have gone on to work with UNHCR, IOM, and other international non-governmental organizations. The RSD Volunteer Legal Advisors are part of RLAP’s team of approximately 20 legal staff and volunteers.



All duties are carried out under the supervision of the RSD Coordinator and RSD Senior Legal Officers.

Legal and Technical

·        Responsible for managing own caseload spanning the spectrum of the RSD team’s work.

·        To conduct workshops with groups and individual clients regarding the RSD procedures at UNHCR Egypt.

·        To conduct screening and intake interviews with potential clients seeking representation in RSD matters.

·        To serve as on-call resources for clients seeking legal advice on a walk-in basis, providing counseling to clients regarding registration, protection, and RSD procedures at UNHCR.

·        To maintain good working knowledge of UNHCR policies and procedures in RSD matters.

·        To maintain good working knowledge of the current political and social situations in the countries of origin of StARS’ clients.

·        To assess extra-legal client needs and recommend referrals to other StARS teams or external organizations as appropriate.

·        To undertake comprehensive case management practices including maintaining and updating electronic databases and records for each client, and keeping detailed notes of all casework activities.

·        To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Policies and Procedures Manual, and the StARS Code of Conduct.


·        To attend and contribute to RSD team meetings.

·        To build and maintain relationships with StARS psychosocial and education staff.

·        To attend one intensive week of training.


·        To communicate regularly with the RSD Coordinator and RSD Senior Legal Officers, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within RLAP.

·        To submit activity reports as requested.

·        To promote information sharing within RLAP and StARS on all issues affecting the populations we serve.

·        Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications & Experience

The ideal candidate will be energetic, articulate, and comfortable interacting with diverse segments of society. She or he will have demonstrated a firm commitment to human rights and refugee issues.


Essential qualifications

·        English being the official language of UNHCR Cairo and StARS, RSD Volunteer Legal Advisors must be fluent in oral and written English.

·        Excellent writing skills.

·        Well organized, self-motivated, and reliable.

·        Willingness to commit to a minimum service period of six months.

·        Commitment to and sensitivity toward vulnerable or displaced people.

·        Ability to live and work in a fluid security environment.

·        Ability to work in a team as well as individually.

·        A positive attitude and sensitive manner in advocating for clients who are survivors of violence, trafficking, torture, and SGBV.

Desirable Characteristics

·        Fluency or working knowledge of Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage.

·        Knowledge of UNHCR guidelines and procedures.

·        Knowledge of the general protection situation and vulnerabilities of refugees in Egypt.

·        Knowledge of the general situation of the countries from which StARS clients’ originate.

·        Life and work experience in the Middle East or Egypt.

Hours: 40-hour work week (Sunday-Thursday), negotiable on a case-by-case basis for qualified applicants.


Closing date for applications: 4 August 2018. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Anticipated starting date: 20 September 2018


Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply


Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and brief legal writing or academic writing sample to


The cover letter should address your qualifications for the internship and why you are interested in working with RLAP. It should also outline any time commitments you will have outside of our office during the period of your internship (whether you are seeking to work part-time or full-time), and for what time period you would be available to volunteer. Please write “RSD Volunteer Legal Advisor” in the subject line.