P.O. Box 654
2601 N. Highway 79
The Florence Project was founded in 1989 to respond to a representation crisis for indigent non-citizens detained at the rural Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. Through our programs today, we provide services to the more than 4,000 men, women, and children detained in Eloy, Florence, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona on any given day. The Florence Project is nationally known for its legal and social services that ensure that detained people are empowered and have access to justice. We provide high quality legal services and support initiatives for national changes in immigration law and policy
THE DIRECT REPRESENTATION TEAM LEGAL ASSISTANT POSITION
The Florence Project is seeking an individual to join its staff as Legal Assistant to support the direct representation legal team. This is an exciting opportunity to work with our Asylum Attorney and Kino Border Initiative (KBI) Legal Fellow providing direct representation to detained adults who are seeking asylum and other fear based forms of relief. The legal assistant will work with the attorneys to enhance representation for asylum seekers who are detained in Eloy and Florence, Arizona, and who otherwise lack representation in the credible fear process, in immigration courts for both removal and custody proceedings, and before the Board of Immigration Appeals. This position reports to the Direct Representation Team Managing Attorney.
The adult detention program is generally headquartered in our office in Florence, AZ, approximately one hour south of Phoenix and one to one and a half hours north of Tucson, allowing access to clients detained in Florence and Eloy facilities. Attorneys and Legal Assistants with the Direct Representation Team, however, may work in all three of the Florence Project offices. This position will have flexibility to work from different offices, but will require regular travel to other office locations in Phoenix/Tucson and Florence, depending on case load. Additional travel to the detention centers in Eloy and Florence will be required, as well as occasional travel to Nogales Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
Duties include but are not limited to the following:
● Conduct in-depth client intake interviews
● Visit with clients to obtain initial and follow-up information
● Assist with drafting and reviewing applications for relief from removal
● Investigate and develop evidence to support clients' fear-based claims, such as drafting client declarations, witness letters, and obtaining supporting documents from feared country of return
● Conduct translations from Spanish to English
● Conduct case and legal research (e.g. country conditions)
● Communicate with experts or witnesses as needed
● Prepare legal filings and submissions (make copies), and submit to the court as needed by the attorneys
● Refer clients who are released from ICE custody to appropriate pro bono resources in their destination community, when such resources are available, and develop a compilation of packets of support
● Assist with asylum workshops for unrepresented detained individuals
● Data entry, file management, and preparing monthly statistics for grant reporting purposes
QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights, social justice, or human rights issues
- The position includes extensive client contact with men and women who have survived violence; applicants must have a comfort-level or prior experience working with torture survivors, victims of sexual violence/gender-based violence, child abuse survivors, highly traumatized people, and people suffering from PTSD
- Must be comfortable working in a detained setting, and with people with criminal convictions
- Ability to prepare and conduct an educational workshop to 10 or more individuals
- Must be highly organized and an innovative thinker
- Ability to work in a high volume setting with limited resources
- Must be a hard working team player with a sense of humor who is flexible, patient, respectful, and comfortable in a busy nonprofit setting.
- Ability to collaborate and build relationships with legal and non-legal stakeholders
- Bachelor’s degree is preferred
- Must be fluent in Spanish or have advanced proficiency
- Must have reliable transportation
This is a full-time, salaried non-exempt position. Annual salary is $38,000. We strive to create and uphold a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff. We offer excellent benefits, including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, with full premiums paid by the Florence Project. We also provide limited mileage reimbursement for travel between offices and places of work. After two years of employment, employees are eligible for an employer matching retirement plan. Paid time off includes one personal day each month in addition to fifteen days of vacation and twelve days of sick/medical leave annually, four weeks maternity-paternity leave (up to twelve weeks total, with option to use personal, vacation, and sick paid time off for unpaid portion), and bereavement leave, in addition to observing all federal holidays. After three years of employment, employees are eligible for an eight week paid sabbatical.
Level of Language Proficiency
Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish is required.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
This is an immediate opening. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and applicants are encouraged to apply early. To apply, please send a cover letter, writing sample, and resume with three references to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Legal Assistant – Direct Rep” in the subject line. Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. The Florence Project values diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, and members of under-represented communities.