Refugee and Immigrant Program Staff Attorney

Refugee and Immigrant Program Staff Attorney

Job title:               Staff Attorney
Reports to:           Refugee and Immigrant Program Director
Job type:              Full-time


The Advocates for Human Rights is seeking a staff attorney for its Refugee and Immigrant Program.  The Advocates for Human Rights is a volunteer-based, non-governmental, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights.


The Advocates for Human Rights provides free legal representation to low-income asylum seekers, human trafficking survivors, unaccompanied children and detained immigrants in the Upper Midwest.  Consistent with its mission of building the human rights movement by involving volunteers in human rights work, The Advocates recruits, trains, and supports a pro bono panel of over 300 attorneys handling asylum cases before the Asylum Office, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, and Federal Courts of Appeal.  The Advocates participates in coalitions of local and national legal service providers to ensure that asylum seekers in the United States have access to legal services.


Qualifications include a J.D. and active attorney licensure in good standing with at least 3 years of experience in immigration law; experience with volunteer recruitment and training; and experience working with low-income and non-native English speakers; fluency in a second language (Spanish, French, Oromo or Somali) preferred.


The staff attorney is responsible for ensuring that The Advocates delivers legal services in an expert and professional manner by cultivating relationships with volunteers, ensuring that cases are timely placed and that necessary services are delivered in cases awaiting placement, by providing direct counsel and representation to clients as necessary, and by developing the resources necessary to support volunteers representing clients.  The staff attorney will also assist with outreach and expansion of our work to Greater Minnesota.  This will include periodic travel around the state to meet with partners, affected communities and potential volunteers. 


Primary responsibilities include:


  • Case Intake & Placement
    • Consult with clients during intake interviews and participate in case deliberation with other members of the Refugee & Immigrant Program
    • Supervise interns and staff assisting with case opening and closing procedures
    • Timely assign and transmit cases accepted for volunteer placement
    • Meet with clients and volunteer attorneys for case orientation meetings
    • Assist with client screenings at periodic off-site legal clinics
    • Assist with oversight of inquiries to the National Asylum Help Line


  • Volunteer Attorney Support, Recruitment & Training
    • Handle attorney case inquiries, monitor volunteer attorney case progress, review attorney submissions
    • Conduct attorney recruitment/training seminars, including development of materials
    • Maintain substantive components of Asylum Manual and on-line legal resources including Probono.Net and Immigrant Advocates Network
    • Lead the planning of the annual Asylum Conference and other CLE’s throughout the year
    • Appear at asylum interviews, master calendar hearings as needed to support volunteer attorneys


  • Direct Client Representation
    • Provide representation in those cases inappropriate for volunteer placement and manage cases awaiting placement with a volunteer attorney
    • Supervise program assistants and interns in case support


  • Organization Duties
    • Attend and participate in staff meetings
    • Represent The Advocates on appropriate coalitions, bar association committees and working groups.
    • Support program and organization-wide events that occur throughout the year
    • Participate in organization communications efforts, including the monthly Newswire, blogs, Asylum Update, and Observer magazine


TERMS: This is a full-time position with an excellent vacation plan and eligibility to participate in insurance plans, including medical and dental insurance, long-term disability insurance, and life/AD&D insurance. Compensation is commensurate with experience and within the range of similar non-profit organizations.


To apply, please mail cover letter and resume to:


Attorney Search

Refugee & Immigrant Program

The Advocates for Human Rights

330 Second Avenue South, Suite 800

Minneapolis, MN 55401-2447

E-mail: (include “RIP Attorney Search” in subject line)


No phone-call or e-mail inquiries, please.


Application Deadline:  March 15, 2019The Advocates for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer. The Advocates is committed to cultural diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability or any other legally protected status.