Work for Democracy

Law Student Fellow

International Refugee Assistance Project

International Refugee Assistance Project

United States · Remote
Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024
Opportunity
This fellowship is an opportunity for law students who have lived experience of displacement or marginalization to support the work of an organization leveraging legal and advocacy tools to assist people who are forcibly displaced. Students who are passionate about immigration work and are looking for further opportunities to explore this legal field are encouraged to apply.
Over the course of the academic year, student fellows will receive training and legal work to increase their substantive knowledge, familiarity with IRAP’s work, and lawyering skills. The expected time commitment is about 2-3 hours per week, which will include a combination of trainings, mentorship, and legal casework and projects. The fellowship schedule will be adjusted during exam periods.
Student fellows will be trained on client work skills, legal research, working with interpreters, the U.S. refugee landscape, and more. Fellows will be exposed to a variety of IRAP’s case types, including but not limited to family reunification, Central American Minors (CAM), Special Immigrant Visas (SIV), the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), and Credible Fear Interviews (CFIs) at the U.S.-Mexico border. IRAP will attempt to cater legal work based on each fellow’s career goals. Fellows will also have mentorship and networking opportunities to explore careers in this field, both at IRAP and our partner organizations. While the fellowship will be fully remote, fellows will come to IRAP’s office in New York for a 3-day retreat in October and May with all expenses covered by IRAP.

Responsibilities

  • Attend trainings on relevant law, policies, and legal pathways
  • Participate in skills-building trainings such as client interviewing, writing affidavits, and legal ethics
  • Attend regular meetings with fellowship cohort, task supervisors, and assigned mentors
  • Participate in 3-day trips to IRAP’s office in New York City in October and May (all expenses will be covered by IRAP)
  • Support IRAP’s work, including:
  • Supporting the direct representation of forcibly displaced people and their family members seeking safe passage to the United States by drafting memos, briefs, conducting fact-finding, and interviewing clients;
  • Conducting intake interviews and identifying client needs for direct services;
  • Participating in discrete special projects, including clinics such as interview preparation for the Central American Minors (CAM) program and Credible Fear Interviews (CFIs);
  • Conducting outreach to affected communities, preparing and disseminating know-your-rights materials, pro se resources, and participating in public education efforts;
  • Contribute as needed to the work of other programmatic departments, such as participating in litigation efforts as appropriate, conducting legal research in support of our work on climate change, and drafting and updating legal practitioner guides.
  • Work responsibilities will be tailored as much as possible to each fellow’s interests.

Qualifications

  • Have completed 1L year at a U.S.-based law school
  • Strong interest in the immigration field
  • Relevant skills and experience for the fellowship responsibilities
  • Clear vision for how the fellowship fits into overall career goals
  • Ability to work independently and be accountable in a remote setting
  • Preference given to law students attending schools outside of our existing law school chapter network
Location
The fellowship will be entirely remote aside from a 3-day trip to our office in New York City in October and in May (dates TBD - all expenses will be covered by IRAP).
Compensation
This fellowship comes with a $2000 stipend for the year. Fellows will also have their airfare, hotel, local transportation, and food covered during the two trips to New York.
Application Instructions
Please submit:
A copy of your resume or CV
A written response to the below application questions instead of a cover letter
Application Question Instructions:
Please answer the questions below in a separate document and observe the provided word limits. We strongly recommend that you consider and incorporate the information in this job description into your answers. Please note that while we welcome you to share personal, lived experiences in your answers if you so wish, that is not at all required for this application. We are selecting fellows based on their interest in our work, their skills and experiences, and their understanding of this fellowship and how it fits into their overall career goals.
1. Name:
2. Law School:
3. Have You Completed 1L Year? (Yes/No):
4. IRAP’s mission statement is as follows: IRAP is a global legal aid and advocacy organization working to create a world where refugees and all people seeking safety are empowered to claim their right to freedom of movement and a path to lasting refuge. Everyone should have a safe place to live and a safe way to get there. What interests you in our mission? (250 word limit)
5. Why are you interested in this fellowship? (250 word limit)
Some questions to consider:
How would this fellowship contribute to your future goals?
What skills, experiences, and connections would you hope to get out of it?
6. What skills and experiences would you bring to the fellowship? (250 word limit)
7. This fellowship requires us to meet virtually. What do you anticipate being a challenge around that and how would you approach it? (250 word limit)
8. Is there anything else you want us to know about you? (optional - leaving this blank will not negatively impact your application) (100 word limit)
Hiring Process
IRAP will accept fellowship applications until July 12, 2024. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted in mid-July, and final offers will be made by August 2. Please reach out to probono@refugeerights.org with any questions. IRAP will also host an information session about the fellowship on Wednesday, June 26th, at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT. Please fill out this short form if you’re interested in attending or receiving a recording, and we will circulate the Zoom link.