Litigation Fellowship Sponsorship, Fall 2022

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About IRAP

The International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) is a dynamic and growing legal, policy, and advocacy organization that works to develop and enforce a system of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced people around the world. We are the leading organization that provides free and comprehensive legal services to people we serve through registration, protection, and resettlement processes.

IRAP operates offices in the U.S. (New York City and Washington D.C.), Jordan (Amman), Germany (Berlin) and Lebanon (Beirut). Our legal services are supplemented by a corps of pro bono lawyers from leading U.S. and international law firms and multinational corporations, and law students who have created IRAP chapters across the United States and Canada. Through this work, we aim to assist refugees and other displaced people to find safe passage and to transform the landscape of refugee rights in the U.S. and internationally. IRAP has over 90 full-time staff, the majority of whom are based in the New York City office. We are a nimble organization staffed by an innovative and collaborative team that is committed to high standards of quality and close partnerships with our clients, peers, and colleagues.

IRAP believes that diversity is critical to fostering a strong workplace and serving our clients well. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experiences in the communities that we serve, members of other marginalized communities, and individuals whose identities are underrepresented in the legal profession.

Opportunity

IRAP seeks to sponsor law students and recent law graduates who have or who will be applying for external fellowship funding (from Skadden, Equal Justice Works, a law school, or a law firm) to work full-time in IRAP’s Litigation Department. The fellowship must be longer than six months. The fellow will report to a supervising attorney in the Litigation department and may have opportunities to collaborate with other departments and/or to take on direct representation of clients in connection with our litigation work.

The Litigation Department currently comprises seven attorneys, three fellows, and a paralegal.  The Department brings cases that advance and defend the rights of refugees and other displaced persons. More information about our current cases can be found at https://refugeerights.org/litigation/

This is an exciting opportunity for individuals interested in innovative systemic impact litigation to be a part of a dynamic organization that makes an impact on the lives of refugees and other displaced persons.

Location: The fellow will work in IRAP’s office in New York City.

Responsibilities

IRAP is willing to discuss adapting responsibilities to fit the requirements of specific fellowship programs and projects.

  • Reviewing and leading intake interviews, identifying client needs for direct services and litigation purposes, providing direct services advice, explaining litigation, and drafting affidavits for litigation.
  • Supporting the direct representation of refugees, asylum seekers, and/or visa applicants.
  • Conducting research and analysis in support of litigation.
  • Drafting litigation documents or portions of them, including complaints, declarations, discovery requests, motions, briefs, and FOIA requests.
  • Assisting in various aspects of litigation, including gathering evidence, new case development, discovery or administrative record review, settlement, cite-checking and brief production.
  • Assisting in litigation-adjacent tasks, such as drafting comments in response to notices of proposed rulemaking, drafting rulemaking petitions, drafting reports and position papers related to areas of the Litigation Department’s expertise.  
  • Conducting outreach to affected communities, preparing and disseminating know-your-rights materials and pro se documents, and participating in public education efforts.
  • Participating in tasks that support organizational function, such as supporting the summer internship program.

Qualifications

  • J.D. at the time the fellowship starts and no more than two years out of law school.
  • Interest in complex federal litigation, immigration law, and refugee processing.
  • Strong project management skills and problem solving skills, including the ability to manage a high volume workload and to respond to urgent situations.
  • Strong attention to detail and research, writing, and analytical skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Sensitivity to client empowerment and to working with clients of all backgrounds, including children, clients with disabilities, LGBTI clients, survivors of trauma, and other vulnerable populations.
  • Fluency in oral and written English. Our clients predominantly speak Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Pashto, and Spanish, and therefore speaking one or more of these languages is a plus.
  • IRAP’s Litigation Department uses technology systems including Microsoft, Google Suite, and document management software, and seeks candidates comfortable with and/or willing to learn how to use these systems.

SALARY:  IRAP has a unionized salary scale under which applicants would earn between $62,600 and $74,800, depending on law school graduation year. IRAP will supplement the salary if fellowship funding is below the unionized salary scale. 

IRAP offers excellent benefits including healthcare and retirement plans, a flexible work schedule, and vacation and sick leave.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample of no more than 10 pages (not edited by others and ideally a legal research memo), and a list of three references using the application form available here. Please indicate in your cover letter which fellowship(s) you intend to apply for. We will review applications on a rolling basis beginning July 6, 2021

For candidates applying to project-based fellowships (e.g., EJW and Skadden): candidates who are selected to advance to the interview stage will be asked to submit additional materials regarding their proposed public interest project. We will provide additional instructions, including possible topics for project proposals, in advance of interviews.