Externs, Interns, and Fellows


IRAP is currently accepting applications for the following positions. Please review each description for specific details on how to apply. Full-time employment positions can be found on this page. Independent contractor & consulting positions can be found on this page.

Summer Internship, Legal/Litigation

This posting is viewable by itself at this link.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until positions are filled, so interested students should apply as soon as possible. We will prioritize review of applications sent by January 16, 2020. 

Opportunity
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) seeks law students to work as summer interns in our New York City office. In particular, IRAP seeks candidates who are interested in being part of both IRAP’s litigation department and direct services legal department and bridging the needs of both. Interns may have opportunities to collaborate with other departments, including Policy and Communications. 

About IRAP
IRAP is a dynamic 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 is 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 operates offices in the U.S. (New York City), Jordan (Amman), and Lebanon (Beirut) and has over 50 full-time staff. 

Our legal services are supplemented by a corps of pro bono lawyers from leading U.S. and international law firms, multi-national 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. In addition, IRAP’s litigation department brings legal challenges to refugee rights violations in the courts, creating solutions to overcoming the legal and bureaucratic impediments in the resettlement process and developing an enforceable system of legal and procedural rights for refugees and displaced persons worldwide. As the only organization that guides refugees through every step of the resettlement process, IRAP is often able to identify obstacles of which other institutional players are unaware. This unique model utilizes lessons learned in individual casework to advocate for systemic changes that benefit broader refugee populations. An overview of IRAP’s litigation docket is available here: https://refugeerights.org/litigation/.

Responsibilities

  • Supporting the direct representation of refugees or visa applicants by drafting memos, briefs, conducting fact-finding, and interviewing clients
  • Conducting factual and legal research in support of ongoing or planned litigation
  • Conducting intake interviews and identifying client needs for direct services and litigation purposes, including explaining litigation and drafting affidavits 
  • Conducting outreach to affected communities, preparing and disseminating know-your-rights materials, pro se documents, and participating in public education efforts
  • Participating in emergency response process for outreach and intakes when government policy changes result in urgent requests for assistance from IRAP
  • Participating in litigation efforts as appropriate, including preparing litigation documents and cite-checking
  • Other duties as assigned

Experience and Qualifications

  • One year of law school must be completed before the start of the internship
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Sensitivity to client empowerment and to working with clients of all backgrounds, including LGBTI clients, survivors of trauma, and other vulnerable populations 
  • Initiative to see projects through and ability to multitask
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Westlaw or LexisNexis
  • Fluency in oral and written English is required. Ability to speak Arabic, Farsi, Somali, Pashto, Kurdish, or Spanish is a plus
  • Strong interest in complex federal litigation, refugee processing, immigration law, and human rights

Duration
This is a full-time position and requires a 10-week commitment.

Funding
IRAP will work with students to obtain school funding or stipend as necessary.

Application Procedure
Please submit the following materials here.

  • A cover letter describing your interest in working with IRAP, including any relevant life or work experience gained before or during law school 
  • A resume
  • A brief legal writing sample (no more than 10 pages) unedited by others, e.g. research memo or excerpt of a brief
  • A list of three references

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until positions are filled, so interested students should apply as soon as possible. We will prioritize review of applications sent by January 16, 2020. 

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.

Externship, Litigation

Opportunity

IRAP’s litigation department seeks to sponsor law students who are participating in formal, full-time externship programs through their law schools to extern at IRAP for a minimum of one semester in our New York City office. Supplementary financial aid may be available. Legal externs will primarily be supervised by attorneys within IRAP’s litigation department. Externs may have the opportunity to collaborate with other departments including Policy, Communications, and Legal (direct services). This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a growing organization that makes an important impact on the lives of refugees.

IRAP’s litigation department is based in New York. IRAP litigates systemic advocacy cases in federal court on behalf of refugees and others in humanitarian need.  For the list of cases that IRAP is involved in, please see: https://refugeerights.org/litigation/.

Possible Responsibilities

IRAP is willing to discuss adapting responsibilities to fit the requirements of specific externship programs

  • Writing factual and legal research memos in support of ongoing or planned litigation.
  • Communicating with and interviewing clients and affected communities.
  • Assisting with litigation, including by conducting research, drafting affidavits, and cite-checking and finalizing briefs and other filings.
  • Preparing know-your-rights materials and participating in public education efforts.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and pursuing an advanced degree in law.
  • Interest in complex federal litigation, immigration law, and refugee processing
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, particularly in working with diverse and at-risk populations.
  • Fluency in oral and written English; ability to speak other languages is a plus.
  • Microsoft Suite required, fluency in Adobe Acrobat a plus.

IRAP welcomes applications from diverse candidates. This is an unpaid externship, although need-based supplementary financial aid may be available.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter, resume, short writing sample (5-10 pages), a description of your school’s externship program and requirements, and a list of three references using the application form available here. In your cover letter, please confirm that you are seeking a placement for a full-time externship program offered through your law school.  We will review applications on a rolling basis.

Externship (Academic year), Direct Legal Services

A webpage containing only this specific position is here.

Opportunity

IRAP seeks to sponsor law students who are participating in formal externship programs through their law schools to extern at IRAP for a minimum of three months in our New York City office. IRAP will consider full-time or part-time externships. Supplementary financial aid may be available. Legal externs will primarily be supervised by attorneys within IRAP’s Legal department, which provides direct legal assistance to refugees and visa applicants located overseas. Externs may have the opportunity to collaborate with multiple other departments including Policy, Communications, and Operations. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a growing agency that makes an important impact on the lives of refugees.

Possible Responsibilities:

IRAP is willing to discuss adapting responsibilities to fit the requirements of specific externship programs.

  • Conducting intake interviews with refugees to determine needs and refugee claims, and drafting intake reports as part of IRAP’s case screening process
  • Drafting legal briefs and memos in support of at-risk and vulnerable refugee cases submitted to the U.S. government or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Preparing affidavits and other evidence to reinforce claims
  • Researching refugee law or human rights country conditions
  • Researching refugee sponsorship and related programs as part of IRAP’s Alternative Pathways work
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and pursuing an advanced degree in law
  • Interest in refugee law and/or processing, human rights, and international law
  • Must be highly organized and motivated, able to multi-task, and have excellent time management skills
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Comfortable working with diverse populations
  • Ability to be flexible in a fast-paced and high-pressure work environment
  • Fluency in oral and written English; ability to speak other languages is a plus
  • Microsoft Suite required

IRAP welcomes applications from diverse candidates. This is an unpaid externship, although need-based supplementary financial aid may be available.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter, resume, short writing sample (3-5 pages), and a list of three references using the application form available here. We will review applications on a rolling basis.

Externally-Funded Policy Fellowship – New York

About IRAP

The International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) is the first organization to provide free and comprehensive legal representation to refugees through the registration, protection, and resettlement processes. We are 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 persons around the world.  IRAP operates offices in New York, Jordan, and Lebanon.

IRAP’s policy department is based in New York. IRAP’s policy department advocates for improving refugee policy with international and federal decision-makers. Since 2008, IRAP’s advocacy has led to the enactment of 9 provisions in federal law and many administrative changes.

IRAP believes in action, accountability, innovation, and candor. We are nimble, collaborative, and nonpartisan, and believe in the power of individuals to change their own circumstances. IRAP was founded in 2008 by a group of law students with a vision to change the status quo of global refugee processing in order to assist the most vulnerable refugees.

Opportunity

IRAP’s policy department seeks to sponsor individuals who have an undergraduate, public policy or public affairs, and who have external fellowship funding (from a school, foundation, or otherwise) to work at IRAP for a minimum of three months (but six months or longer preferred) in our New York City office.

Fellows will be supervised by attorneys in the policy department, but may have opportunities to collaborate with other departments including legal, litigation, and communications. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a growing organization that makes an important impact on the lives of refugees.

Please confirm in your cover letter that you are applying for the externally-funded fellowship position with IRAP and identify the external funding source(s) that you have applied for or have received. We are unable to respond to any applications submitted that do not contain this information.

Possible Responsibilities

IRAP is willing to discuss adapting responsibilities to fit the interests of applicants or the requirements of specific fellowship programs

  • Conducting research in support of ongoing or planned advocacy initiatives, including legislation and regulation.
  • Preparing memoranda, advocacy reports, one-pagers, and other advocacy materials.
  • Drafting press statements and talking points in response to policy related news.
  • Assisting with client casework, including client intake interviews.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

  • B.A., M.P.A., or M.P.P degree (undergraduate or graduate degree in one of these areas) at the time of starting the fellowship (job description will be tailored according to educational level and other experience)
  • Interest in local, federal, or international advocacy
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Comfortable working with diverse and at-risk populations
  • Must be highly organized and motivated, be able to multitask, and have excellent time management skills
  • Fluency in oral and written English; ability to speak other languages is a plus
  • Competency with Microsoft Suite required

IRAP welcomes applications from diverse candidates.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter, resume, short writing sample (~10 pages), and a list of three references using the application form available online. Please also note your potential availability. We will review applications on a rolling basis.

Please confirm in your cover letter that you are applying for the externally-funded fellowship position with IRAP and identify the external funding source(s) that you have applied for or have received. We are unable to respond to any applications submitted that do not contain this information