Employment Opportunity

IRAP Fellowship Sponsorship

Position:  Sponsorship for Equal Justice Works Fellowship, along with other fellowships such as Skadden or Justice Catalyst
Location:  New York City
Deadline to apply:  We will review applications on a rolling basis, beginning July 27, 2020.

About IRAP
The International Refugee Assistance Project (“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.

IRAP operates offices in the U.S. (New York City), Jordan (Amman), 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 75 full-time staff, the majority of whom are based in the New York City office, with others working in our offices in Jordan and Lebanon or remotely. We are 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 is seeking to sponsor a law student or recent law graduate to apply for an Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellowship in Fall 2020 (applications are due September 17, 2020). This is an exciting opportunity for law students or recent law graduates who are interested in immigration, refugees, human rights, and international law to work with IRAP to design a project that will make a difference in the lives of those at-risk. If the proposal is selected, the Fellow will report to a Supervising Attorney in our New York City office starting in September 2021.

Envisioned Fellowship Proposal
IRAP has deep expertise in providing remote legal representation to refugees, and, in coming months, will bring that expertise to the U.S. southern border to engage in legal screening, pro se assistance, and legal representation of asylum-seekers subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols (“MPP” or the “Remain in Mexico” program). The sponsored fellow will collaborate to design and implement an EJW fellowship project to support these efforts. Potential strategies may include developing partnerships to identify and successfully represent particularly at-risk populations and partnering to develop technological tools to improve and expand remote representation at the southern border.


In preparation for submission of the fellowship application (August/September 2020)

  • Perform research related to proposed fellowship proposal
  • Draft fellowship proposal in collaboration with IRAP 
  • Ensure timely completion  and submission of all fellowship application materials in collaboration with IRAP

After fellowship submission (Fall 2020)

  • Engage in interview preparation with IRAP
  • Interview for fellowship (and, hopefully, accept the offer)

Upon initiation of the Fellowship/subject to the terms of the Fellowship (September 2021)

IRAP will work with the Fellow to adapt these responsibilities to fit the requirements of the final  fellowship proposal 

  • Conduct intake interviews
  • Assist with the legal representation 
  • Research and write documents in support of cases, litigation efforts, and/or policy initiatives
  • Train interns, volunteer attorneys, and law students 
  • Mentor interns, volunteer attorneys, and law students working on IRAP intakes and cases
  • Assist with ongoing policy and litigation efforts 
  • Conduct outreach to NGOs and develop new partnerships with local and international NGOs and community-based organizations to identify opportunities for collaboration
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Expected graduation from Law School before September 2021 with a J.D. or LL.M.
  • Aside from a bridge/gap fellowship or clerkship, you may not have previously held a full-time (more than 30 hours/week), permanent, public interest lawyer position. 
  • Strong legal research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Knowledge of U.S. immigration law, including clinic and/or internship experience, is a plus
  • Must be highly organized and motivated, able to manage a high volume workload, be a strong team-player, and have excellent time management skills
  • Sensitivity to client empowerment and to working with clients of all backgrounds, including LGBTI clients, survivors of trauma, and other vulnerable populations
  • Experience working with immigrants or refugees preferred, refugees, or other vulnerable individuals preferred
  • Fluency in oral and written English; other languages preferable. Spanish, K’iche’, Mam, or Punjabi particularly helpful
  • IRAP’s Legal Department uses technology systems including Microsoft, Google Suite, and document management software, and seeks candidates comfortable with and/or willing to learn them

This position is based in IRAP’s New York office.

Application Instructions
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and a list of three references using the application form available here. We will review applications on a rolling basis beginning July 24, 2020. Candidates selected to advance to the interview stage will be asked to submit a 300-word essay addressing their specific interest in this project and community. We will provide additional instructions in advance of interviews.

Please note that IRAP will work with the selected candidate to design a project, but we cannot guarantee that the proposal will be chosen by EJW. If the candidate is offered an EJW Fellowship, their salary and benefits during their two-year EJW Fellowship will be equivalent to that of a similarly qualified and experienced lawyer at IRAP.

This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. This role’s salary is set on a scale depending on years of relevant experience after law school, and will range from $62,600 – $72,600.

IRAP offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits including family health, dental and vision benefits with no employee-paid premiums, a retirement plan with an employer matching component, and twenty days of vacation, five personal days, and twelve sick days per year. 

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 underrepresented in the legal profession.