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IRAP Seeks 2016-2017 Legal Fellows!

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) at the Urban Justice Center is looking to sponsor a law student for public interest fellowships for the year 2016-2017. Fellowship sponsorships would be available in New York City for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, and other domestic fellowships, as well as Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey for Fulbright and other international fellowships. New York-based fellows would have the opportunity to travel to the Middle East in connection with legal assistance and fact-finding projects.

IRAP conducts legal advocacy on behalf of refugees from throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan. IRAP’s clientele include Iraqi, Somali, Syrian and Afghan refugees most in need of urgent assistance, including women who are victims of trafficking, children with medical emergencies, interpreters who worked with the U.S. military, and survivors of torture.

IRAP is primarily student-driven: it was founded at Yale Law School in 2008 and now has chapters at 26 law schools in the U.S. and Canada, teaming law students with pro bono supervising attorneys to provide direct legal representation to refugees who are in immediate danger and seek safe passage to the United States or another resettlement country. Individual legal representation of refugees is a new area of law that IRAP has pioneered through its legal work, relying on a combination of immigration law, refugee law, international law and administrative law to address this cutting-edge legal issue.

IRAP also advocates for systemic change on behalf of our clients by conducting federal legislative advocacy, liaising with the Departments of State and Homeland Security, and consulting with the Administration, leveraging the expertise we derive from our casework.

The duties of the legal fellow would include some combination of supervising individual cases, developing and conducting trainings for students and attorneys, facilitating advocacy among relevant stakeholders, developing academic content for IRAP’s emerging clinical programs in the United States, coordinating fact-finding research in the United States and the Middle East surrounding particularly vulnerable populations of refugees, and assisting with legal research, and ongoing litigation efforts, to further develop a system of individual representation in the area of refugee law.

IRAP is seeking an enthusiastic law student or recent graduate with strong legal research and writing skills. The ideal candidate is innovative and interested in creative approaches to the urgent legal and humanitarian needs of refugees in the Middle East and elsewhere, and is able to adapt to different cultural and psychological needs of clients and NGO partners. A strong appetite for, and demonstrated aptitude for either direct client representation or policy advocacy or both is a must.

Those interested should send a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample via email with the subject line “IRAP Fellowship Sponsorship Application” to Catherine Crooke, at ccrooke@refugeerights.org.