POSITION: The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) is seeking several Legal Assistants for Immigrant Children in our Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, or Ypsilanti offices. The successful candidate will have an emphasis on working with unaccompanied immigrant children, will collaborate with local community programs, conduct outreach and legal screenings, and represent immigrant children in removal proceedings. This is a chance to join a talented grant-funded team doing important and challenging work at a critical time. This position will be based out of one of our offices listed above with a hybrid in-office/remote work schedule.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: MIRC is a legal resource center for immigrant communities. The three pillars of our work are: 1) direct legal services; 2) systemic advocacy; and 3) community education and engagement. MIRC is part of Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services (MSAS), a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to low income and senior persons through several statewide programs. MSAS is administered by the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), which provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through civil legal aid offices and statewide advocacy programs. MAP’s mission is to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions. Visit michiganimmigrant.org and miadvocacy.org for more information.
RESPONSIBILITIES: The legal assistants will help with all aspects of MIRC’s work for unaccompanied children; the specific duties will depend on the assignment. The following are possible assignments:
- Community Referrals Legal Assistant (CRLA)
- In this contract year, the children’s team will have three community referral legal assistants. Those legal assistants receive requests from the legal team to assess clients’ non-legal needs. CRLA’s are responsible for developing connections to community resources to connect immigrant children with appropriate community resources across the state and may be placed in any of the above-listed offices.
- UC-Wide Legal Assistant
- There are three UC-Wide Legal Assistant roles on the team, one for each primary MIRC office location: Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Ypsilanti. Legal Assistants assigned to UC-wide roles will focus on mail scanning and processing for their assigned office, case-support needs of managing attorneys, and handling UC-wide projects as assigned by their supervisor. These roles require 3-5 days in the office each week to process each day’s mail.
- Transitional Foster Care (TFC) Legal Assistant
- Legal Assistants assigned to TFC are primarily focused on providing Know Your Rights (“KYRs”) presentations and Legal Screenings to children in TFC and the administrative duties related to those services. This assignment can involve some direct support of attorneys who are representing children in TFC as well. It involves travel to the various locations where the children are located to provide KYRs across the state and requires a minimum of two days in either the Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo office.
- Long-Term Foster Care/Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program (LTFC/URM) Legal Assistant
- Legal Assistants assigned to LTFC/URM are responsible for assisting two attorneys with tasks assigned by those attorneys ranging from administrative tasks such as scheduling, file maintenance, and data entry, to more substantive matters such as document preparation, client relationship management, and interpreting, among other things. This position requires a minimum of two days in either the Grand Rapids, Ypsilanti, or Kalamazoo office and involves occasional travel to other MIRC offices.
QUALIFICATIONS: An associate’s degree or commensurate professional experience is required; a bachelor’s degree is preferred. Applicants must possess excellent communication, collaboration, analytical and problem‐solving skills as well as a demonstrated commitment to protecting the rights of immigrants or other persons in poverty. Candidate must be detail-oriented with strong organizational skills. Candidate must be proficient with major software and web services including Word, Excel, G Suite, and have access to a reliable internet connection if they intend to work remotely some of the time. Applicants who have experience, especially related to immigration and poverty, will receive priority. No prior legal experience required. Spanish language proficiency required.
BENEFITS: This is a full-time position with a salary starting at $43,754 and based on relevant experience. MAP offers a generous benefits package including life, short- and long-term disability, health, vision, dental and flexible spending accounts. If staff do not require health benefits, they have the option to take an annual $1,500 payout in addition to the base salary paid over the course of the year. MAP also has a generous leave policy allowing staff to accrue 3 weeks paid vacation the first year and 13 paid holidays, as well as an annual 2% contribution and 2% match to retirement plan subject to board approval for eligible staff. MAP is a qualifying employer for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
TO APPLY: Please complete this application and submit your resume and cover letter. You can also access the application by copying and pasting the following web address into your browser: https://miadvocacy.bamboohr.com/careers/34. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
MSAS is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.