The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933, the IRC is at work today in more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities. The IRC’s Resettlement, Asylum and Integration (RAI) department creates opportunities for refugees and other vulnerable migrants to survive and thrive in the US. RAI serves nearly 50,000 individuals each year in the US through a diverse portfolio of programs aimed at achieving outcomes in five impact areas: Health, Safety, Economic Wellbeing, Education, and Power.
IRC opened an office in Seattle in 1976 and its Spokane office in 2022. The two offices provide a continuum of services including intensive case management, employment and economic empowerment services, immigration assistance, health and wellness programming, and education support to refugee and immigrant families in Washington State.
IRC seeks a Managing Attorney to grow and oversee it’s Spokane Legal Services.
The Managing Attorney will oversee a new immigration legal services program in Spokane, which provides low-cost immigration legal services to refugees, immigrants and other community members in their family reunification, adjustment of status and naturalization applications before USCIS.
The Managing Attorney will bring not only legal expertise and a passion for this area of work, but also the ability to motivate and mentor a team of legal professionals in a dynamic and fast-paced environment. The position will work in close collaboration with a range of community partners and the Immigration Technical Unit (TU) at IRC’s headquarters, which oversees IRC’s 24 legal service programs across the US, including four offices that have removal defense programs.
Program Development & Leadership
Represent IRC at immigration-related meetings and events in the community, with partners and funders, and with government agencies, including by giving presentations.
Create and support implementation of outreach strategy. Develop and implement media opportunities in conjunction with the Site Director for publicizing immigration work.
Cultivate partnerships and opportunities with key legal service providers, community-based organizations, and other local organizations or institutions, to enhance collaboration and outreach for legal services.
Develop strategic plan for immigration, incorporating client and partner feedback, to increase responsiveness of services, increase sustainability, and improve service delivery.
Serve on Senior Management Team/Leadership Team [may have different names depending on office] and work effectively across programs to further IRC’s mission. Contribute to and support office-wide Strategic Action Plan.
Direct Client Services
Maintain a limited caseload of cases before US Citizenship & Immigration Services, including family reunification, adjustment of status, asylum, and naturalization cases.
Stay apprised of relevant immigration law and policy, and maintain good standing with the state bar by attending and keeping records of continuing legal education training and credits.
Maintain strict client confidentiality and observe all ethical practices/obligations as outlined in IRC’s Immigration Program Policies Manual.
Program and Staff Supervision
Oversee legal strategy through daily direct supervision of a team of legal practitioners, including attorneys and Department of Justice-accredited representatives.
Employ adaptive management techniques to provide regular individual supervision and support; mentor staff, set clear performance expectations and goals, give regular performance feedback, help prioritize workloads, help troubleshoot challenges, and maintain appropriate professional development plans.
Develop and monitor intake procedures, case acceptance policies, and caseload targets and limits.
Ensure all cases have high-quality legal review and that clients are counseled appropriately on their immigration options and potential risks and consequences of applying for certain immigration benefits.
Ensure immigration staff adhere to the IRC Immigration Program Policies Manual, including through regular mentorship, direct observations of key client service activities (e.g., client intakes), and by ensuring staff receive frequent, ongoing relevant (internal and external) legal training, including on legal ethics, and have the most up-to-date guidance regarding immigration adjudication trends and policies.
Ensure all staff, interns and volunteers have a clear understanding of what activities constitute the unauthorized practice of law and how these boundaries should be applied in IRC’s legal service model.
Work with the HQ Legal Services Unit to ensure legal assistants have adequate support and training to pursue DOJ accreditation in a timely manner as appropriate to their legal skills and knowledge.
Promote and develop a high functioning, collaborative team and ensure effective integration of internships and volunteers within programs; collaborate with other IRC program areas as appropriate to ensure client-centered service.
Actively co-facilitate and support grant opening, grant review, and grant closing meetings, and lead all aspects of grant cycle, including developing/implementing monitoring & evaluation plans.
Ensure program data is collected consistently, managed appropriately and reported timely, using IRC’s legal case management database and other relevant case management systems.
Responsible for accurate and timely completion of all program reports as required by funding sources, headquarters, and other partners.
Collaborate with other IRC program areas as appropriate to ensure client-centered services.
Establish, maintain and periodically refresh legal services program policies and procedures in collaboration with IRC’s Immigration Legal Services Technical Unit; oversee and/or conduct regular case file reviews (paper files and electronic case files) to ensure compliance with legal case management procedures.
Serve as an in-house expert on US immigration law by updating internal IRC colleagues on changes in immigration law affecting IRC’s clients as needed.
Serve as the key liaison with the Immigration Legal Services Technical Unit for caseload and ongoing legal work, including participating in regular calls and trainings.
Serve as a strong advocate for humanitarian immigrants.
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS:
Position Reports to: Spokane Site Director. Position liaises closely with HQ Immigration Technical Unit.
Position Directly Supervises: Two Legal Assistants, Immigration Coordinator, and interns.
Law degree (JD or LLM) from an ABA-accredited U.S. institution and admission in good standing to any state bar;
5 years’ experience or more providing direct representation in humanitarian benefits before USCIS, including family reunification, adjustment of status, naturalization, and asylum;
Strong legal supervision skills and superb legal judgment;
Ability to oversee and provide supervision on a reasonably high case volume and work under time pressure;
Experience organizing and facilitating immigration workshops and immigration information sessions;
Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills;
Deep commitment to working with humanitarian immigrants;
Trauma-informed and sensitive listening and communication skills;
Desire to join a team working to protect due process and immigrant rights; and
Ability to travel locally to engage with clients and community partners.
The position is contingent upon successful completion of a Federal e-QIP Tier 2 background check.
Work Environment: Hybrid - an average of 3 days a week in office.
Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirement.
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.
Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.
US Benefits: We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.