Part-Time Paralegal for Unaccompanied Children, Immigration Unit – Newburgh, NYOverview
PLS is a non-profit legal services organization providing civil legal services to indigent individuals in New York State correctional facilities in cases where no other counsel is available. Founded in 1976 in response to the Attica uprising, PLS has regional offices in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca and Newburgh.
As part of the Unaccompanied Children’s Program, PLS provides free legal representation to noncitizens detained at youth shelters funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, transferred to long term foster care facilities near Newburgh, New York or released from youth shelters to reside with sponsors in the Hudson Valley and who are in or facing immigration removal proceedings. Court proceedings will be primarily venued at the Buffalo Immigration Court. Proceedings to pursue guardianships and special immigrant juvenile status will be scheduled in state courts in upstate New York.
Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) is seeking to hire an Unaccompanied Children Paralegal to work from its Immigration Unit, Albany office. The Unaccompanied Children Paralegal is a professional advocate for detained immigrant children who uses cultural competency, compassion, and training in immigration law to prepare children for successful client-attorney relationships and empowers them as respondents before immigration authorities. The Paralegal informs children about the immigration legal process and their rights in a child-friendly and trauma-informed manner. The Paralegal also conducts individual legal screenings to assist with referrals to pro bono counsel and provide follow-up services and specialized information where relevant to a child’s situation.Responsibilities
- Design age-appropriate Know Your Rights training materials
- Under attorney supervision, screen unaccompanied children in ORR custody and provide them with trauma-informed, child-friendly, and age, language, and culturally appropriate legal orientations including Know Your Rights trainings and full legal screenings for immigration relief
- Through region-wide outreach, identify, locate, and screen unaccompanied children who have been released to reside within PLS region
- Conduct and interpret client interviews and follow-up meetings
- Participate in regularly scheduled calls and meetings with stakeholders and team members
- Work closely with government agencies, school districts, and social service providers to facilitate access to education, healthcare and other services
- Prepare budgets and grant applications, maintain databases, monitor contract requirements, prepare and submit reports that accurately capture data
- Support attorneys for completing applications and assist in preparation of court cases and applications with users
- Interpret for clients and/or attorneys at interviews, hearings and presentations
- Prepare written translation of documents as needed
- Stay apprised of current legal framework relevant to orientation and interviewing related to child respondents in immigration removal proceedings, as well as current events affecting child migration from Central America and any other region commonly affecting detention facilities in New York
- Perform other job-related duties as assigned
The ideal candidate must be fluent in written and verbal Spanish and English and have a demonstrated commitment to advocating on behalf of immigrant children’s rights. Experience serving Spanish and non-Spanish speaking children from Central America preferred. Experience in trauma informed care practices and case management is required. Experience working with children and guardians in Special Immigrant Juvenile Proceedings required. Candidate must be willing to pursue and submit accreditation from EOIR. The candidate must demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively with multiple attorneys and staff members and with people of diverse educational, cultural and professional backgrounds. The candidate must be energetic, friendly and responsible and have demonstrated experience working independently and under pressure. The candidate must have his/her own transportation and be willing to submit to extensive background checks. Evening and weekend availability preferred. An IU Paralegal who works with minor clients must pass the background check for working with minors that is required by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.Education
This position requires at least two years of paralegal experience with an immigration defense, criminal defense or legal services organization or a bachelor’s degree in human services or legal studies.Salary and Benefits & EEO Policy
Salary is commensurate with experience. This is a part time position, but full-time opportunities may develop depending on client population needs. PLS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, short and long-term disability, life insurance, and a 401 (k) retirement plan. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, pregnancy or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.
Please send a cover letter, resume, and at least three (3) references by email to: James Milstein, email@example.com. Due to the volume of applications expected, only people who are contacted for interviews will receive a response. The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.