The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) has an opening for an Asylum Program Fellow through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Details are below. Please note the application deadline is October 2.
LCCR Asylum Program Fellow (AmeriCorps VISTA)
Senior Immigrant Justice Attorney
Pro Bono Coordinator/Senior Attorney
About the Lawyers’ Committee
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (“Lawyers’ Committee”), founded in 1968, works to advance, protect and promote the legal rights of communities of color, and low-income persons, immigrants, and refugees. Assisted by hundreds of pro bono attorneys, LCCR provides free legal assistance and representation to individuals on civil legal matters through direct services, impact litigation and policy advocacy. Our office is located in downtown San Francisco near the Embarcadero and is accessible by public transportation. For more information, visit www.lccr.com.
About the Pro Bono Asylum Program
The Asylum Program, founded in 1983, bridges the gap between the bay area’s private bar and indigent asylum seekers. Through maintaining healthy relationships with community organizations, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is regularly contacted by asylum seekers who have suffered atrocious persecution but are unable to pay attorneys to assist them in navigating the confusing and oppressive immigration process. The Program interviews these clients to evaluate their claims and assess the most advantageous course of action. Clients are then placed with pro bono attorneys from many of the leading law firms and they go on to receive top-notch representation. Through this system, thousands of otherwise unrepresented immigrants have been matched with stellar advocates and, with their assistance, have secured asylum in the United States.
To ensure that each pro bono attorney is fully equipped to meet the needs the client, the Program regularly offers trainings and other support to guide and inform these generous volunteers. Twice annually there is a two-day seminar that gives an overview of asylum law as well as general tips for practitioners. Also, the program holds more focused monthly trainings that educate attorneys and others on topics that range from conditions in certain regions to working with clients who have faced trauma to significant case law updates. Further, each pro bono attorney is paired with an immigration practitioner who mentors the pro bono attorney throughout the process. Through these support structures, attorneys who have had little or no immigration law experience are able to successfully take an asylum case from beginning to end.
General Summary of Work Performed
In the area of immigration/asylum, the AmeriCorps VISTA is responsible for: (1) conducting client interviews and direct representation of asylum seekers (if attorney); (2) preparing client memoranda and conducting country of condition research; (3) recruiting volunteers for cases and coordinating work of volunteers; (4) identifying community partners for legal workshops and clinics in low-income minority and immigrant neighborhoods and assisting in the development of new legal workshops and clinics; (5) expanding our recruitment and training program for volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and interpreters; (6) engaging in community outreach to expand awareness of available services/resources; and (7) assisting in marketing and outreach for legal workshops and clinics.