Senior Paralegal

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 19

Position description

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 670 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.

KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.

To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit. 

KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs. 

Position Summary:

KIND seeks a Senior Paralegal to support KIND’s delivery of legal services through a range of case preparation, legal research, and related tasks in support of the legal strategy for the client. The Senior Paralegal also provides supervision to Paralegal(s) and other non-attorney staff and interns as needed, and oversee training and development of paralegal staff in collaboration with Staff Attorneys, Senior Attorneys and Managing Attorneys.

Essential Functions:

  • Oversee the overall programmatic function of the field office paralegal program
  • Onboard, train and supervise paralegals, including: conducting initial and ongoing trainings for paralegal staff; troubleshooting, reviewing and providing quality assurance of referrals, filings, and pleadings; providing daily support and coaching, and conducting regular check-ins and performance evaluations; and providing consistent and effective supervision to ensure the provision of consistent, high-quality paralegal support to the legal team
  • Work with a team of paralegals, under attorney supervision, to screen unaccompanied children in immigration detention for immigration relief and provide legal orientations to such children
  • Conduct prompt and accurate data entry regarding each child on your docket.
  • Make necessary referrals to legal service providers depending on the location to which the child is released.
  • Provide support to attorneys, including conducting legal research; filling out immigration benefit and other standard forms; drafting affidavits and basic motions; assisting with hearing and interview preparation; maintaining case files and data entry in case management database; and other tasks as needed
  • Conduct legal research, complete immigration benefit forms, and draft affidavits and motions for immigration and state court proceedings in consultation with attorneys
  • Ensure consistent, accurate, and timely file maintenance and data entry into case management system
  • In coordination with attorneys, assist in clients’ preparation for hearings and adjudicatory interviews
  • Supervise undergraduate interns, as needed, and assist with training of legal interns, as needed
  • Assist with the professional development of paralegals and other staff in collaboration with attorneys, and in consultation with KIND’s national Training and Technical Assistance Team
  • Track and ensure referral and intake metrics achievement under grants and contracts in consultation with attorneys, and Program Coordinator where relevant
  • Supervise paralegals in the consistent and quality provision of intake interviews, phone screenings, intake memos, and presentation of cases to attorneys; conduct intakes and phone screenings as needed
  • Assist with pro bono training, including non-attorney pro bono team members, through preparation of training materials, provision of discrete trainings on topics such as translation, and other related tasks
  • Assess cases for social service needs and assist with social services referrals; liaise with Social Services Coordinators to achieve programmatic goals where legal services/social services intersect
  • For direct representation cases, serve as point of contact for clients, proactively ensuring that case files and case management system reflect current contact information, case developments, and updates on child’s wellbeing and service needs; ensure regular check-ins with the child are conducted in consultation with attorney, particularly in cases in which case adjudication is delayed due to retrogression or otherwise; and keep counsel apprised of updates and issues needing follow-up
  • For pro bono cases, assist in case audit efforts, and ensure that updates from pro bono team regarding legal case and child’s wellbeing are timely recorded in case management system; assist in targeted pro bono team support including provision of relevant samples, and guidance and training resources.
  • Liaise with Social Services Coordinator regarding social services needs and referrals; assist with social services projects depending on office needs; work collaboratively to achieve programmatic goals where legal services/social services intersect.

Qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Advanced Fluency in Spanish (oral and written)
  • Preferably, a minimum of four (4) years’ experience in humanitarian-based immigration work, including conducting intakes, assessing legal claims, and assisting attorneys on legal applications to obtain immigration benefits
  • Preferably, a minimum of two (2) years’ experience working independently on projects and/or programs, demonstrating initiative and willingness to learn and contribute thought leadership and innovative strategies to the work
  • Preferably, at least two (2) years’ experience interviewing children, preferably in the humanitarian immigration or refugee context
  • A minimum of two (2) years’ experience preparing and delivering presentations on legal and know-your-rights information to immigrant audiences, preferably families and children
  • Proven ability to supervise or coach and guide others on programs and/or projects
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, and attention to detail
  • Strong cultural competency and cross-cultural communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively with multiple attorneys and non-attorney colleagues
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing; ability to thrive in a high-volume workload with fast-changing deadlines and priorities
  • Ability to work within an office environment, have regular interaction via telephone, teleconference, IM and email with KIND’s team and have in-person meetings with clients

 

Application instructions

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