SCOPE OF WORK: The Director, US Legal Services provides strategic direction and oversight to a dynamic and growing network of immigration legal services programs situated within a global humanitarian agency. The US Legal Services team is part of the Asylum and Immigration Legal Services (AILS) Unit, which sits within RAI’s Program Quality & Innovation (PQI) department. The AILS Unit supports a wide range of legal services to migrants and asylum seekers in the US and Europe and develops policy positions that aim to safeguard migrants’ ability to access the asylum system in safety and dignity. The Director, US Legal Services oversees immigration legal services across a network of 24 RAI US offices on a wide scope of legal services programs, including a range of affirmative applications and petitions before US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), overseas consular processing, affirmative and defensive asylum, removal defense, and legal services for unaccompanied children. The Director will embody respect, collaboration, diversity, inclusiveness, anti-racism, and equity, both internally and externally. The position supervises Deputy Director and Technical Advisor positions.
Strategy, Policy and Organizational Leadership
· Develop and communicate a vision and strategy on legal services for RAI US
· Establish, implement, and monitor policies and protocols that ensure the competent and ethical provision of legal services
· Report regularly to RAI senior management and organizational leadership on strategic, operational, programmatic, policy, and statistical issues on immigration legal services
Program Management and Operations
· Provide leadership and oversight to a team of legal experts providing guidance, oversight, training, and technical assistance to legal services programs across RAI US offices ensuring high quality legal and program management support, centering client needs and legal ethics in problem solving
· Work with HR and local leadership to promote staff retention, professional development and promotion opportunities, smooth transitions, and organizational DEI commitments; support local leadership in the recruitment, development and oversight of immigration legal services staff based in program offices ensuring adherence to the program’s staffing and supervisory policies
· Work with Deputy Directors, Legal Services to provide regular, collaborative support of programs in each of the 3 RAI US regions; split regions so that the Director and Deputy Directors support specific regions on the management and supervision of legal services
· Ensure regular site visits to RAI US program sites to monitor quality of services, provide feedback to staff, and support local strategy on legal services
· Ensure IRC attains and maintains Department of Justice Recognition and Accreditation for all appropriate sites and staff; ensure high-quality mentoring for individuals seeking DOJ accreditation, timely submission of accreditation applications and effective communications with DOJ
· Maintain oversight and input into annual budgets for legal services technical unit; ensuring regular review of budget-to-actuals and appropriate projections
· Provide oversight and administration of budgets as it relates to federal contracts and other HQ-led funding awards
· Provide guidance to program staff on fiscal management and sustainability of legal services programs, including fee-based revenue
Program Quality, Development & Evaluation:
· Lead and coordinate the delivery of effective, evidence-based legal services programming that reflects national and local needs and contexts, including particular needs at the US southern border.
· Set strategy for overall program development and quality assurance
· Facilitate exchange of information, good practices, and lessons learned through effective knowledge management, training, and communities of practice
· In close coordination with program office teams, develop, adapt and implement methods of service delivery to expand access and ensure cost-effectiveness (i.e., incorporating technology to deliver remote services, group processing, etc.)
· In collaboration with AILS Unit colleagues, evaluate the effectiveness of programming; ensure data collection and analysis measures program outputs and outcomes across the RAI US network using an effective case management software and adhering to data protection policies
· Attract funding to develop business for legal services programs in partnership with Development colleagues and cultivate donor and partners relationships to garner program resources
· Oversee the development and review of concept notes and proposals
· Provide technical guidance to launch immigration legal services in new RAI US program sites in collaboration with local and regional leadership
Advocacy, Communications and External Relations
· Represent US legal services programs across the organization, serving as a resource to IRC leadership and staff seeking information about program activities
· Ensure IRC’s proactive representation and engagement on national immigration coalitions and work with Policy & Advocacy team.
· Maintain effective and collaborative relationships with prime contractors on national legal services contracts
· Maintain effective relationships with key government agencies (e.g. in Departments of Homeland Security State, Justice, Health and Human Services)
· Work with and advise IRC Communications team on media strategy to raise visibility on IRC immigration legal services work and related policy positions;
· Develop program and policy content for communications materials and provide technical review to communications related to immigration legal services
Key Working Relationships:
· Position Reports to: Director, Asylum and Immigration Legal Services
· Position directly supervises: Deputy Directors and Technical Advisors.
· Other Internal and/or external contacts: The Director, US Legal Services works and coordinates closely with the RAI Regional and Executive Directors, immigration legal services staff in program offices, the Program Quality and Innovation (PQI) Senior Management Team, Policy & Advocacy, Communications, and Global Partnerships & Philanthropy. Represent IRC on immigration coalitions and working groups and in other relevant fora.
· Juris Doctorate and Bar Admission required, or Department of Justice fully accredited representative with commensurate experience.
· 10 years’ experience in immigration legal services
· Minimum 3 years’ management experience at a program director level, including staff supervision and budget oversight.
· Extensive knowledge of refugee protection and immigration law, including removal defense, asylum, family-based immigration, naturalization, and refugee/asylee adjustment required. Knowledge of overseas refugee processing desirable.
· Prior experience managing federally-funded legal services programs required; experience managing and/or acquiring a diverse portfolio of funding streams highly desirable.
· Strong analytical, training, organizational, oral, and written communication skills.
· Ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and partners in a cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary environment; excellent interpersonal, diplomatic and networking skills, ability to manage a variety of internal and external relationships, to multi-task and prioritize tasks
· Proven leadership and management skills to lead staff and promote productivity, and ability to be flexible and to work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment
· Spanish language skills a plus
· 20-30% travel required.
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 $120 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested matching, 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.
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