ABA ProBAR Attorney Job in Harlingen, TX - Legal Orientation Program

ABA ProBAR Attorney Job in Harlingen, TX - Legal Orientation Program

"ProBAR seeks to hire a Legal Orientation Program (LOP) Attorney to provide group and individual legal rights presentations, coordinate pro bono representation, and engage in limited direct representation on behalf of immigration detainees in South Texas. This position is based in Harlingen, Texas and is available in November 2011.

ProBAR is a nationally recognized immigration pro bono project. Created over twenty years ago, ProBAR is a project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. ProBAR’s mission is to provide high quality legal services to indigent immigrants and asylum seekers held in detention in South Texas. ProBAR has two main programs, the Legal Orientation Program, which provides legal rights presentations and pro bono assistance to adult detainees and the Immigrant Children’s Assistance Project serving detained youth in five separate shelter facilities in the Rio Grande Valley. Immigrants and persons fleeing persecution from all over the world are detained in isolated South Texas pending administrative immigration court hearings or summary deportation. These individuals frequently do not speak English, are unfamiliar with the legal system, and do not know how to sustain their burden of proof for relief from removal. Legal orientation and representation is crucial for these individuals; without it, deportation is a virtual certainty regardless of the merits of their claims.

Job Description:  The LOP attorney will help with conducting live, daily group rights presentations at the Port Isabel Detention Center, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detention center in South Texas. The attorney, together with another attorney and two paralegals, will provide individual orientations to unrepresented detainees after the rights presentations. The attorneys and paralegals will provide regular workshops to unrepresented individuals to teach them how to represent themselves and prepare pro se materials. The LOP attorney will help recruit, train and supervise pro bono lawyers and law students for representation on specific cases. The attorney will be responsible for regular reporting to the LOP funders. The attorney will also provide limited direct representation to detained individuals.

Qualifications:  The LOP attorney should have a fundamental knowledge of immigration law and immigration court procedures; public speaking skills; strong writing skills; ability to work well with others and to work under pressure; flexibility and strong communication skills; client interviewing abilities; and an appreciation of multicultural experiences. The attorney must have been admitted to a bar or have taken a bar examination and be waiting for the results by the start date. Spanish fluency is required; immigration court experience is strongly preferred, as well as experience with asylum, family immigration, and criminal immigration cases."