Legal Program Director

from International Rescue Committee
Closing date: 30 Nov 2019

Under a 4-year grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), IRC in Denver’s new Survivors of Torture (SOT) Program will holistically support survivors and their families in fully rehabilitating from the effects of torture. Case management, psychosocial support, and legal services will be offered in-house; medical and mental health services will be offered through supported referrals to community partners. The SOT Program will cultivate and train a network of pro bono and “low bono” legal, medical, and mental health providers that are equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively address the specific needs of the torture survivor population. The Legal Program Director will coordinate provision of pro bono legal representation, focusing on indigent, non-detained survivors of torture seeking asylum or other forms of humanitarian relief.In addition, the Legal Program Director will oversee Denver’s Immigration Services Program, which will provide low-cost immigration legal services to refugees, immigrants and other community members petitioning before US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) through a DOJ accredited representative.

The Legal Program Director will bring not only technical expertise and a passion for this area of work, but also the creativity and flexibility needed to lead the process of designing, implementing and managing the two programs. The position will work in close collaboration with the Immigration Technical Unit at IRC’s headquarters and with a range of community partners. Drawing on promising practices in the field, the Legal Program Director will facilitate access to legal services by recruiting, training, coordinating and mentoring a network of pro bono attorneys, law school clinics, and other entities, and through direct services as needed.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the items listed below.

SOT Legal Services Program

Intake, Case Selection, and Service Coordination

  • Conduct intakes with SOT clients to determine eligibility for the program’s immigration legal services.
  • Gather case information to develop case descriptions and facilitate matching with a pro bono provider.
  • Coordinate within IRC’s multidisciplinary SOT team, including the SOT Clinical Coordinator, SOT Clinical Case Manager and Wellbeing Promoter to identify need for legal services and ensure client access to such services.
  • Maintain open communication with the SOT team to facilitate referrals to services offered in-house and through partnerships with external providers. Serve as a strong advocate for survivors and exercise due diligence in serving them.

Pro Bono Recruitment and Training

  • Work with area law firms, private practices, AILA Colorado, the University of Colorado Law School, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and others to cultivate a strong network of pro bono providers.
  • In coordination with IRC’s Immigration Technical Unit, develop a comprehensive program of initial and ongoing training, technical assistance, and mentoring for SOT program pro bono attorneys, interns, and fellows, including guidance on providing trauma-informed services.

Pro Bono Mentoring

  • Provide technical assistance and legal and procedural support for pro bono attorneys and law clinics, including guidance to build asylum law knowledge, strategic consultation on individual cases, legal submission and application evidence packet review, and quality control to verify that services meet the program’s quality standards and provide effective asylum representation.
  • On an as-needed basis, offer remote technical consultation to legal providers assisting survivors of torture outside of the Denver Metro Area.

Community Partnerships

  • Create and maintain a viable outreach strategy to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with local immigration attorneys and nonprofit legal providers.
  • Collaborate with other providers to disseminate information about services available to survivors of torture in need of legal representation, and to build community awareness of such services.
  • Create partnerships with outside agencies and universities to provide supportive services for immigration petitions, such as drafting country condition reports or providing forensic exams.

SOT Legal Services Program Management

  • Coordinate, oversee and document all legal services provided by IRC pro bono attorneys and through other legal services partnerships, such as law school clinics.
  • Ensure program data is collected consistently, managed appropriately and reported timely, using IRC’s Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) database and other relevant systems.
  • In collaboration with IRC’s Immigration Technical Unit, establish, maintain and periodically refresh legal services program policies and procedures.
  • Supervise Paralegal, interns, and volunteers supporting SOT program work.

Immigration Legal Services Program

  • Provide daily supervision of DOJ-accredited staff, Paralegal, volunteers, and interns working on general immigration legal services.
  • Supervise all legal, administrative, and programmatic activities of the Immigration Services Program.
  • Serve as the point person for all legal review of immigration cases; provide technical assistance to the DOJ accredited representative.
  • Design and implement Immigration Services Program strategic plan, business plan, trainings and workshops, advocacy and outreach strategies, and other support activities.
  • Ensuring timely and accurate compliance to all reporting requirements.
  • Work closely with the national Immigration Technical Unit team and other field offices as part of the IRC immigration network.


  • Law degree (JD or LLM) from an ABA-accredited U.S. institution and admission to any state bar.
  • At least 5 years of experience with immigration law required and at least 7 years of relevant work experience. A minimum of 3 years’ experience directly representing asylum applicants, preferably survivors of torture, before USCIS Asylum Offices, EOIR Courts, BIA/OLAP, or other federal courts required.
  • Experience supervising other attorneys, legal support staff, volunteers and interns; and working with volunteers and pro bono lawyers.
  • Experience with refugee-related immigration petitions, specifically family reunification, adjustment of status, and naturalization.
  • Experience organizing and facilitating immigration workshops and immigration information sessions.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills; written and verbal English fluency.
  • Bilingual in one or more languages of the survivor population preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, solve problems, and exercise sound judgement.
  • Evidence of capacity to be a strong team member in a highly collaborative social service environment.
  • Deep commitment to working with survivors of torture and ridding the world of torture.
  • Trauma-informed and sensitive listening and communication skills.
  • Personal integrity in handling ethically complex and confidential situations.
  • Strong computer literacy, research and analysis skills.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle, active insurance policy, and ability to travel frequently in and around the service area to engage with clients and community partners.