Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

SUMMARY: 

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) seeks law student applications for full-time summer internship positions in its Granger, Seattle, Tacoma, and Wenatchee offices. Interns will be asked to commit to 35-40 hours per week for a period of 10-12 weeks. Applicants with additional language skills are strongly preferred. Internships may be hybrid, in-person, or remote, subject to office COVID policy and capacity. Select positions in NWIRP's Eastern Washington offices are funded; all other positions are unpaid, but NWIRP will work with applicants to secure outside funding or academic credit when possible. Interns will have direct exposure to a fast-paced work environment centered on immigration law and advocacy. 

Full consideration will be given to applications received by December 5, 2022All applications must be received by February 13, 2023. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until positions are filled, so early submission is recommended. 

See specific internship info and funding availability below for each office.

RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Under attorney supervision, interns will assist with case matters before U.S. immigration agencies, including the Immigration Court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Department of State consulates and embassies. Specific duties and responsibilities vary depending on office and unit placement. Generally, intern responsibilities may include the following:

  • Identifying legal issues and potential forms of immigration reliefs; 
  • Drafting legal briefs and memos in support of applications for relief; 
  • Preparing applications, motions, and other filings with the immigration court and agencies;
  • Drafting client declarations and gathering evidence in support of applications; 
  • Conducting legal, policy, and country condition research; 
  • Appearing in immigration court hearings or USCIS interviews*; 
  • Conducting legal intakes; 
  • Participating in workshops and other community education and outreach events*; and
  • Performing various administrative tasks as needed.

* Dependent on coronavirus-related restrictions

Professional requirements:
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights and willingness to support NWIRP’s mission, vision, and values
  • Minimum commitment of 35 hours a week for 10-12 weeks 
  • Availability to fulfill internship hours within NWIRP’s business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00A – 5:00P Pacific)
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and ability to present information clearly and concisely
  • Commitment to working in a diverse work environment 
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines 
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently as well as collaboratively
  • Proficiency in use of web-based software, Microsoft Office applications, including Word and Excel, and web peer-to-peer communication platforms; Familiar with G-suite tools like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Gmail; 
  • Fluency in English and one other language (especially Spanish, but any additional languages) preferred.

Physical demands: While performing the duties of this job, the intern is regularly required to be stationary as well as move throughout the office or external offices; communicate over phone; and operate keyboards, computer, phone, and other peripherals. Internship may be hybrid or remote, so interns should have the ability to complete tasks off-site if necessary. 

Emotional demands: While performing the duties of this job, the intern is regularly required to discuss topics including, but not limited to, discrimination, domestic abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, and violence.

TO APPLY: 

The internship is open to first-, second-, third-year law students and LLMs. Spanish proficiency may be required for certain positions (see specific office descriptions), but applicants with any secondary language skills are strongly preferred. 

Please apply online and submit a cover letter, resume, and list of references (2-3). Please address in the cover letter your interest in NWIRP and the immigrant rights movement and how your lived or work/volunteer experience would make you a good fit for this role. A writing sample may be requested if selected for an interview. 

Full consideration will be given to applications received by December 5, 2022. All applications must be received by February 13, 2023. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until positions are filled, so early submission is recommended. 

CONTACT: internship@nwirp.org (Please do not submit application materials to this email.)

ABOUT NORTHWEST IMMIGRANT RIGHTS PROJECT 

Founded in 1984, NWIRP is a nationally-recognized legal services organization on the front lines of defending and advancing the rights of immigrants. Each year, NWIRP provides direct legal representation and assistance in immigration matters to thousands of people with low incomes who come from over 160 countries and speak over 60 different languages. NWIRP challenges unjust policies through high-impact lawsuits and advocates for laws and policies that respect the rights of immigrants. NWIRP is also a trusted provider of immigration-related community education for immigrant communities and social service providers. NWIRP has a staff of over 120 and an annual budget of over $14 million. NWIRP serves the community through four offices in Washington State (Granger, Seattle, Tacoma, and Wenatchee), but the impact of our work is felt nationwide.

WIRP’s Granger and Wenatchee offices provide humanitarian-based immigration legal services to immigrant communities in North Central and Eastern Washington. At NWIRP’s Granger and Wenatchee offices, law students will gain exposure to a variety of immigration law areas in both affirmative and defensive postures, and have the opportunity to improve their client interviewing and advocacy skills, as well as legal research and writing skills. 

 

GRANGER & WENATCHEE OFFICES:

The Granger and Wenatchee offices work closely with farmworkers and their families in rural communities in Eastern Washington, and this position aims to support this rural community population. 

Our work focuses on: 

Asylum: Helps people who face persecution in their home countries in applying for asylum, and assists asylees and refugees in applying for permanent resident status and petitioning for their families. 

Children & Youth Advocacy: Helps children and youth seek Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification, asylum, and DACA. 

Family Services: Promotes family unity and stability by assisting with family visa applications and waivers.

Naturalization: Assists immigrants and refugees, particularly elderly and/or people with disabilities, obtain citizenship, including seeking disability waivers from the required English and civics tests, and analyzing complex criminal and immigration history. 

Removal Defense: Represents individuals, who are either detained or non-detained, facing removal proceedings in immigration court and other agencies. 

VAWA: Assists immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and other crimes in obtaining U-, T- visas, and other immigration benefits derived from the Violence Against Women Act. 

Applicants for the Granger and Wenatchee offices must be fluent in Spanish. 

Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Project Funding 

Laurel Rubin interns in NWIRP’s Granger and Wenatchee offices (1-2 per office) will receive a stipend of approximately $6,300 (pending confirmation) for the duration of their 10-week service, disbursed on a monthly basis, funded by the Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Project. Established in memory of Laurel Rubin, a devoted farm worker advocate and attorney, the Project funds internship opportunities with Washington State organizations that provide civil legal aid to farm workers. 

 

SEATTLE OFFICE 

NWIRP’s Seattle office serves immigrant communities in Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties. Interns would manage a caseload, work directly with clients, and assist with case preparation, including preparing legal briefs and evidence in support of claims. Interns may also have the opportunity to provide pro se assistance and appear in court. 

Multiple positions are available in the following units in the Seattle office: 

Asylum Unit: Helps people who face persecution in their home countries in applying for asylum, and assists asylees and refugees in applying for permanent resident status and petitioning for their families. The Asylum Unit provides pro se assistance, direct representation, and pro bono referral for individuals before USCIS/ Asylum Office and in immigration court (removal) proceedings. The Asylum Unit also represents asylum-seekers eligible for multiple forms of relief, such as family-based, U-, and T- visas. 

Children & Youth Advocacy Program (CYAP) Unit: Serves immigrant children and youth to regularize their immigration status. A large percentage of CYAP’s clients are unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico who are in removal proceedings. CYAP advocates maintain diverse caseloads, representing children and youth in their removal defense in immigration court and in applications for various forms of immigration relief, including Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification, asylum, U-visas, T-visas, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and adjustment of status. CYAP advocates also handle Washington state court proceedings related to a child’s eligibility for SIJ classification. 

Family Services Unit (FSU): Promotes family unity and stability by assisting with family visa applications and waivers. FSU focuses on the following types of cases: family-based visa petitions, adjustment of status, consular processing, waivers of grounds of inadmissibility, permission to reapply for admission, removal of conditions on residence, and general removal defense. 

Impact Litigation Unit: Works for systemic change through lawsuits in federal court. The Litigation Unit maintains a diverse federal court caseload consisting of damages actions against state and federal officials, petitions for reviews, habeas corpus cases, and class actions, as well as some direct representation. 

Naturalization Unit: Assists immigrants and refugees, particularly elderly and/or people with disabilities, as well as those with criminal convictions, obtain citizenship, including seeking disability waivers from the required English and civics tests. 

Removal Defense Unit (RDU): Represents individuals in removal proceedings in Seattle court and defends those at risk of deportation. RDU maintains a diverse caseload and assists individuals in applying for various forms of relief, including asylum, cancellation of removal, waivers, and post-conviction relief. Our work also commonly involves issues at the intersection of criminal and immigration law. 

VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) Unit: Provides legal services to immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and other crimes. The VAWA Unit assists survivors in applying for immigration benefits including but not limited to U nonimmigrant visas, T nonimmigrant visas, VAWA Self Petitions, and I-751 waivers based on domestic violence. 

Both Spanish and non-Spanish speaking position(s) are available. Applicants proficient in secondary languages are strongly preferred. 

Internship positions in the Seattle office are unpaid, but NWIRP will work with applicants to secure outside funding or academic credit when possible.

 

TACOMA OFFICE 

NWIRP’s Tacoma office serves up to 1,575 immigrants detained at the Northwest ICE Processing Center (NWIPC), 85% of whom are unrepresented. The Tacoma office also provides legal services to immigrants residing in the Tacoma and South Sound area as they navigate the immigration process. 

Multiple positions are available in the following units in the Tacoma office: 

Tacoma & South Unit (TSU) – TSU provides direct representation, pro se assistance, outreach, and education to non-detained individuals throughout Tacoma, South Sound, Olympic Peninsula, and southwestern Washington. TSU attorneys and legal advocates represent children before Washington State courts and USCIS in applications for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification and asylum. They also represent children and adults in diverse applications before the Seattle Immigration Court, including asylum, and before USCIS, including relief for survivors of violent crimes and human trafficking. 

Detained Immigrant Advocates (DIA) Unit – DIA provides direct representation to detained immigrants in removal proceedings before the Tacoma Immigration Court in bond and merits proceedings. DIA attorneys and legal representatives represent clients in a variety of reliefs before the Tacoma Immigration Court, including applications for asylum and other fear-based relief, cancellation of removal, waivers, and adjustment of status, and before USCIS, including applications for survivors of violent crimes and human trafficking. 

Both Spanish and non-Spanish speaking position(s) are available. Applicants proficient in secondary languages are strongly preferred. 

Internship positions in the Tacoma office are unpaid, but NWIRP will work with applicants to secure outside funding or academic credit when possible.