Staff Attorney – Economic Justice Program
New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC) is seeking a Staff Attorney for our Economic Justice program. For a candidate with more experience than indicated below, NMILC is willing to modify the position to a Senior Attorney or Supervising Attorney position. Please let us know in your cover letter if you’d like to be considered for a Senior or Supervising Attorney position.
NMILC is a social justice organization whose mission is to advance equity and justice by empowering low-income immigrant communities through collaborative legal services, advocacy, and education. Each year we provide direct legal representation and assistance in immigration matters to thousands of immigrants and advocate for laws and policies that respect the rights of immigrants. NMILC’s model focuses on establishing relationships with local, state and national organizations and governmental institutions to expand access to legal services for historically marginalized immigrant communities.
This position has both direct legal service and legal advocacy and policy components. The Economic Justice Attorney will be responsible for economic-related legal advocacy and direct representation for immigrants, with a focus on victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, those impacted by COVID-19, and residents in rural areas. In addition, the Staff Attorney will be responsible for partnering with community-based organizations to ensure implementation of Senate Bill 137, which removed statutory barriers based on immigration and citizenship status for those seeking to obtain professional and occupational licenses, and continued advocacy to address any shortcomings of SB 137. Frequent communication with the NMILC legal team, community partners, government agency officials and immigrant and victim service organizations is required in order to ensure clients receive holistic legal services and to ensure effective sector-wide implementation of SB 137.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Use trauma-informed approach to provide direct legal services to immigrant victims of crimes to address economic justice and advocacy issues that arise from the victimization;
- Represent immigrant victims of crime in economic justice matters related to the victimization, such as wage and hour claims, EEOC claims, consumer protection, tax matters, and public benefits;
- Represent immigrant business owners and entrepreneurs in business association, licensing, and other related matters to assist them in starting or sustaining their businesses;
- Assist members of the immigrant community with referrals and/or representation in economic justice matters arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues, such as accessing stimulus payments, applying for unemployment benefits, and fighting wrongful evictions;
- Conduct on average 5 consultations a month, maintain a case load of 5-10 active cases, and manage a pending case load of 20-30 client files;
- Consultation expectations include: timely completion of intake; adherence to intake protocols in Legal Server, our case management system; record detailed intake notes in Legal Server; promptly follow up on any research or follow up areas and communicate with potential client on status of intake.
- Direct representation expectations include: Complete case work, filings, and legal research in a timely manner; effectively track open/working cases and pending case related to-dos; maintain accurate case notes and activity logs in LegalServer; return client calls promptly.
- Pending case expectations include: Maintain complete and accurate client records in physical files and Legal Server, such as logging all new activities, receipt of documents, filing and correspondence in each case file, and maintaining detailed and up-to-date database notes. Maintain contact with clients, log updated contact information, and promptly return calls.
- Provide telephonic screenings during weekly phone hours, on rotation with other NMILC legal representatives;
- Complete bi-annual case audit for presentation to and review by Legal Supervisor
- Maintain and further develop collaborative relationships with organizations, including victim service organizations that provide services to victims of economic justice in rural areas and provide quarterly trainings to their staff; Color Theory collaborative partners that provide support to businesses and entrepreneurs; and the Mexican Consulate to provide outreach to impacted community members.
- Support SB 137 implementation and on-going advocacy by training community partner staff on SB 137; provide legal advocacy to individuals who are wrongly denied licensure according to SB 137; advocate with New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD), Boards/commissions' Chairs and Attorney General under RLD, and other boards/commission outside of RLD to adequately implement SB 137 through change in existing policies and applications; work with partner organizations to conduct legal analysis to inform advocacy efforts, spearheaded by NMDT, to eliminate loopholes that exist in the current SB 137;
- Support collaborative partners in advocating for legislation that will remove statutory barriers to occupational and professional licensing as well as engage in advocacy efforts to determine how to remove immigration and citizenship barriers to commercial licenses;
- Follow case management documentations protocols in compliance with best practices/legal ethical standards and ensure programmatic compliance with grant requirements, allocations, and reporting;
- Maintain accurate time and attendance reports and submit reports on timely basis and with accuracy.
- Law degree and admission to the bar of any state in the U.S., preferably New Mexico.
- Experience appearing before New Mexico civil courts and/or practicing in relevant areas of law, including unpaid wage claims, business association, federal and state tax, public benefits, employment discrimination, and evictions are a plus.
- Demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights and willingness to support NMILC’s mission, vision and values, which can be found at www.nmilc.org/our-mission;
- Prior experience with economic justice advocacy preferred;
- Prior experience managing high volume case load preferred;
- Bilingual in Spanish and English;
- Excellent written, analytical, oral, organizational, and time management skills;
- A demonstrated commitment to public interest work, immigrant rights, social justice issues, and working with survivors of crimes;
- The ability to provide trauma-informed and culturally competent legal assistance to crime survivors;
- Strong legal research, analysis, and writing skills;
- Team player; the ability to work collaboratively with different program staff and partner organizations to further develop community relationships and facilitate holistic and wraparound services.
NMILC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome people from a diverse set of experiences. NMILC is a progressive organization and applicants are expected to collaborate in an inclusive and diverse environment. We are a group of highly dedicated and motivated individuals seeking transformative change for our state and welcome anyone who is interested in being part of our team.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, NMILC’s staff is largely working remotely. This position is usually based out of our Albuquerque office. If the successful candidate is hired while NMILC’s staff is still remote, we will work with that candidate to ensure that they have the tools, equipment, and digital onboarding to be successfully integrated into our remote work environment. After the Pandemic, the attorney will be expected to travel frequently to rural partner organizations
Salary and Benefits
Competitive non-profit salary. Excellent benefits provided, including full health insurance coverage, dental and vision, and generous paid holidays, vacation and sick leave.
Please submit your: a) resume; and b) cover letter describing how your lived or work experience would make you a good fit for this role to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.