Career Resource Guide
Immigration and Refugee Law
**This guide provides examples of opportunities for law students pursuing a career in the areas of immigration and refugee law. Please contact the CSO with any additional resources to supplement this compilation.
Professional Associations, Membership Coalitions & Networking Opportunities
· American Bar Association, Section of International Law – List of internship opportunities
· Philadelphia Bar Association – There are several pro bono opportunities in the areas of immigration and refugee policy, including the Take Action Philly (TAP) initiative.
· Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition – PICC is a “diverse coalition of over 50 member organizations across the state. PICC leads and supports campaigns to advance immigrant rights at the local, state, and federal levels; builds immigrant electoral power through voter registration and education; and supports grassroots community-led organizations …”
o http://paimmigrant.org/members/ (see list of member organizations and state-wide volunteer opportunities)
· New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice – NJAIJ is a “statewide membership-based coalition that creates and achieves policies in New Jersey that welcome and support immigrants to become rooted economically, politically and socially within the state.”
· Pennsylvania Bar Association, Immigration Law Committee
· New York City Bar Association, Immigration and Nationality Law Committee
Legal Internships, Job Opportunities, and Fellowships
· Government Honors and Internship Handbook (Arizona Handbooks, LLC) – This handbook contains information about all federal government honors programs, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Honors Program.
· **Judicial Clerkships with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), U.S. Department of Justice -- nationwide immigration courts, including Philadelphia Immigration Court; opportunities for volunteer judicial internships and paid summer and post-graduate clerkships through DOJ Honors Program.
o See Document Library in Symplicity – “Specialty Court Clerkships with the Executive Office for Immigration Review.”
· Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL), U.S. Department of Justice – opportunities for summer internships and post-graduate honors program
· Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
o https://www.ice.gov/ (law students have interned at the ICE Field Office in Philadelphia, Office of Chief Counsel)
· United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security
o https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/careers/special-hiring-programs (see USAJOBS.gov)
Public Interest Organizations
· American Civil Liberties Union – “The ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project is dedicated to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of immigrants and to combating public and private discrimination against them. Using targeted impact litigation, advocacy, and public outreach, the ACLU protects the rights and liberties of immigrants.”
(ACLU internship opportunities at EJW Career Fair and other job fairs)
o https://www.aclupa.org/ (ACLU of Pennsylvania)
· HIAS Pennsylvania -- HIAS is a “non-profit organization that provides legal services to low-income and at-risk immigrants and refugees.”
· Nationalities Service Center – “NSC provides comprehensive services to immigrants and refugees, including legal protections, community integration, access to health and wellness services, and opportunities to achieve English language proficiency.”
· Friends of Farmworkers – “Friends of Farmworkers supports low-wage workers as they pursue economic and social justice … through the provision of Legal Services, Education, and Advocacy.”
o https://www.friendsfw.org/ (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices)
· Esperanza Immigration Legal Services – EILS “was formed in 2009 with the mission to provide direct legal services, advocacy, and community education for undeserved immigrants and their families so they have the opportunity to contribute to and participate in American society.”
· Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center – PIRC “works to provide access to justice for vulnerable immigrants in detention and in the community through legal services, education and advocacy.” (Office located in York, PA).
· Lutheran Children and Family Services, Refugee Resettlement Clinic (internships can be obtained through Bridging the Gaps Program advertised on Symplicity each year)
· Irish Immigration Center of Philadelphia – This organization serves the Irish immigrant community in the Delaware Valley (including legal services).
Organizations Located Outside of Pennsylvania
· National Immigration Law Center – NILC is “one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants.” Internships are available in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, California.
· Urban Justice Center – The UJC provides legal assistance to individuals and organizations in the areas of workers’ rights, affordable housing, consumer justice, and other areas. The organization runs a number of projects, including Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project, Community Development Project, Domestic Violence Project, Mental Health Project, and International Refugee Assistance Project, among others. The office is located in New York, NY.
o https://www.urbanjustice.org/job-list (list of legal internships and attorney positions)
· Tahirih Justice Center – “Tahirih Justice Center stands alone as the only national, multi-city organization providing a broad range of direct legal services, policy advocacy, and training and education to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence.” Offices are located in Washington, DC, Baltimore, San Francisco and Houston.
· Immigration Equality – This organization is “leading the effort to end discrimination in U.S. immigration law, to reduce its negative impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-positive people, and to obtain asylum for those persecuted in their home countries based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or HIV-status.” Based in New York City.
· United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
o http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/us-internships.html (legal internships available)
· Immigrant Justice Corps – IJC “is the country’s first fellowship program dedicated to meeting the need for high-quality legal assistance for immigrants seeking citizenship and fighting deportation. Each year IJC awards Justice Fellowships to 25 recent law graduates and law clerks from around the country – individuals with tremendous talent, promise, and a demonstrated commitment to providing legal services for low income people and for immigrants.”
· National Immigration Law Center – “As a national legal advocacy organization working for social justice, NILC’s mission is to promote and advance the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families.” NILC is based in Los Angeles, CA and has offices in Washington, DC and Berkeley, CA.
· New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) -- NYIFUP, which receives funding from the New York City Council, “provides detained indigent immigrants facing deportation at New York’s Varick Street Immigration Court with free, high-quality legal representation.”
· PSJD List of Postgraduate Fellowships – See the PSJD guide for additional fellowship opportunities (search key word “immigration”).
Additional Resources (job banks, career guides, and databases of law firms)
· PSJD Career Guide and Job Bank – PSJD’s Immigration and Refugee Law Career Guide provides a brief overview of immigration and refugee law opportunities, including practical information regarding the types of employers and practice settings in which students can pursue a career in this field.
· National Immigration Legal Services Directory:
o https://www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory/search?state=NJ (search for New Jersey organizations)
· Note: Many defender offices, legal aid organizations, and community legal services throughout the country have sections devoted to protecting immigrants and refugees (e.g., The Bronx Defenders and The Legal Aid Society of NY).
· Private immigration practice:
o www.martindale.com (database of firms/attorneys – search by practice area and geographical region)
o Employer Directory on Symplicity
· Idealist – Job board for internship opportunities and jobs with non-profit organizations
· Immigrant Legal Resource Center – A national non-profit with a mission to “work with and educate immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people.”
· International Justice Resource Center – This organization offers resources and training on asylum and the rights of refugees.
· GoinGlobal (Drexel University Subscription – access through Drexel One) – A database of international job listings and country-specific career guides:
· International Development Job Databases:
o www.DevNetJOBS.org (international development, UN, non-profit jobs)
o www.devex.com (media platform and job board for global development community)
· Columbia Law School Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (immigration organizations in NY)