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Detention Project Paralegal

Req ID: 5265
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:



The detention project paralegal is primarily responsible for the non-LOP portion of the detention project.  Their main responsibilities are incoming detention intake and detention case support.  She is encouraged to seek full accreditation with the Board of Immigration Appeals.


Detention Intake & Case Screening:

  • Conduct detention intake interviews with detained non-citizens and their family members.
  • Present detention intake interviews for legal assessment.
  • In coordination with the assigned attorney, conduct legal and country-conditions research to assess claims and eligibility for immigration relief.
  • Oversee coverage for the detention project’s phone intake hotline.
  • Staff the detention project’s weekly phone intake hotline.
  • Monitor and respond, as needed, to voicemails left on the detention intake line outside of intake hours.
  • Manage and respond to mail and faxes from individuals in ICE custody.
  • Manage and respond to mail from non-citizens in state custody.
  • Respond to referrals from community and legal organizations seeking to refer detained cases to NIJC.
  • Troubleshoot phone contract issues to ensure that any barriers to detainee communication are handled in a timely manner.

Case Support:

  • Prepare case acceptance packets and case closing letters for detention project attorneys.
  • Organize and scan closed detention project case files.
  • Prepare immigration cases for filing for detention project attorneys.
  • Prepare affidavits and indexes; gather supporting documents.
  • Conduct country research and draft country conditions sections of filings.
  • Assist attorneys in preparation of pre-hearing statements.



  • Participate in trainings and review legal materials to remain current on immigration law, policies, and procedures.
  • Participate in overnight Know Your Rights trips to detention facilities as needed, 2-3 times per year.
  • Be a backup for conducting individual orientations at LOP facilities when LOP staff is unavailable or additional support is needed.
  • Train and supervise interns on all administrative procedures and basic case assessment protocol.
  • Any other duties as assigned.

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