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Summer Legal Intern

Department: Legal Programs
Location: Houston, TX

About KIND

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every childís rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has accepted the referrals of over 20,000 children who require high quality representation in their immigration proceedings by welcoming 41,000 attendees at trainings for attorneys, other legal staff, and community partners as well as cultivating partnerships with over 600 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.

To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.

KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.

Position Description:

KINDís Houston office seeks a Legal intern for the Summer semester of 2021 to assist in providing pro bono legal representation to unaccompanied children in immigration court proceedings. KINDís Houston office is located in downtown Houston. This position will be entirely remote. The internship unpaid, however, we are happy to assist with credit, work-study, or securing funding from external sources. Additionally, a laptop will be provided for this position.

Essential Functions:

  • Supporting the representation of unaccompanied children: prepare merits filings, including asylum and special immigrant juvenile status petitions and state court filings, for unaccompanied children (direct representation) under the supervision of KIND attorneys; prepare for hearings and interviews.
  • Legal Screening: Assist with the initial screening of unaccompanied minor children, conduct communication with child clients, adult sponsors, and other agencies, including making psycho-social and other referrals as needed.
  • Legal Research: Research current trends in immigration law and family law, country conditions, and other federal laws to assist in case preparation.
  • Case Management: Update case summaries, track important court dates and deadlines, process referrals and communicate with clients.
  • Community Outreach: Assist with community outreach initiatives such as Know Your Rights presentations and resource fairs.
  • Programmatic Support: Complete special projects for KIND attorneys and staff, as needed.
  • Meetings: Attend weekly virtual staff meetings, legal trainings, and presentations, if available.
  • Translation and Interpretation: If fluent in Spanish, assist with phone calls to clients, interpreting for client meetings, and translating documents.
Qualifications and Requirements:
 
  • Enrolled in accredited Juris Doctor or LLM program.
  • Exceptional academic credentials, strong writing skills and attention to detail.
  • Experience in immigration and family law strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with children and survivors of trauma and torture preferred.
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred.
  • Passionate about issues affecting unaccompanied immigrant children.
  • Ability to commit to five (5) days per week for twelve (12) weeks of full-time interning preferred; minimum commitment of ten (10) weeks required.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

  • Ability to work within an office environment and have regular interaction via telephone, videoconference, IM, and email with KIND's team.
 
Application Instructions:

Please be advised that a resume, cover letter, writing sample and three references must be included in your application in order to be considered for this role. Applications that do not contain the required documents will not be considered. 

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled, and applicants selected for interviews will be duly notified. 

KIND has an organization wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

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