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Paralegal, Special Programs-Mexico

Department: Legal Programs
Location: El Paso, 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 provided nearly 18,000 children with high quality representation in their immigration proceedings by training more than 41,000 attorneys and legal staff and cultivating partnerships with over 600 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.

Complementing the legal services provided to unaccompanied minors, KINDís social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children Ė who have often endured trauma Ė receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.

To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen the regional 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 envisions a world in which childrenís rights and well-being are protected as they migrate alone in search of safety. In advancing this vision, KIND launched a transnational program in 2020 to promote the rights and protection of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents from or migrating through Mexico and at the U.S.-Mexico border in collaboration with civil society and government.

Position Summary:

KINDís Legal Programs Team seeks a Paralegal to support a small team of attorneys working on an innovative project with UNHCR to prevent and mitigate family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border. Based in El Paso with periodic travel to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and possibly other points along the border, this position will be housed in KINDís Legal Strategy and Special Programs (SSP) team with cross-component collaboration within the KIND Mexico program, and will report to a Supervising Attorney.

The Paralegal will work closely with Staff Attorneys and a Supervising Attorney, Social Services Coordinators, and government and NGO contacts to identify children and families in need of KINDís services and conduct screenings and intakes and know-your-rights orientations. S/he will play a key role in carrying out the case support, client communication, and data management operations of the project and support attorneys in casework, research, and in coordinating meetings and trainings.

Essential Functions:

  • Provides legal, administrative, operations, and program support to the Staff Attorneys and Supervising Attorney for the UNHCR project sub-team of KIND Mexicoís legal programs team.
  • Helps build relationships with civil society partners and government contacts, in order to identify and access children and families in need of KINDís services in shelters in Northern Mexico.
  • Helps conduct know-your-rights presentations to children and families in shelters, as needed.
  • Helps create child-friendly guidance documents and presentations to inform children and families of their rights.
  • Communicates with children and families referred for KINDís services.
  • Conducts intake meetings with children and families identified in need of services.
  • Helps prepare and orient children and families for interviews with government officials.
  • Maintains streamlined systems and processes for tracking and managing data related to case referrals, in collaboration with the team and colleagues at UNHCR or other agencies.
  • Helps prepare documents, forms, and case files for children and families assisted through the program.
  • Assists attorneys with case preparation, including drafting declarations or country conditions research.
  • As needed, coordinates logistics for and orients groups of KINDís legal services staff and pro bono volunteers deployed on a temporary basis to Mexico to assist in carrying out the functions of the project.
  • Ensures timely and efficient referrals to other legal service providers or KIND field offices and transmits relevant case files and documents.
  • Uses KINDís case management database to create, run and modify metrics reports and case audits to support the team and report back to UNHCR and/or other internal or external stakeholders or funders.
  • Assists with editing and/or translating Spanish language documents.
  • Collaborates with the Social Services team and other social services networks to support children in need of non-legal services.
  • In collaboration with the Supervising Attorney, oversees the disbursement and tracking of client emergency assistance funds, and ensures accurate reporting back to partners.
  • Assists the team with tracking and coding expenses, budget tracking, and other administrative duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • High School Diploma
  • Advanced Spanish and English fluency (written and oral) required.
  • At least one (1) year of experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, or experience working with migrant populations, survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, and preferably, prior experience working with attorneys, law firms, or other legal service providers.
  • Demonstrated record of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills; professional experience in Latin America preferred.
  • Experience or familiarity with immigration and/or family law and immigration authorities preferred.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Microsoft Excel (reporting features a plus), Outlook, Skype/Teams and Word.
  • Experience and facility with numbers, data management and databases.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail; excellent written and oral communication skills, and experience with facilitating and conducting presentations.
  • Ability to handle discreet, sensitive, and confidential information appropriately and exercise judgment in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work within an office environment, have regular interaction via telephone, video, and email with KINDís national team and have regular interaction with partners and stakeholders on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Work may regularly need to be performed at locations other than the KIND office, such as at migrant shelters or other sites. Additional travel may also be required for conferences, retreats, or other professional development opportunities within the U.S. or Mexico.

KIND requires all staff be COVID vaccinated with the exception of those who have medical or religious beliefs exemptions.

Salary Range:  $41,616 to $52,020 dependent on experience.

Application Instructions:

Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role.

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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