Legal Assistant

San Antonio, Texas, United States Full-time

Legal Assistant

RAICES seeks to hire a full time bilingual legal assistant to join the Family Detention Program legal team in providing services at the detention center. This position is based in San Antonio, Texas. RAICES’ Family Detention Program coordinates the Karnes Pro Bono Project which provides these services to individuals detained at the Karnes County Residential Center. The Karnes detention center historically detained migrant families who were primarily asylum-seekers, but currently detains single adult women apprehended at the border and within the interior of the United States. The program’s mission is to empower and defend migrant families and to advocate for the abolition of immigrant detention through education, legal representation, and advocacy. The Family Detention Program team envisions a compassionate and cooperative community that advocates for and alongside migrants to protect human dignity and promote human rights.

RAICES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost immigration legal services and education to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas.  We actively advocate for these individuals and do whatever it takes to assist the immigrant community.

Founded in 1986, RAICES has grown to be the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. With offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world. As an organization that combines expertise developed from the daily practice of immigration law with a deep commitment to advocacy, RAICES is unique among immigration organizations. Our advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families we serve every day as our attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status.

Responsibilities: 

  • Providing pro se assistance to and supporting legal representation for asylum-seeking individuals and/or families detained at the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas;
  • Regular travel to the detention center;
  • Conducting thorough intakes, drafting declarations, and providing know your rights information to detained clients;
  • Screening clients for persecution, trafficking, and torture utilizing trauma-informed approaches to provide services and support to clients;
  • Managing the day-to-day work at the detention center, including ensuring clients are seen quickly, accurate data collection, maintaining supplies, and providing direction to volunteers;
  • Assisting with advocacy efforts to end family detention;
  • Assuming administrative responsibilities including timekeeping, case management, training new colleagues, and other tasks as needed for program compliance; and
  • Providing support at the RAICES office when not at the detention center.

Qualifications:

  • Four year degree or relevant experience;
  • Fluency in English and Spanish (written and verbal);
  • Demonstrated experience working with immigrant, low-income and/or vulnerable populations;
  • Must be able to handle multiple projects, work independently with minimal supervision and adapt quickly to a changing work environment;
  • Must be a team player who prioritizes collective success and works in solidarity with colleagues and clients;
  • Must demonstrate good judgment, be a critical, proactive thinker and be able to effectively communicate with clients, colleagues, and government employees;
  • Excellent organizational skills and proficiency in the use of technology; 
  • Experience working with children is a plus; 
  • Must be able to work an irregular schedule which includes longer than normal work hours on days spent at the detention facility which are offset with shorter hours on days spent in the office;
  • Must have reliable transportation and be able to travel frequently to the detention facility; and
  • Must be aligned with the mission and vision of RAICES.

Application Process

Please provide a resume and a thoughtful cover letter that specifies why you want to work for RAICES and how your experience fulfills each of the qualifications.  Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.