Legal Externships

The Immigration Project is looking for bright law students to join our Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington-Normal offices as spring and summer externs. This externship presents an excellent opportunity to learn more about U.S. immigration law while making a difference in the lives of low-income individuals who are in need of legal representation.

About us

The Immigration Project is a nonprofit organization that provides quality immigration legal services in Central and Southern Illinois. We are the only provider in the region operating on a rural service model, and without our programs, many low-income immigrants in down-state Illinois would struggle to obtain access to professional immigration assistance.

Due to the complexity of immigration law, we have found that access to quality legal services is essential to keeping families united, building strong communities, and protecting victims of crime. We believe that immigrants are members of our community, and that helping all members of a community strengthens it as a whole.

Roles

Externs will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities central to the practice of immigration law. These responsibilities may include:

  • Legal issue-spotting
  • Writing legal briefs and memos
  • Statement development, interview preparation, form assistance, and other tasks related to preparing client applications
  • Assisting attorneys with legal clinics and client appointments
  • Miscellaneous administrative tasks essential to the functionality of the office

Qualifications

Externs must be responsible, organized, and adaptable. We are looking for individuals who are comfortable engaging with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds and are sensitive to the issues faced by people from vulnerable and underserved populations. Ideal candidates will have excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as some database experience. We prioritize applicants with proficiency in a second language; Spanish language skills are extremely useful but not required.

In order to best advocate for our clients, externs may be required to travel to other locations in Illinois, and to work during weekends or non-traditional business hours.

Further details

We will be accepting externs both at our Champaign office and at our office in Normal, IL. Please let us know which location you would prefer.

Exact start and end dates are negotiable, but we generally expect spring externships to begin in January and conclude in May. Summer externships generally begin late May or early June and end in August. 

Compensation

We strongly encourage externs to seek out alternative funding and/or class credit to reflect their hard work over the course of the semester. Externs pursuing credit will be responsible for scheduling sufficient hours to fulfill academic requirements.

To apply

We require a cover letter, resume or CV, and short writing sample. Writing samples should be 3 – 5 pages; excerpts from longer documents are acceptable. Please do not submit samples more than 5 pages long.

You may apply by emailing your application materials to our Pro Bono Coordinator, Danielle DeWinter, at ddewinter@immigrationproject.org.

Applications for spring externships will be open until November 17th. Applications for summer externships will be open until February 9th.

Please reach out to Danielle if you have any questions.