Equal Justice Works Fellow Candidate - Immigration

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Job location
4232 Forest Park Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Legal Services of Eastern MO
Street address: 
4232 Forest Park Ave.
City: 
St. Louis
State: 
Missouri
ZIP: 
63108
Job type: 
Fellowship/Internship
Position Description: 

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) is seeking candidates who are 3rd year law students to apply for a two year Equal Justice Works Fellowship (due 9/27/2017) to serve immigrants with civil legal assistance in St. Louis City and County, from September 2018 through August 2020.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri's (LSEM) mission is to advance equal access to justice through legal representation, education, and supportive services throughout 21 counties in Missouri. LSEM partners with the community to improve lives, promote fairness, and create opportunities for those in need. To fulfill its mission, LSEM offers free legal advice, advocacy, and representation to clients in court and before administrative agencies. We accomplish our mission through systemic advocacy/impact litigation and individual case work in a wide range of substantive civil areas which are in our priorities, e.g., family law for victims of domestic violence, prevention of homelessness/housing, health, public benefits, consumer, education, community economic development, and immigration. As part of our community education/outreach efforts, LSEM works with over 150 agencies and participates in over 35 task forces/coalitions. LSEM also has a vibrant Volunteer Lawyers Program.

In pursuing its mission, LSEM has been seeking to better serve immigrants and their family members. LSEM seeks to host a student interested in applying for an Equal Justice Fellowship, primarily to assist with increasing our capacity to provide direct services for immigrant crime victims, engage in outreach/education to improve law enforcement and judicial responses for immigrant crime victims, and strengthen the Statewide Legal Services Immigration taskforce to help serve this population.

Between 2016 and 2017, LSEM served over 100 immigrant crime victims, but many other survivors remain in need. As a hosted Equal Justice Fellow at LSEM, the law graduate would represent immigrant survivors in applying for appropriate legal relief, under appropriate supervision by the managing attorney of LSEM’s Immigration Law Program, in addition to other immigration cases. For immigrant victims of violent crimes like Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking, law enforcement, courts, and other government agencies serving our clients need ongoing education about the nature of domestic violence and human trafficking, and the forms of immigration relief available to survivors. This education needs to happen for courts and local law enforcement agencies across the
state, but it also needs to happen right in our service area which includes St Louis City,
St Louis County, Jefferson County, Warren County, St. Charles County, and Franklin County.
As an Equal Justice Fellow with LSEM, the project would include outreach/education to
courts and law enforcement in our 21 county service area. It would also include
strengthening the existing Statewide Legal Services Immigration Law Taskforce (made up
of the all 4 Missouri Legal Services programs (Mid-Missouri Legal Services, Legal Aid of
Western Missouri, Legal Services of Southern Missouri, and LSEM), as part of the effort to
better serve immigrant crime victims and immigrants in general.

Recent data released by the American Community Survey shows that the St. Louis
region’s foreign-born population grew by 8.9% in 2015, placing the region as the fastest
growing of the 20 largest metropolitan areas.

In the US, 1 in 3 women will be abused in her lifetime. Yet only about 48% of all violent crime is actually reported to law enforcement. The reporting rate is even lower for victims of rape and sexual assault, especially if the perpetrator was an intimate partner, friend, or acquaintance. Studies also show that immigrant women are 3-6 times more likely to experience abuse than native-born women. And the National Human Trafficking Resource Center reported that Missouri ranked among the top 15 states in the nation for reports related to human trafficking.

Given Eastern Missouri’s fast growing foreign-born population, the high rates of domestic violence and human trafficking, severe underreporting of these crimes, and the need for civil legal services to help victims, additional civil legal resources are needed to adequately improve community safety.

A past President of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association confirmed that,
“Immigration law is complex and ever changing. It can be a mine field for lawyers who don’t specialize in this field and unfortunately the client is the ultimate loser. Immigrant clients are particularly vulnerable because they often do not speak English and are unfamiliar with how the American legal system works.”

Requirements: 

The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated passion for and experience working with immigrants and/or in public interest work. The candidate chosen by LSEM must work with LSEM staff to complete and submit a fellowship application to Equal Justice Works by 9/27/17 (Equal Justice Works Fellowships | Equal Justice Works) requesting to be a fellow at LSEM for two years starting in September 2018. LSEM is an equal opportunity employer.

Excellent benefits including medical, dental and vision insurance, a generous time off policy, 403(b) and profit sharing plans, long-term disability and life insurance, employee assistance plan, flexible spending account, and paid CLE and Bar dues.

To apply: 

If interested, please send your resume, a cover letter, a list of three references and a writing sample to John Early, Human Resources Director at LSEM, via email at: [email protected], as soon as possible and not later than September 11, 2017.

Equal access to LSEM’s office is available. Those applicants requiring accommodation to
the interview/application process should contact the Human Resources Director at the
e-mail address listed above.

Notes: 
Equal Opportunity Employer
Submission deadline: 
Monday, September 11, 2017
Expiration date: 
Monday, September 18, 2017