The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law is
seeking a Legal Fellow.
The Chacón Center for Immigrant Justice provides vital pro bono
representation to people facing deportation at the trial court
level and in the federal appellate courts to advance the law to
benefit immigrants in Maryland and nationally. The Center also
trains law students, as well as already-practicing attorneys, to
represent immigrants and the interests of the immigrant community
in post-conviction proceedings to minimize the lasting effects and
racial inequities of disproportional criminal enforcement. It
supports a Citizenship Initiative to promote naturalization so that
Maryland’s immigrant community can have more stability and more of
a political voice to advocate for itself, and its students engage
in legislative and policy efforts to promote critical law reform
Students in the Immigration Clinic, which is part of the Center,
represent low- and moderate-income immigrants in matters relating
to immigration status. Students represent individuals fleeing
persecution, those facing deportation because of criminal
convictions, and those seeking to ameliorate the consequences of or
obtain citizenship following a criminal conviction. They may
advocate before the Department of Homeland Security, the Baltimore
Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals or in the
federal courts. Clients may, in some cases, be detained by DHS. In
addition, students advocate in the state legislature and in local
jurisdictions for law reform and funding for representation in
immigration cases. Clinic faculty supervise all work. Students will
build professional and collaboration skills in a litigation
setting; learn immigration law in the context of practice; explore
issues of professional responsibility in client representation and
the role of the attorney in providing access to the justice system;
and look at wider issues of US immigration policy. Law School
Professor and Faculty Director Maureen Sweeney has led the
Immigration Clinic since 2004. Associate Director Gabriela Kahrl
has been with the Clinic since 2017.
Primary duties of the Fellow
The Fellow will work with the faculty of the Chacón Center to
launch the Center on both a national and local level and to create
the infrastructure necessary to grow the programs as envisioned to
achieve the Center’s long-term goals. The position will require
both legal and programmatic work including:
- Advocating with lawmakers during and in anticipation of the
Maryland General Assembly, to support ongoing law reform work.
- Taking the lead on developing the Center’s new Citizenship
Initiative, including providing naturalization representation and
identifying and working with new citizens interested in law reform
- Working with campus personnel to develop a social media
presence for the Center and promoting its work.
- Working with campus personnel to develop the Center website
content, including developing and coordinating creation of a blog
to promote positive narratives of immigrants in MD (working title:
Immigrant Humans of Maryland, à la https://www.humansofnewyork.com/
- Organizing an inaugural symposium for Spring 2022 to inaugurate
the Center in the academic sphere, bringing together national
experts on the intersection of criminal and immigration law and
highlighting the Center’s work.
- Nurturing community partnerships to develop the Citizenship
Initiative and other projects (including a nascent partnership with
Balt City public schools to support indigent students at risk of
- Supporting fundraising efforts for Center staffing and proposed
- Other duties as required.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- J.D. from an ABA accredited school.
- One year of experience in immigration law and policy, which can
be satisfied by law school clinical or externship experience or
relevant paid work during law school.
- Spanish or French proficiency strongly preferred.
- Applicants must be barred in
Maryland or another United States jurisdiction or have taken
the 2021 July Bar Exam.
- Excellent research, writing, oral communication, and
- Familiarity with basic concepts and practice of immigration
law, especially naturalization.
- Experience with Microsoft Office products, including Outlook,
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Excellent coordination and organizational skills and meticulous
attention to detail.
- Ability to network and interact as well as support effective
partnerships with key groups and individuals.
This is a one-year position with the possibility of a one-year
renewal, subject to Fellow performance.
- Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
- Ability to work with a wide range of people, including law
students, immigrant clients, community representatives, and
- Ability to handle multiple ongoing tasks that require daily or
weekly updating and attention.
- Openness to critical feedback and sincere desire to learn and
grow as a professional.
- Experience with community organizing, knowledge of the local
MD/DC immigrant legal services landscape, and grant writing
experience are a plus.
Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.
Interested applicants should submit (a) a cover letter, (b) resume,
(c) the names and telephone numbers of at least three references by
September 26, 2021.
In the Fall of 2021, UMB will require all faculty, staff, and
students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Exemptions for medical
or religious reasons will be processed through Human
UMB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All
qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment
without regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race,
color, religion, national origin, disability, protected Veteran
status, age, or any other characteristic protected by law or
policy. For assistance related to employment, please contact the
Staffing department at HRJobs@umaryland.edu.
If you anticipate needing a reasonable accommodation for a
disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), during
any part of the employment process, please submit a
UMB Job Applicant Accommodation Request
. You may also contact
HRDiversity@umaryland.edu. Please note that only inquiries
concerning an ADA request for reasonable accommodation will be
responded to from this email address.