Position: The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) is seeking undergraduate, law, and graduate student interns for its offices in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Ypsilanti. Summer positions usually last from late May to early August. Interns will be placed according to position availability, practice-area or project, and location preference.
Description of the Program: MIRC is a legal resource center for immigrants and immigration advocates across Michigan with offices in Ypsilanti, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo. MIRC provides a wide range of services aimed to address issues that disproportionately impact immigrant families. The three pillars of our work are direct legal services, systemic advocacy, and community engagement and education. MIRC is also part of Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services and is administered by the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), which provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through our civil legal aid offices and statewide advocacy programs. Practice areas and projects summer interns may work on include:
-General Immigration Legal Services (Grand Rapids and Ypsilanti): MIRC provides general immigration legal services statewide, primarily assisting survivors of domestic violence and crime, individuals trying to become citizens, persons in removal proceedings, and more.
-Unaccompanied Children’s Program (Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, or Ypsilanti): MIRC is the legal services provider to all unaccompanied minors in federal immigration custody in Michigan. This team of attorneys, paralegals, and law clerks meet with and provide legal screenings for every child and if that child is in removal proceedings, pursue appropriate immigration relief (e.g., asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, visas for survivors of human trafficking).
-Farmworker and Immigrant Worker Rights (Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, or Ypsilanti): MIRC provides legal advice, representation, and state-wide advocacy to farmworkers and immigrant workers, including outreach and community education to Michigan’s migrant farmworker communities. MIRC’s FIWR attorneys litigate employment cases (FLSA, AWPA, Title VII) in federal court and handle relevant immigration based petitions (U/T visas related to workplace crimes).
-Communications/Community Engagement (Kalamazoo or Detroit): MIRC has a media presence and communications needs that intersect with the various practice areas and projects. MIRC communications staff provide administrative support on special projects and maintain MIRC’s monthly newsletter and webpage.
-Policy (Kalamazoo): MIRC policy staff keep up-to-date with local, state, and federal legislation and policies affecting MIRC’s clients and practice areas. In addition, MIRC policy staff plays a vital role in statewide coalitions with partners across the state.
For more information about MIRC specific practice areas and projects, visit https://michiganimmigrant.org/projects
Intern Responsibilities: Interns at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center work under the supervision of experienced attorneys, social workers, and staff. Projects and tasks interns may work on include but are not limited to:
Legal Interns: interviewing clients, assessing their legal problems, conveying legal advice through oral and written communication, conducting educational seminars for clients and community members, researching and drafting legal memos, translation/interpretation, communicating with pro bono attorneys on pending cases, preparing know-your-rights materials and workshops, conducting educational seminars for clients and community members, researching non-legal issues affecting our clients and drafting country conditions reports, providing administrative support to the legal and non-legal staff, and supporting the attorneys with pending cases and projects.
Communications and Policy Interns: providing support for a variety of projects that may include neighborhood dialogues, storytelling events, or other community-building activities; advocacy, community education, and raising awareness; creating videos or social media graphics; research, and data entry and management; and other administrative tasks.
Qualifications: Non-law students may apply. Priority will be given to law students. No high school students or recent high school graduates. Law students must have at least one year of law school completed by June 2021. It is helpful if applicants have experience working with low-income persons and a commitment to assisting underserved populations. Conversational Spanish ability is strongly preferred. Prior experience working with immigrant populations is preferred.
Salary: Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for outside funding but these positions are paid if outside funding is not available.
Application Process: We ask that you complete this application form and then send your resume and cover letter as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Summer 2021: Your Name” as the subject. In the body of your email, please indicate that you are interested in an internship with MIRC, as well as which office location(s) you are interested and if you are interested in any specific project. Applications received by February 1st will receive priority consideration.
Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services and MIRC are equal opportunity employers committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.