Each year IJC awards Community Fellowships to approximately 10 recent college graduates from around the country – individuals with tremendous talent, promise, and a demonstrated commitment to providing legal services for low income people and immigrants.
IJC trains Community Fellows to become experts in immigration law and pairs them to work within leading non-profit legal services providers and community based organizations. IJC matches selected Fellows with our partnering host organizations based on the applicant’s experience and interest, gaps in services within the community, location interests, and partnering host organizations’ needs. Community Fellows are assisted by IJC in becoming OLAP Accredited Representatives, thereby allowing them to practice as qualified legal representatives before the Department of Homeland Security and to offer legal advice to their clients.
Community Fellows represent clients in an array of immigration matters including:
Adjustment of Status (applications for Green Cards)
Naturalization and citizenship
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and More!
IJC Fellows serve for two years and are provided with a full salary and benefits.
Community Fellow Application Eligibility Requirements:
- Applicants may currently be enrolled in an undergraduate degree, so long as they will be graduating by the Spring of the Fellowship start year. For example, if you will graduate in Spring 2021, you are eligible to apply to the Class of 2021.
- Applicants may have graduated from college either one or two years prior to the start of the Fellowship.
We define college to include both Associate's Degree and Bachelor's Degree programs.
Community Fellow Application Components:
Résumé (no more than two pages)
PDF of your college transcript (unofficial)
Statement of Interest (500 words or less): Describe why you would like to be an IJC Community Fellow. Questions to consider in drafting the Statement of Interest include:
Why are you interested in immigration law?
How might an IJC Fellowship prepare you for the career you want to have in the future?
Why, specifically, are you interested in participating in a fellowship program?
What skills and experiences have prepared you for work with immigrant communities?
What would you like to gain (and give) as a Fellow in our program?
Essay Question #1 (500 words or less): The vast majority of a Community Fellow's time is spent navigating complex interpersonal dynamics, whether between clients or colleagues. We are interested in Fellows with a high level of emotional intelligence, who are empathetic, excellent communicators, and able to work in close partnership with clients, IJC staff, and co-fellows. Tell us about a challenging but rewarding experience you have had working with a client/customer or a colleague. Questions to consider: What were the underlying dynamics of the experience and what about those dynamics made the experience so challenging? What did you learn about yourself and your communication style/needs while navigating that experience? How might you apply those lessons forward as a Community Fellow?
Essay Question #2 (500 words of less): In addition to sharp interpersonal skills, we seek fellows who are analytically agile, able to translate complex doctrine and policy into plain language, and whose beliefs are in alignment with IJC's mission and theory of change. As such, we ask you to tell us about your perspective on immigration policy in the U.S. through a response to the following prompt: If you were able to redesign the entire U.S. immigration system or a specific part of it, what would you do and why?
When setting up your account you will be asked to enter a name for your submission – PLEASE USE YOUR FULL NAME (LAST, FIRST) AS THE SUBMISSION NAME.
Submitting Letters of Recommendation:
Within the application portal, you will need to enter email addresses for two references who will each submit a letter on your behalf.
Once you enter your recommender’s email address into the system, they will be sent an email with a link to submit their letter of reference on your behalf. We strongly recommend that you immediately follow up with your recommender to make sure they received the email. Frequently, recommender notifications are routed to spam, therefor please be sure to notify your recommenders to check both their inbox and spam folders. The system will automatically remind recommenders to submit their letters several days before the application deadline, however, we also encourage you to send them a note to remind them of the upcoming deadline.
If your recommender does not receive the email link, please use the Apply support feature (embedded in the "i" button in the upper right hand corner of the navigation bar).
You will be able to submit your application before both letters of reference have been uploaded to the system, however, out of fairness to all applicants, we will not review your application until it has been completed. We will not grant application deadline extensions for letters of recommendation.
Every component of your application must be submitted by the deadline of March 24, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., EST, including your recommendation letters, so please reach out to your references early and let them know to expect an email requesting a reference on your behalf.
The Selection Process:
All Community Fellow applications and supporting documents are due on April 2nd.
Application review round one: a selection committee gathers to review all Community Fellow applications and makes recommendations to IJC staff in early April.
Interviews: Brief, 30 to 40-minute interviews are held in mid-April via remote videocalls.
Matching: IJC staff select finalists from the interview pool and places approximately 20 applicants on a waitlist. We then solicit input from finalist and waitlist applicants and finalist host organizations regarding their preferred matches. That information is used to appropriately match host organizations and applicants via tentative offers made in late April and early May.
Offers: In mid-May, offer letters are sent to approximately 10 Community Fellows.
For technical concerns please use the Apply support feature (embedded in the "i" button in the upper right hand corner of the navigation bar). For application questions, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Immigrant Justice Corps visit our website: www.justicecorps.org.