MISSION Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota enhances opportunities for immigrants and refugees through legal representation for low-income individuals, and through education and advocacy with diverse communities.
Remedy legal issues by providing quality immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees of all nationalities;
Prevent legal problems by providing law-related education to immigrants and refugees of all nationalities; and
Raise public awareness of immigration issues to encourage sound public policy that protects the universal human rights of immigrants and is both compassionate and practical.
VALUES ILCM’s values are grounded in respect for and partnership with its immigrant and refugee clients.
ILCM brings full legal passion, dedicated attention and highest quality service to low-income immigrant and refugee clients and their families;
ILCM values relationships with the communities we serve and seek to express their full potential and contributions through working together;
ILCM works with excellence and integrity;
ILCM believes in taking action to make immigration systems work for all.
In 2018, the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota:
Provided legal services to 4,270 clients from 112 countries
Delivered over 100 educational and advocacy programs reaching over 5,000 people and countless others
Coordinated pro bono attorneys who donated over 4000 hours of legal service to ILCM clients and their families
ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM) is a prominent 35-person organization with five locations in the State of Minnesota including two Saint Paul offices and offices in Moorhead, Worthington, and Austin. ILCM is staffed by talented, caring professionals, and has been in operation for 23 years. The organization’s annual budget of approximately $2.6 million is supported by a diverse funding base. This includes individual, law firm, corporate, foundation, and local, state, and federal government support.
ILCM provides essential legal aid to immigrants and their families, allowing them to overcome legal obstacles in order to thrive in Minnesota. Without ILCM’s services, hundreds of low-income immigrant families and individuals would have no assistance navigating a complex legal realm.
Fifty-five percent of clients served reside in the 7-county metro area, while 45% reside outside of it. That’s not too far from the statewide population distribution: 55.1% of Minnesota’s population is in the 7-county metro area. Clients come from 112 different countries and represent an array of nationalities.
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota occupies a unique niche among nonprofit immigration legal service providers because of the breadth of immigration legal services available, the capacity to represent clients throughout the state, and the ability to work with clients of all nationalities. A three-pronged model—direct legal services, advocacy, and education—allows ILCM to comprehensively respond to and prevent immigration legal problems.
Legal Projects ILCM provides quality legal assistance on a wide variety of immigration issues.
Advocacy The Immigrant Law Center engages in community, state, and federal policy surrounding immigrants through working directly with government officials, communities, coalitions, labor unions, religious organizations, professional groups, grassroots, and immigrant and refugee organizations. The organization supports comprehensive immigration reform that recognizes the needs of our economy, protect security, and respects the fundamental human rights of immigrants and refugees.
Education ILCM believes a key part to providing effective legal service is education. ILCM is one of the primary providers of immigration-related legal education services in Minnesota. Legal service programs, community organizations, and elected officials rely heavily on the expertise of ILCM staff.
To meet the specialized needs of clients, ILCM has developed several innovative programs:
New Beginning Project assists victims of domestic violence or other serious crimes, and their children to obtain immigration benefits, enabling them to gain the personal and economic self-sufficiency needed to escape the cycle of violence. ILCM works closely with other service organizations and law enforcement to mutually assist these clients.
Minnesota Family Naturalization Project focuses on increasing the number of legal permanent residents in Minnesota who apply for and become U.S. citizens while building collaborations across sectors promoting the importance of citizenship and increasing civic engagement and strengthening communities.
Community Defense Project provides advice and brief service to detainees in custody, provides full representation for detained clients who qualify for relief from deportation, and presents appeals in court to defend the constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental liberties of immigrants.
Rural Immigration Project provides legal representation and coordination of education to immigrant individuals and families living in rural Minnesota.
DREAMers Immigration Project provides legal representation and outreach to persons renewing their DACA protections (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and represent qualified clients in applying for alternative relief.
Pro Bono Project increases access to services by recruiting, training, and supervising volunteer attorneys to provide assistance with citizenship applications, provide representation to immigrants who have been the victims of domestic violence or other serious crimes, assist clients with filing for Temporary Protected Status and family reunification, defend immigrant detainees and present appeals in federal court.
Refugee Services Project works with community organizations to provide holistic services that include immigration advice and assistance to Minnesota’s newest refugees.
Austin Area Minority Business Project is a partnership with the Development Corporation of Austin, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research, and Ballard Spahr LLP that addresses the legal needs of the immigrant and minority business community in the Austin and Winona areas.
Public Defenders Project provides technical assistance, training, and education to Minnesota public defenders on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
Advocacy Project allows ILCM to provide systematic education to immigrants, the general public, and policymakers about the impact of immigration laws and proposals.
Organizational Culture Staff at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota describe the organization’s culture as: Welcoming, hardworking, dedicated, and focused on the mission. There is a supportive, non-competitive approach that values collaboration and sense of community. “Everyone is needed and valued,” said one staff member.
A small-office environment makes for an understated and less formal culture, but there is great seriousness where clients are concerned. Staff members celebrate success and weave in fun amidst the challenges of the important work they do every day.
THE POSITION The Executive Director is a visionary leader who works with the Board of Directors to carry out the organization’s mission and goals. The Executive Director provides organizational leadership and is responsible for the strategic planning, implementation, and ultimately the results of the organization. The Executive Director has the primary responsibility for obtaining funding and financial support, for assuring the highest quality of client services, for managing financial budgets and operational results, and for representing the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota in the communities it serves.
This executive is a passionate advocate for immigration and immigrant communities. They are a respected leader in an organization serving immigrant and/or underrepresented communities with legal, advocacy, education and related services.
Maintain and expand ILCM’s leadership role among municipal, state, and national advocacy organizations, coalitions, and stakeholders and strategically prioritize and coordinate to achieve annual goals.
Maintain a strategic and thoughtful balance of programmatic work between individual client assistance and systemic advocacy to address systemic problems related to immigration.
Develop and maintain effective networks and coalitions of support for humane and fair policies that affect immigrants including immigrants, policymakers, and community leaders.
Together with the development team, maintain, create, cultivate and grow the stewardship of multiple sources of revenue to ensure the long-term sustainability of the ILCM budget; including active leadership with individuals, law firms, foundations, and government grants and contracts.
Work closely with the development team in ongoing individual donor solicitation, cultivation, and stewardship efforts with a focus on deepening donor commitment by engaging donors in the mission.
Oversee fundraising initiatives including the development of effective strategies for identifying, pursuing, and maintaining good relations with funders, such as foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
Strategically pursue funding consistent with ILCM’s mission and priorities.
Strategy and Board Relations
Engage and inspire staff members, board members, clients, and other stakeholders in development and implementation of the organizational mission.
Work with the Board of Directors to carry out ILCM’s mission and goals, including:
Lead ongoing planning efforts and implement of an articulated and cohesive strategic vision across each of the five ILCM locations in support of the mission and goals;
Creatively work with the Board of Directors so its members actively contribute to the success of ILCM;
Advise the Board of Directors on policy matters, implement Board policies, and attend Board meetings;
Perform other duties as the Board may from time-to-time describe;
Participate as an ex-officio member of all Board committees;
Implement policies, directives, priorities, and budgets established by the Board of Directors.
Participate in ongoing training and development opportunities.
External Relations Communication
Serve as the public face and ambassador for ILCM, carrying out a leadership role in local, state, and national legal networks, client community organizations, and other legal services and program-related organizations.
Oversee public relations activities for the organization, e.g., communicate and establish contacts and maintain positive relationships with the courts, bar associations, the private bar, governmental agencies, community organizations, immigrant communities, organizations and leaders, and funders.
Contribute to an effective communications strategy with the ILCM communications team to continually enhance ILCM’s profile in immigrant communities, philanthropic and legal communities, and with local, state, and national policymakers.
Provide visionary and inspirational leadership to the staff at ILCM.
Coach, develop, and grow staff and teams in support of the organizational mission.
Create and maintain a shared culture of team work and shared commitment, and ensure that the culture of the organization is one of professionalism, transparency, integrity, inclusiveness, equity, openness, and support for clients, fellow staff, board members, volunteers and supporters.
Hire, supervise, evaluate, and meet regularly with the management team to provide direction, advice and oversight as appropriate-ensuring quality and sustainability of services including:
Ensure high-quality, responsive legal representation for clients and communities.
Review requests to participate in appeals, to file complex litigation, or to engage in legislative or administrative advocacy.
Ensure sustainable and responsive pro bono programming and most efficient and effective use of pro bono attorney resources.
Ensure timely financial reporting in accordance with GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles); strong internal controls to mitigate the risk of fraud; and compliance with funder expectations and contractual and grant requirements.
Support recommendations for the budgeting and allocation of fiscal resources by the Board; and the implementation of budget and fiscal policies adopted by the Board.
Ensure compliance with all applicable laws; the Minnesota Code of Professional Responsibility; the Legal Services Advisory Committee, policies, regulations, and instructions; and other risk management areas.
Management Responsibilities The Executive Director reports to the ILCM board of directors and directly supervises the following positions: Associate Director, Legal Director, Pro Bono Director, Policy Advocate, and Annual Giving Officer. The Executive Director provides executive leadership and strategic direction to all ILCM staff.
A passion for working with immigrant communities and direct experience providing services to immigrant and refugee communities. Demonstrated interest in serving the low-income immigrant and refugee community and experience working with persons of diverse economic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.
Legal or related educational background, (preferably a Juris Doctorate degree and member in good standing with a state bar with the ability to be admitted to the State Bar of Minnesota.)
Significant experience in a senior management position in a related type of organization, preferably a legal services or legal advocacy program within the nonprofit sector.
Management experience including leadership of a multi-departmental organization made up of skilled professionals.
Financial oversight and reporting, and budget development.
A successful track record in fundraising, resource development, and grant writing.
Bilingual English and Spanish, Hmong, or Somali preferred.
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Demonstrated background and commitment to advocacy in support of improving opportunities for immigrants and protecting the rights/remedies of eligible clients.
Skill in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures, formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures.
Skill in budget preparation and fiscal management.
Knowledge of organizational structure, workflow, and operating procedures, and an ability to endorse and manage organizational change.
Experience and skill communicating with a Board of Directors.
Experience working with external stakeholders including elected officials, community members, partner organizations, and media contacts.
Excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire the trust and confidence of the organization, public, and client communities.
Passion for building a team environment, and supporting a collaborative work culture across disciplines and office locations.
Encouraging professional development of staff, and supporting staff in obtaining and enhancing their skills to perform the organization’s work.
Conveys a visionary style that brings people together to support the mission.
Displays the characteristics of integrity, courage, intelligence, creativity, energy, and humor equal to the challenges of this position.
Additional Salary Information: The compensation package for this position is competitive and includes participation in the organization’s benefit plan.
About Ballinger Leafblad, Inc.
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