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Monday, January 3, 2011

Volunteer Legal Advocate, Asylum Access, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Closing Date: Friday, 07 January 2011

Legal services provider for refugees
Asylum Access Tanzania (AATZ) solicits applications from well-prepared candidates with impeccable writing, persuasive advocacy skills and a passion for social justice who are ready to commit themselves to spending six months or more in Tanzania. Volunteer Legal Advocates (VLAs) will provide legal counsel, advice and advocacy on behalf of refugees seeking asylum, resettlement or the assertion of other legal rights. VLAs play an integral part of AATZ's team and will get the opportunity to work with UNHCR and Tanzanian Government representatives to coordinate and strengthen the involvement of AATZ in decisions affecting refugee rights.

Position Responsibilities
VLAs are responsible for the following duties:
·         Advise refugees and assist them in understand their rights;
·         Interview refugees and advocate for them regarding their individual RSD and/or resettlement;
·         Maintain a high caseload of RSD cases in a fast paced, demanding environment while adhering to strict filing deadlines;
·         Conduct client intake and screening interviews, assess needs, and refer to other service providers as needed;
·         Where possible, develop unique and innovative legal tactics to assist clients with other legal needs, including assistance to assert rights to movement, security, humanitarian aid, education and social services;
·         Conduct research on “country of origin” situations and refugee law jurisprudence;
·         Develop material for “Know Your Rights” workshops for refugees both in camps and urban settings, as well as teach and/or participate in the workshops;
·         Occasionally, represent AATZ at events, conferences and meetings, and/or assist in other publicity and/or fundraising efforts;
·         Assist with the general administrative duties of the office, including helping to build administrative capacity within the office to meet demand as AATZ grows.
Preferred Qualifications:
·         A positive, flexible personality and attitude;
·         English is required. Intermediate to proficient French or Swahili are very helpful.
·         A Bachelor of Laws, JD or equivalent is preferred, but other degrees or equivalent experience in a related field will be considered. Exceptional law students will be considered;
·         Experience working in direct clients services, ideally with asylum seekers or in human rights, as well as a strong passion for social justice work;
·         Experience working with vulnerable populations and/or survivors of trauma;
·         International experience living and working cross-culturally in developing countries, preferably in Africa;
·         Experience working in a non-profit setting with limited resources, ideally in the global south;
·         An easygoing personality with the demonstrated capacity to handle living and working in an ad-hoc environment where difficult situations and crises can develop at a moment's notice;
·         Aptitude to successfully complete assigned tasks with minimal oversight while serving clients with the highest ethical standards;
·         Understanding of the importance of working as part of a team and the ability to carefully and faithfully follow the direction of AATZ management staff;
·         Ability to commit to at least 6 months of full-time work.
·         Fluency in French an asset; Fluency in Swahili a major asset.
Program Highlights
Development Training - Throughout your work with us, Asylum Access will support you with a series of tools to maximize your programmatic work and your understanding of refugee law and practice. Regular training and debriefing sessions will offer you the chance to enhance and process your experience and share insight about cross-cultural issues.

Casework - Once you join our team, you will be responsible for your own casework, which you will see through intake, preparation, submission and results. This will give you an invaluable experience and lasting ties with your clients.

Joining our Network - After working with us, you will be connected with an ever-growing network of refugee legal advocates around the world, which circulates job openings, research opportunities, refugee news, and more.

How to apply
Because of space limitations, AATZ VLA positions are awarded on a very competitive basis. Each year Asylum Access receives hundreds of applications coming from all over the globe for a handful of VLA positions. It is best, therefore, for applicants to submit polished, complete applications as early as possible. We accept applications on a rolling basis.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and a legal writing sample to Please be sure to specify in your cover letter what makes you uniquely qualified to be a VLA with AATZ, how volunteering with us fits into your career plans, and the dates that you expect to be available.

Application Deadline: January 7th, 2011
Position length: at least 6 months
Start date: March 7th, 2011

***Please note that all Asylum Access VLA positions are unpaid; we are happy to work with successful applicants to arrange for funding or school credit where available. If selected, VLA's are responsible for obtaining their visa and work permit, if applicable.

Reference Code: RW_8CGHEF-85

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