301 S Vine St, Ste 102, Urbana, IL 61801 |  welcome@universityymca.org  |  (217) 417-5897

Legal Services Intern

Champaign, IL
Legal Services

University YMCA & New American Welcome Center

The University YMCA, founded in 1873, develops campus and community leaders committed to social justice, environmental protection, interfaith cooperation and global engagement by fostering dialogue, reflection and action. Established in 2017, the Y’s New American Welcome Center (NAWC) works to co-create a community where all immigrants can thrive and flourish by engaging local institutions and mobilizing community resources to ensure equitable access to services, economic opportunity, and meaningful belonging.

Job Description

The internship will focus on the University YMCA’s legal service provision for immigrants in Champaign County. The intern will report to and work closely with the NAWC Legal Services Manager. The intern will: (1) Learn about and investigate various immigration law-related topics, including immigration laws and policies, country conditions, and more, (2) interact with and assist immigrant community members, (3) hone organizational, management, and written and verbal communication skills, and (4) assist in the development and sustainability of our nonprofit legal services program. This internship will help equip the intern for future employment in a variety of sectors including political, legal, sociological, and/or nonprofit, among others.


This internship is a volunteer position and not a job. The intern must commit to volunteering a minimum of 10 hours per week. A stipend may be available. Unpaid internship scholarships are available through the University YMCA’s Fred S. Bailey Unpaid Internship Scholarship Program. To be eligible for scholarship funding, please apply online by April 26, 2024.


Flexible during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm); some weekends and evenings. Volunteer schedule will be arranged in coordination with the intern’s supervisor.

Job Duties & Responsibilities

  • Client interaction, intake, & file organization;
  • Scheduling and assisting during appointments for legal services clients;
  • Note taking and initial application data entry;
  • Legal research, primarily in the areas of immigration case law and country conditions;
  • Supervised case management & regular client data and interaction notes entry;
  • Completing and submitting local FOIA requests on behalf of clients to further their cases;
  • Coordination with community partners to connect clients to services and outreach to immigrant communities;
  • Assisting with grant writing and program fundraising as necessary.

Essential Knowledge & Skills

  • Proficiency in another language, with bilingual capability in English, Spanish or French preferred;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Excellent verbal & written communication skills;
  • Ability to effectively interact with others with compassion and efficiency;
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Experience meeting deadlines in a fast-paced environment;
  • Experience using Google Suite and Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;
  • Experience with case management systems;
  • Experience with and/or knowledge of current immigration law and policy;
  • Experience conducting legal and/or academic research