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Volunteer Remote Social Work Fellow

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Recruiting Organization: The International Legal Foundation

"International Fellows are the backbone of the ILF’s success in post-conflict and transitioning countries. They work side by side with our local lawyers, helping teach them to think differently, to do more, and, beyond the skills training, inspire them and teach them that they are not alone in the work that they do."

~Jennifer Smith, ILF Executive Director

The International Legal Foundation is seeking experienced social workers with demonstrated expertise in casework, counseling and service referrals for people in conflict with the law, to take part in its groundbreaking International Fellows Program and support the ILF country offices around the world build holistic representation models to better serve our clients.

Established in 2001, the ILF is a leading global advocate for the right to counsel. Our mission is to make justice a reality for poor people by fighting to guarantee high-quality legal representation for everyone arrested or detained. Around the world, we provide criminal defense services and build sustainable, effective legal aid institutions.

Headquartered in New York, the ILF has current programs in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestine, and Tunisia. We work with ministries of justice, bar associations, lawyers, prosecutors, and police to expand access to justice for vulnerable people. By bringing international criminal defense experts together with local lawyers to provide professional mentorship and exchange, the ILF is raising up a new generation of public defenders. Our work prevents torture and mistreatment, promotes alternatives to detention, encourages positive youth development, and builds fair and credible institutions.

Since 2001, over 60 Fellows from all over the world have helped transform the role of local lawyers in these countries from passive participants in the criminal justice system to proactive advocates for their clients. As a direct result, clients languishing in detention have been released and many innocent have been acquitted.

The ILF is working to expand a holistic legal aid model where it will provide counseling, representation and/or referrals on clients’ legal and social needs. To support this model, the fellow will train lawyers on how to assess and counsel their clients with an eye toward making social service or legal referrals as well as advocating for pre-trial release, diversion and alternatives to detention/incarceration.

The social work fellow will also train local staff who will be supporting ILF lawyers to provide holistic representation by developing and strengthening social service referral networks. The local team will be the first point of contact for people seeking advice and assistance with broader social and justice issues, and should be able to provide needed services or refer them to government, community based and civil society organizations that can more effectively address their needs. The social work fellow will work with local ILF management teams to create policies and procedures for enrollments/referrals, tracking of use of referrals and a process for creating and managing waitlists.

The fellow assignment will be approximately 6 months, and will primarily be remote, with the possibility of an in-country portion depending on circumstances, need and budget availability. International travel costs, local housing, medical evacuation coverage and a small stipend are provided when in-country.

Qualifications: Social work or social services referral experience, with at least 5+ years working with justice involved individuals. Demonstrated expertise in conducting assessments and making referrals; tracking use of referrals; developing a social service referral network, mapping of services, providing referrals in a compassionate and non-judgemental manner, and best practices in confidentiality. No language requirement (staff translators are available).

Preferred Qualifications: Experience working in developing or transitional countries.

To apply, please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to Please mention Social Work Fellow in the subject line.

Stipend ProvidedFalse

Training ProvidedFalse

Housing AvailableFalse

Language/Cultral Support AvailableFalse

Wheelchair AccessibleFalse

Fee RequiredFalse

Fee Amount: None

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Mission Statement

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Idealist is a leading online global resource for finding jobs in the nonprofit sector, as well as volunteer opportunities and graduate school programs for social impact.


Advocacy & Human Rights
Justice & Legal
Advocacy & Human Rights, Justice & Legal


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