RAICES, formally known as the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, defends the rights of immigrants and refugees; empowers individuals, families, and communities; and advocates for liberty and justice.

Founded in 1986 as the Refugee Aid Project, RAICES provides legal and social services to disenfranchised immigrants and refugees, including families and unaccompanied children, and pairs direct client service with impact litigation and rights advocacy focused on expanding permanent protections for immigrants and changing the narrative around immigration in the U.S. The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with services across the State of Texas and national advocacy for systemic change.

Each year, RAICES opens more than 10,000 affirmative and defensive direct representation cases, including social services case management; provides Know Your Rights presentations and legal intakes in 15 shelters and select emergency facilities for unaccompanied children; and resettles more than 400 refugee parents and children, including Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders and humanitarian parolees, Ukrainian nationals, and Cuban entrants.

Research Fellow

Hybrid or Remote: Hybrid*
Supervisor: Vice President, Development and Chief Executive Officer

As part of the Weil Legal Innovators Program, the Research Fellow will help further RAICES’ goal of identifying and exploring opportunities to expand into thought leadership activities that support RAICES’ mission through public education and provide a meaningful experience in social justice for the Research Fellow.

The Research Fellow at RAICES shall further RAICES’ strategic external relations goals, including:

  • Coalition building with leading social justice organizations across the nation to advance intersectional cause needs and interests; and
  • Investing in education and engagement that can yield socially responsible citizens and migrant justice allies in and beyond the legal profession.

The Research Fellow shall be asked to focus on projects that are designed both to provide value to the mission of RAICES and to engage the Research Fellow by fostering skills and critical thinking through meaningful practical application (“hands-on”) experience working in a not-for-profit organization focused on social justice.

For example, these projects may include activities such as compiling and consolidating the metrics that exist across programs; analyzing research and metrics findings; and providing recommendations of topics related to publication of white papers designed to advance mission oriented public education goals as part of targeted campaigns.

Project based activities shall be designed to expedite RAICES’ ability to capitalize on the information contained in the body of research that has been gathered across the agency in recent years but has yet to be aggregated, analyzed, and published.

Research Fellow responsibilities shall include:

  • Participate in internal meetings, task-forces, and working groups with and on behalf of executive management, including confidential access to privileged information;
  • Make high level contacts of a complex nature inside and outside of the organization and in furtherance and support of RAICES’ executive strategic priorities;
  • Identify record-keeping obstacles for executive review and intervention and provide recommendations for course correction, as relevant;
  • Create and implement research and metrics collection, review, and analysis plans, working with teams across locations and offices through both in-person site visits and digital engagement;
  • Identify existing gaps in services measurement, evaluation, and reporting across the organization;
  • Establish thematic areas of content development for internal and external education and reporting;
  • Facilitate internal working groups and seminars on research standardizations for internal and external relations, immersing constituents in findings and codified best practice;
  • Demonstrate an ability to interact with persons of all backgrounds, cultures, and affiliations in both the public and private sectors.

With direct supervision from the Vice President of Development and Chief Executive Officer, the Research Fellow shall receive a holistic view of the operations of not-for-profit organizations, and have access to various forms of programmatic experiences and meetings with community stakeholders.

RAICES recognizes this as an opportunity to empower a socially conscious young leader with an understanding of migrant justice and not-for-profit best practices prior to embarking on their legal career; strengthen RAICES’ internal collation and analysis of research and metrics that exist across the organization; and establish a pipeline for publications that advance RAICES’ standing within the immigrant rights landscape.

Desired Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, Communication, Business, or other relevant field;
  • Proficient in use of technology including MS Office, Google Apps, and internet research;
  • Entrepreneurial approach;
  • Ability to travel domestically (please note that all travel to be facilitated and underwritten by RAICES and planned in coordination with the Research Fellow);
  • Commitment to social justice evidenced by job and/or volunteer and/or intern experience;
  • Proactive and demonstrate behavior that aligns with RAICES’ mission, vision and values – Empowerment, Excellence, Compassion, and Inclusion;
  • Able to communicate cross-culturally and collaborate in a multicultural setting with patience and compassion with diverse individuals;
  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with diverse, multidisciplinary stakeholders;
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

*Remote Work Details: Hybrid work arrangements. The Innovator should expect to work in-person from the New York office space approximately 1-2x week. This role will also involve potential travel, including travel to the office locations in Texas (underwritten by RAICES).

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