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Executive Director
Executive Director of Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

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

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 266 pro bono attorneys who donated over 4000
hours of legal service to ILCM clients and their families

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.


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.

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

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

• New Beginning Project assists provides advice and brief service to

victims of domestic violence or detainees in custody, provides full
other serious crimes, and their representation for detained clients
children to obtain immigration who qualify for relief from
benefits, enabling them to gain the deportation, and presents appeals
personal and economic self- in court to defend the
sufficiency needed to escape the constitutionally-guaranteed
cycle of violence. ILCM works fundamental liberties of immigrants.
closely with other service • Rural Immigration Project provides
organizations and law enforcement legal representation and
to mutually assist these clients. coordination of education to
• Minnesota Family Naturalization immigrant individuals and families
Project focuses on increasing the living in rural Minnesota.
number of legal • DREAMers Immigration Project
permanent provides legal representation and
residents in outreach to persons renewing their
Minnesota who DACA protections (Deferred Action
apply for and for Childhood Arrivals), and
become U.S. citizens while building represent qualified clients in
collaborations across sectors applying for alternative relief.
promoting the importance of • Pro Bono Project increases access
citizenship and increasing civic to services by recruiting, training,
engagement and strengthening and supervising volunteer attorneys
communities. to provide assistance with
• Community Defense Project citizenship applications, provide
representation to immigrants who Empowerment through Research,
have been the victims of domestic and Ballard Spahr LLP that
violence or other serious crimes, addresses the legal needs of the
assist clients with filing for immigrant and minority business
Temporary Protected Status and community in the Austin and
family reunification, defend Winona areas.
immigrant detainees and present • Public Defenders Project provides
appeals in federal court. technical assistance, training, and
• Refugee Services Project works education to Minnesota public
with community organizations to defenders on the immigration
provide holistic services that include consequences of criminal
immigration advice and assistance convictions.
to Minnesota’s newest refugees. • Advocacy Project allows ILCM to
• Austin Area Minority Business provide systematic education to
Project is a partnership with the immigrants, the general public, and
Development Corporation of Austin, policymakers about the impact of
Hispanic Advocacy and Community 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


Executive Director of Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

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.

Primary Responsibilities:

• 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.

Resource Development
• 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,
1. 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;
2. Creatively work with the Board of Directors so its members actively
contribute to the success of ILCM;
3. Advise the Board of Directors on policy matters, implement Board policies,
and attend Board meetings;
4. Perform other duties as the Board may from time-to-time describe;
5. Participate as an ex-officio member of all Board committees;
6. 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
• 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:
1. Ensure high-quality, responsive legal representation for clients and
2. Review requests to participate in appeals, to file complex litigation, or to
engage in legislative or administrative advocacy.
3. Ensure sustainable and responsive pro bono programming and most
efficient and effective use of pro bono attorney resources.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.

Leadership Traits
• 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.


The compensation package for this position is competitive and includes

participation in the organization’s benefits plan.


Marcia Ballinger, PhD Lars Leafblad, MBA

Co-Founder/Principal Co-Founder/Principal
651-341-4840 612-598-7547


When the Twin Cities hosted the none of which will let you down.
Super Bowl in 2018, it cast an
international light on what the According to the website WalletHub,
organizing committee dubbed “The Minneapolis ranks 12th in America for
Bold North.” It also gave the world an cities with the most green space. Both
up-close and personal view of what cities share a common root of being
those of us who live here already river towns, and the great outdoors is
knew. Minnesota Nice is for real. a major attraction for residents and
visitors alike. In addition to the mighty
The Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Mississippi River, there are more than
Minneapolis are a unique blend of 900 lakes in the metro area and
small town and major cosmopolitan surrounding suburbs, upwards of 300
hub. Both urban cores boast a parks, and miles of biking and walking
thriving business atmosphere. Saint trails.
Paul, as the state capitol, is home to
state government and has a more Nearly every weekend in the summer
historical vibe. Minneapolis is the there are several outdoor events for
larger and more commercial of the participants and spectators—
two cities. Outside of the central triathlons, biking races, running races,
downtowns, however, both cities boat races, water skiing competitions,
have many distinct neighborhoods, cultural celebrations, golf
and residents identify more with tournaments, and more.
their individual communities than
The summer highlight for many
with the larger city as a whole. And
Minnesotans is the Minnesota State
the best news is housing in most of
Fair. One of the largest of its kind in
our friendly neighborhoods is
the country, ours is a world-class
affordable and welcoming.
showcase of Minnesota’s best in
The Twin Cities lives up to its Bold agriculture, industry, arts and
North tagline in every way. Residents entertainment.
enjoy four very distinct seasons,

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Held on a 320-acre parcel located Minnesota’s Somali community is one
between St. Paul and Minneapolis, it of the largest in the United States. St.
is a self- supported organization and Paul is the heart of Minnesota’s
has been held on the Minnesota State Hmong community as well, and is
Fairgrounds every year since 1885. home to the largest urban
concentration of Hmong residents in
As summer turns to fall, the region the country. It is by design that we’ve
puts on a breathtaking autumn embraced such ethnic uniqueness.
show that draws visitors from miles Our multi-cultural communities
around. While fall is a fleeting present us with diversity in the
spectacle, the active lifestyle of workplace, a strong workforce and an
Minnesotans doesn't go dormant added bonus of getting to know the
during the winter either. Being world, and coming to understand
hardy in every way, we take different cultures on a more intimate
advantage the miles of cross- scale right here at home.
country skiing trails, downhill ski
areas, ice skating, snowmobiling, One of the best places to get a taste of
sledding, and ice fishing. our many blended cultures is Midtown
Global Market on Lake Street in
In recent years Minneapolis and St. Minneapolis. Midtown Global Market
Paul have become two of the most is a welcoming indoor market and
diverse cities in America. Almost six meeting place featuring an abundance
percent of the population identifies of ethnic dishes, gifts and groceries,
as LGBTQ, with many Twin Cities’ from Mexican and Middle Eastern to
organizations in arts, politics, Vietnamese, Indian, Swedish and
culture, advocacy and religious Italian.
sectors serving the community.

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Many Hmong and Vietnamese Since the early 1960s, the Guthrie
restaurants and shops are located in Theater has staged outstanding
the Frogtown neighborhood as well, shows from the classical to the
on and around University and modern. Popular national shows and
Lexington avenues. Hmongtown performers also tour through the
Marketplace on Como Avenue and Twin Cities year-round at stages in
Hmong Village on Johnson Parkway both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and
on St. Paul’s East Side feature a wide at the University of Minnesota.
variety of traditional foods, clothing,
fabrics and crafts, as well as farmers If you are a theatre-goer in the Twin
markets. Cities you’ll never have a dull
moment. According to the Western
There are countless arts and culture States Arts Federation, Minneapolis
offerings in the Twin Cities. The ranks as the fifth- most “creatively
Grammy Award-winning Minnesota vital” city in the country, right after
Orchestra has a reputation as one of D.C., LA, NYC and Boston. The
the top orchestras in the world. The Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul is the
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is also country’s oldest African American
regarded as one of the finest theater.
chamber orchestras in the world.
We boast more than 40 venues with a
variety that even the most seasoned
thespian would notice.

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There are the magnificent musicals The Ordway Center for the Performing
that play on the State, Orpheum, and Arts has been recognized as one of
Pantages stages and lots of local America’s leading not-for-profit
talent making a statement on stages performing arts centers, and is home to
such as the Southern Theater, New a wide variety of performances
Century, and Illusion. Hamilton, Les throughout the year providing the
Miserables and West Side Story are a finest in musical theater, music, dance,
few examples of productions that and vocal artists in its Music Theater
have played here. Theater is also a and Concert Hall. In addition, each year
large component of life in Saint Paul. the Ordway presents its Flint Hills
The gorgeous 1000-seat Fitzgerald Family Festival, serving more than
Theatre acts as Minnesota Public 50,000 children and adults through its
Radio’s largest broadcast studio. Ordway Education programs.
Staged productions commission
authors, artists and radio hosts to Dance companies such as James Sewell
create programming for the public Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre,
radio community. The Fitzgerald Ragamala, Zenon Dance Company and
Theater is St. Paul’s oldest theater TU Dance perform at an array of
and celebrated its 100th anniversary venues including the renovated Cowles
in 2010. Center.

For the museum-goer, there are more
than 60 museums in the metro area.
The Science Museum of Minnesota
and the Minnesota Children's
Museum are interactive learning
facilities and fun experiences for the
entire family. The African American
Heritage Museum and Gallery and the
Minnesota History Center are
museum for all ages with permanent
and changing exhibits, lectures and

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has

a collection of more than 100,000
pieces. The Walker Art Center has
been called “possibly the best
contemporary art museum in the
U.S.” by Newsweek, and has over
11,000 pieces. The University of Minnesota Twins, and USBank Stadium, a
Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum is brand new, enclosed stadium where the
also a contemporary art destination. Minnesota Vikings host their NFL games.
Additionally, the stadium hosts early
The Somali Museum of Minnesota on season college baseball games of the
East Lake Street features hundreds University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
of traditional Somali artworks and
artifacts as well as educational Popular music abounds, from the
programs. Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness
to Atmosphere. Outdoor concerts and
For those who prefer activity of the festivals such as the Basilica Block Party
spectator variety, the Twin Cities is and Rock the Garden are a common
home to the Minnesota Twins, and popular activity. After all, artists
Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Wild from Bob Dylan to Prince have called
and the Minnesota Timberwolves. the Twin Cities home.
We are also the home of the four-
time WNBA Champion Minnesota
Lynx and the Minnesota United
soccer team. We host in some of the
best sporting facilities in the county,
including Target Field, home of the
The Twin Cities offer award-winning Networking groups in technology,
restaurants (several chefs have been manufacturing, healthcare and
regional James Beard Award winners). education support their professions.
In addition to the popular Mall of Active Chambers of commerce further
America, there are plenty of unique business interests and First Fridays
shopping districts in both cities and in Twin Cities celebrates African American
the suburbs. excellence.

Beyond sports, the great outdoors, The Twin Cities is a vibrant, richly diverse
entertainment, and culture, perhaps Midwestern community where
the biggest attraction for the Twin Minnesota Nice is alive and well. We are
Cities is the lifestyle. Forbes hailed the perfect blend of small town/big city
Saint Paul and Minneapolis as one of and our residents pride themselves on
the nation's healthiest metros and their warm and welcoming ways. There
USA Today named Saint Paul as North is a reason Business Insider ranked
America's “Most Romantic City.” Minneapolis/St. Paul number nine on its
Top 50 Places to Live in America. We
Minneapolis/St. Paul is also proud to really are all that and more!
have a world-class international airport.
In fact, the Airports Council
International named MSP the 2017 Best
Airport in North America in its size
category, with more than 25 million
passengers a year.