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Job Ad: Legal and Policy Director, Rainbow Migration


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Rainbow Migration, the longest-running UK charity dedicated to supporting LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system, is recruiting a Legal and Policy Director to join our management team. The Director will lead and develop our unique immigration advice service and draw on the experiences of our service users to influence positive change in the asylum and immigration system. This is an exciting period to join Rainbow Migration as we start implementing our new organisational strategy in our 30th anniversary year.

You will:

  • Work with the Executive Director, Campaigns Manager and Communications Manager to develop a policy influencing strategy
  • Apply your litigation and policy experience to deliver change in areas such as refugee status determination, detention and asylum support
  • Lead strategic litigation in the UK and the European Court of Human Rights
  • Be responsible for the design and delivery of Rainbow Migration’s legal advice service, ensure compliance with regulators, and supervise the delivery of immigration advice on asylum and partnership applications by staff and volunteer lawyers
  • Line manage our Legal Officer and assist them in delivering advice on LGBTQI+ asylum, especially complex claims
  • Manage relationships with legal aid and pro bono law firms
  • Design and deliver training to lawyers, charities and others
  • Build knowledge and skills among immigration caseworkers and lawyers to represent LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum

At Rainbow Migration, we don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it. We’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability status. We consider all qualified applicants, consistent with any legal requirements.

We welcome applications from candidates with lived experience of going through the UK asylum or immigration system and people of colour who are currently underrepresented among our staff. We will also interview all disabled applicants who meet the necessary criteria for this vacancy.

Owing to the nature of the work, the successful applicant will be required at the point of conditional job offer to disclose all spent and unspent criminal records and subsequently to undergo an enhanced DBS check. See our website for more information.

Contract type:  Permanent

Hours: Full-time (35 hours per week). We will consider part-time or job share. Occasional evening work is required, and possibly at weekends, but with plenty of notice. Rainbow Migration encourages staff to maintain a good work life balance and has a TOIL system in place.

Salary: Starting at £60,000 with potential annual step increases up to £64,946 (pro rata if working part time), plus statutory employer’s pension contribution. In addition to an annual step increase, the trustees consider giving a separate inflationary increase every April.

Location: Rainbow Migration’s offices are based in Borough, Central London. This role will have an office-based contract but the postholder can choose to work from home for part of the week in agreement with the Executive Director. You must be available to work from our offices in London when necessary. The successful candidate would also be welcome to work from the office full-time if that is their preference. At the time of posting this advert, none of our staff are going into the office every day. There might also be occasional travel outside London with plenty of notice.

Annual leave: 25 days per year rising after 24 months by 1 day after each year of service to maximum of 28 days per year (pro rata if working part-time).

Wellbeing: We offer up to 2 days of wellbeing leave to be taken at short notice in each calendar year. One-to-one clinical supervision is also available for this role.

Closing date: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but the first consideration of received applications will take place from 9 am on Thursday 8 June.

Interview dates: Interviews will be scheduled on an ongoing basis in response to applications received.

How to apply

Please read the job description and person specification. If you have any questions about the role or would like to find out more before applying, you can contact the line manager via recruitment@rainbowmigration.org.uk.

Please send:

  1. Your CV
  2. A covering email (max 1,000 words), video or audio recording (max 8 minutes) explaining why you are applying
  3. Optional: a completed monitoring form

to recruitment@rainbowmigration.org.uk as soon as you can, and preferably by 9 am on Thursday 8 June.

When writing your covering email or recording your video or audio, please:

  1. Give examples of how you meet the person specification. In addition to what is on your CV, we want to hear about any relevant skills and experience that demonstrate you meet the necessary criteria for the role and if you meet any of the advantageous criteria. Skills and experience could be from training, volunteering, interests or life experience
  2. Confirm if you wish to be considered under the guaranteed interview scheme for anyone considered as disabled under the Equality Act 2010 (physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ effect on your ability to do normal daily activities)
  3. State how many hours a week you wish to work and if you have a preferred pattern, or if you are applying as part of a job-share

We are proud to be a member of the Experts by Experience Employment Network (https://www.ebeemployment.org.uk), which aims to create a charitable sector that is led by people with lived experience of the asylum and immigration system. As part of this network, we challenge the one-size-fits-all approach in our employment practices, and respect personal circumstances and needs of people with lived experience. Please feel free to use information and resources at https://www.ebeemployment.org.uk/ebe which may help in preparing your job application.

By submitting an application, you:

  1. Confirm that you have the right to work in the UK and will produce the necessary documentation if you are offered this post
  2. Declare that to the best of your knowledge and belief, the information provided with your application is true and correct and that you understand that any false information or statement given will justify the dismissal from Rainbow Migration if appointed
  3. Accept that if successful, you will be required to disclose all unspent criminal records at the point of conditional job and subsequently to undergo a basic DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.

Your privacy and data protection

In order to recruit and manage staff, Rainbow Migration needs to store personal information (data) about all applicants. Rainbow Migration is registered as a “controller of personal data” under the Data Protection Act 2018 with the Information Commissioner. By applying for this role, you agree that we will keep the information on your CV, covering email, audio or video recording, Please see our privacy policy on our website.

Monitoring information is kept separately and is pseudonymised to avoid identification of applicants. Monitoring information is amalgamated for statistical purposes and the original data then destroyed.

Rainbow Migration keeps all personal information safely and securely, and does not share your information with anyone outside Rainbow Migration or any other organisation without your consent. Information is kept for the minimum period necessary which for CVs, covering emails, video and audio recordings for unsuccessful applicants is 12 months after the conclusion of the recruitment campaign.

Legal and Policy Director Job Description


The Legal and Policy Director is a senior role that will help us achieve Rainbow Migration’s impact goals:

  1. Asylum and immigration system treats LGBTQI+ people fairly and with dignity
  2. LGBTQI+ people who need protection are granted leave to remain
  3. Optimal wellbeing and no isolation among LGBTQI+ people who are seeking asylum or have refugee status
  4. The experiences and needs of LGBTQI+ people migrating to the UK are better understood inside and outside Rainbow Migration

and the following outcomes from our new strategy:

Changes to lives

LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum will:

  1. Present better asylum claims
  2. Overcome time-critical challenges to their asylum claims
  3. Receive quality legal advice and representation
  4. Be more likely to be granted leave to remain

LGBTQI+ people subject to immigration control will:

  1. Spend less time in detention

LGBTQI+ people making partnership applications will:

  1. Receive quality legal advice and information

Changes to systems and structures

  1. Increased lawyer capacity in LGBTQI+ asylum claims
  1. Increased geographic diversity of lawyers with knowledge of LGBTQI+ asylum claims
  2. Increased capacity and quality of services from voluntary sector and statutory services
  3. Improved government practice for determining LGBTQI+ asylum claims
  4. Updated guidelines and materials from inter-governmental bodies on LGBTQI+ asylum claims
  5. Improved practice by judges in immigration tribunals
  6. Better treatment of LGBTQI+ people in tribunals
  7. Inclusion of LGBTQI+ refugees in resettlement programmes


Policy influencing

  • Use Rainbow Migration’s services, and input from other organisations supporting LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum, as an evidence base for influencing work
  • Work with the Executive Director, Campaigns Manager and Communications Manager to develop and deliver a policy influencing strategy and monitoring framework
  • Monitor the outcomes of our policy work and engagement with government and parliament
  • Work with the Executive Director and Campaigns Manager to ensure meaningful involvement of people with lived experience in all Rainbow Migration’s influencing work
  • Learn from influencing successes and failures, and adapt strategies or plans accordingly
  • Keep up to date with national and international policy and legal developments and identify influencing opportunities
  • Write high-quality policy and briefing papers or reports
  • Attend meetings with civil servants, parliamentarians, ministers and other policy-makers, influencers or allies
  • Act as a spokesperson for Rainbow Migration in the media and at events
  • Assist the Executive Director and other colleagues with legal and policy analysis and understanding
  • Work collaboratively with charities and other stakeholders to achieve change
  • Support the Executive Director, Campaigns Manager and Communications Manager in other policy, advocacy and influencing efforts

Service delivery

  • Supervise and manage the delivery of advice on asylum and partnership applications by the Legal Officer, support services colleagues and volunteer lawyers, providing training and guidance as necessary
  • Line manage the Legal Officer and work with them to:
    • Deliver one-off first and second-tier advice on asylum, and provide occasional casework assistance e.g. helping to prepare witness statements, making referrals to other specialist organisations and taking other urgent steps (whilst not representing individuals or maintaining a caseload)
    • Provide occasional advice (within competence) on other issues affecting asylum and partnership service users such as asylum support, legal aid, trafficking, family reunion or community care
    • Work with support services colleagues to refer asylum service users to quality legal aid and pro bono lawyers
  • Supervise and/or line manage the Legal and Support Services Assistant in their interactions with legal service users
  • Ensure Rainbow Migration’s continued registration with OISC and compliance with OISC and SRA regulations
  • Ensure timely and accurate record keeping to assist with monitoring and evaluation, analysing trends, informing policy work and campaigning, and publication of high-quality data

Strategic litigation

  • Identify opportunities for intervention that could help achieve Rainbow Migration’s strategic goals
  • Work alongside partner organisations and allies in the UK and other countries to identify common goals and intervene or litigate where priority opportunities arise
  • Intervene in or support strategic litigation in the UK and European Court of Human Rights

Capacity building

  • Design and deliver training to lawyers, judges, civil servants, charities and others
  • Implement mechanisms and provide resources to increase the quality and availability of advice on LGBTQI+ asylum
  • Provide second-tier advice and assistance to lawyers and others on LGBTQI+ asylum claims


  • Collaborate with other members of the management team in the operational management of Rainbow Migration
  • Keep the Executive Director informed on legal and policy matters
  • Work with legal trustees to give policy and legal advice to the Board of Trustees
  • Work with the Philanthropy Manager to apply for funding and report back to funders
  • Manage project budgets and participate in budget planning and review processes
  • Work with the Executive Director and Operations and Office Manager to authorise payments
  • Work with the Communications Manager to write blogs and articles on asylum and immigration and provide quotes and statements to the press
  • Write reports on relevant issues for trustees, donors and other stakeholders
  • Comply with all Rainbow Migration policies
  • Undertake other reasonable tasks as requested


The Legal and Policy Director will be managed by the Executive Director of Rainbow Migration.


Legal and Policy Director Person Specification

Skills and experience can be gained from a variety of places: paid or voluntary work, training, general interest, and life experience.

Necessary skills and experience

  1. Track record of successfully influencing policymakers
  2. Ability to write engaging policy and briefing papers or reports
  3. 5 years’ experience providing asylum legal advice and representation
  4. Qualified solicitor or barrister (authorised to practice without a supervising solicitor in a legal advice centre) with valid practising certificate, or already accredited to Level 3 OISC
  5. Litigation experience, preferably on LGBTQI+ asylum cases
  6. Experience of representing LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum, including under legal aid
  7. Ability to build relationships with and influence the legal community
  8. Ability to design and deliver training and workshops for a variety of participants
  9. Ability to build rapport and communicate sensitively and sympathetically with traumatised and/or vulnerable people

Advantageous skills and experience

  1. Experience of writing and delivering influencing strategies
  2. Understanding of the parliamentary and legislative process
  3. Experience of scrutinising legislation
  4. Experience of conducting research for use in influencing
  5. Ability to speak confidently in public and/or give interviews to the media
  6. Knowledge of other immigration law and policy that may also apply to LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum, such as trafficking, partner/spouse leave, detention and bail
  7. Current IAAS accreditation at level 2 caseworker or above
  8. Knowledge/experience of legal aid funding regulations relating to asylum and immigration and judicial review
  9. Experience of delivering advice on partnership immigration applications
  10. Experience of providing second tier advice
  11. Experience in supervising, training and mentoring the provision of advice services
  12. Qualified LAA Supervisor

Essential core competencies expected of all Rainbow Migration staff

  1. Committed to Rainbow Migration’s mission, vision and values
  2. Good English verbal and written communication skills
  3. Ability to work independently while understanding the importance of seeking guidance and support when required
  4. Ability to plan and prioritise work and meet deadlines
  5. Ability to work collaboratively within a small, multidisciplinary team
  6. Ability to work occasionally outside regular office hours
  7. Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds
  8. Ability to use standard workplace software programmes including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Owing to the nature of the work, the successful applicant will be required at the point of conditional job offer to disclose all spent and unspent criminal records and subsequently to undergo an enhanced DBS check. See our website for more information.

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Free Movement

The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.