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Notice to Third-Year Law Students and Recent Law School Graduates

Notice to Third-Year Law Students and Recent Law School Graduates

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking to provide fellowship opportunities for recent law school graduates at its national headquarters as a Government Watchlist Fellow, Prisoners’ Rights Fellow, or Privacy and Surveillance Fellow. These positions are unpaid. However, we are willing and able to assist qualified applicants as they seek funding from outside organizations or law schools.

Qualifications:

  • 3L or recent law school graduate.
  • Preference given to candidates who can devote at least 20 hours per week.
  • Strong legal research and writing skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and phone skills.
  • Interest in civil rights and liberties work and issues affecting the American Muslim community.
  • Preference given to students who have demonstrated a particular interest in constitutional law and/or federal litigation.

How to Apply:

  1. Download and fill out the CAIR application found online at http://www.cair.com/about-us/internships.html
  2. Email your application, resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  3. Indicate the fellowship you are applying for in the subject line of your email.
  4. Indicate your availability and desired start date.

About CAIR:

CAIR is a grassroots civil rights and advocacy organization. CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, with regional offices nationwide. CAIR’s national headquarters is located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Since its establishment in 1994, CAIR has worked to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. Through media relations, government relations, legal work, education, and advocacy, CAIR puts forth an Islamic perspective to ensure the Muslim voice is represented. In offering this perspective, CAIR seeks to empower the American Muslim community, encourage their participation in political and social activism, and to protect their rights. 

CAIR values a diverse and collaborative work environment. CAIR welcomes all individuals, and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of religion, national origin, race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, citizenship, and disability status. 

Government Watchlist Law Fellowship

Background:

According to recent reports, nearly half of the 690,000 people on the U.S. government’s database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group. Furthermore, according to the government’s watchlisting guidelines, officials need only “reasonable suspicion” to secretly place someone on the list; “concrete facts” are not required. Individuals placed on one of the government’s terrorist watchlists generally experience prolonged and intrusive screening, interrogation, and detention when traveling or are prohibited from boarding flights altogether. The rapidly expanding secretive terrorist watch list program not only raises serious concerns about ethnic and religious profiling, but also raises issues about due process under the U.S. Constitution.

Responsibilities:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking a government watchlist law fellow to join the civil rights department of its national headquarters. The fellow will work closely with our team of attorneys to handle a variety of substantive legal tasks pertaining to the rapidly evolving field of national security law and the implications on the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, with particular focus on the constitutionality of terrorist watchlist designation procedures. The fellow will gain in-depth, practical legal experience by working with CAIR attorneys and clients on complex government terrorist watchlist related issues and high-profile federal constitutional litigation.

In particular, this work will include:

  • Drafting legal memos, pleadings, motions, and briefs on unique issues of national security law relating to the designation of individuals on governmental watchlists and its implications for fundamental due process and other civil rights under the U.S. Constitution.
  • Conducting in-depth legal research and analysis of cutting-edge issues of national import.
  • Interviewing witnesses and potential clients.
  • Developing a comprehensive understanding of the federal government’s terrorist watchlist program and assisting CAIR’s attorneys in developing successful legal strategies to challenge violations to constitutional rights of individuals aggrieved by their unfair designation on government watchlists.

Prisoners’ Rights Fellowship

Responsibilities:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking a prisoners’ rights fellow to join the civil rights department at its national headquarters.  The fellow will work closely with our team of attorneys to handle a variety of substantive legal tasks pertaining to inmates’ religious practices in state and federal prisons. The fellow will gain in-depth and practical legal experience by working with CAIR attorneys to ensure that all inmates, regardless of religion, are allowed to observe and practice the religion of their choosing. The fellow’s responsibilities include:

  • Drafting legal memos, pleadings, motions, and briefs on unique issues of religious freedom and inmates’ rights to practice their religion.
  • Corresponding with inmates and conducting intakes to determine whether an inmate’s claim is actionable under the law and following up on potential claims and allegations through subsequent correspondence and interviews.
  • Developing a comprehensive understanding of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, national prison policy, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, and the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
  • Producing reports and white papers on nuanced issues of inmate rights to religious freedom, with the possibility of publication in law reviews or online.

Privacy and Surveillance Law Fellowship

Responsibilities:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking a privacy and surveillance law fellow to join the civil rights department of its national headquarters.  The fellow will work closely with our team of attorneys to handle a variety of substantive legal tasks pertaining to the rapidly evolving field of constitutional privacy rights, with a focus on protecting the First and Fourth Amendment rights of all Americans in an era of pervasive surveillance.  The fellow will gain in-depth, practical legal experience by working with CAIR attorneys on high profile federal constitutional litigation.

In particular, this work will include:

  • Drafting legal memos, pleadings, motions, and briefs on unique issues of constitutional law relating to the protection of the privacy rights from overly broad and invasive governmental surveillance.
  • Conducting in-depth legal research and analysis of cutting-edge issues of national import.
  • Interviewing witnesses and potential clients.
  • Developing a comprehensive understanding of the federal government’s means of mass electronic surveillance and assisting CAIR’s attorneys in developing successful legal strategies to curtail the overreach of the modern American security state.
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