A law firm consisting only of Muslim women has opened in Palos Heights, and the founders believe that it's the largest firm of its kind in the country.
Amal Law Group LLC handles a wide range of practices, including business law, real estate, criminal defense, family law and general litigation matters.
The firm's name, which means "hope" in Arabic, doesn't follow the traditional way of using attorneys' last names, and that's intentional.
"It seemed like we are paving new paths, why follow tradition with our last names? We were looking for something that Americans can pronounce easily enough and has an Arab and Islamic connection," said partner S. Janaan Hashim. . .
The Muslim community is an obvious market for clients, but the firm will listen to anybody with potential cases. Some examples of the legal issues that Muslims face involve immigration, employment discrimination, civil rights and wrongful arrest, Hashim said. . .
Hashim handles civil rights law and criminal defense. She previously worked at the state appellate defender's office as an assistant defender, filing criminal defense appeals ranging from simple theft to first-degree murder.
In addition to Hashim, the firm has five other lawyers.
Nikia Marie Bilal handles family law and civil litigation. She clerked for two semesters at the Cook County public guardian's office while at DePaul University College of Law. She was admitted to the Illinois bar last year.
Maryam Khan's practice areas include family law and real estate. Khan previously worked at Chicago Title and managed the real estate practice at Leeders & Associates Ltd.
Rima N. Kapitan focuses her practice on employment law, estate planning and probate. Prior to joining the firm, she was as a sole practitioner and a staff attorney at the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago.
Majdel S. Musa concentrates her practice in business and commercial real estate law. She previously worked as a sole practitioner in La Grange.
Heena A. Musabji specializes in civil rights and immigration law. She previously was the first staff attorney at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, directing the citizenship delay program where she represented and assisted clients experiencing delays in becoming naturalized U.S. citizens.