The CAIR internship and externship program

*Note* For Fall 2020 Semester Applicants: CAIR National will be recruiting and accepting Fall 2020 applicants with the understanding that the positions will most likely be conducted on a remote basis due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.

As an organization, we believe that the best way to secure a better future for all of us is to empower young Americans with the skills they need to make a difference. There is no better teacher than experience. Interns at CAIR’s National Headquarters in Washington DC work on substantive projects that lay the foundation for a fair and more inclusive America. They develop professional skills, gain insight into the societal impact of public service, and can work with our departments so they might holistically understand the daily operations of a non-profit civil rights organization.

Why join CAIR?

CAIR has a wide array of projects and activities to suit your level of expertise and will empower you to make a difference! Opportunities are available throughout the year for all students to apply–full-time or part-time, undergraduate or graduate, and all majors. Interns can earn academic credit or community service hours, or simply enrich their experience and insight to advocacy and civil rights efforts.

Application guidelines:

To be considered a complete application must be emailed to, and include all of the following:

  1. An application form, signed and dated with all spaces completed with the most updated information and truthful responses.
  2. A cover letter that specifies the position(s) and session (i.e., winter-spring, summer, or fall) you are applying for, as well as your interests and qualifications. Applicants must clearly indicate which internship position(s) they are applying for in the cover letter. Applicants are welcome to apply for more than one department if they wish
  3. A resume that lists your most relevant and updated profile and contact information; and
  4. Samples of your work. Departments may require you to submit at least one of the following samples:
    • Writing sample: This could be a drafted legal document, press release, blog, or previously submitted essay or writing assignment you’ve written that reflects civil rights and advocacy issues as they pertain to CAIR scope. If none of the above are available, an original essay will also be considered. [maximum length: 5 pages; if longer, please select an excerpt].
  5. If you are a student, a course schedule for the most current academic period (only applicable for Fall and Spring session)

All interns are subject to the applicable CAIR employee rules. All interns are subject to a criminal background check.

Academic credit and community service hours

Interns may receive academic credit or community service hours if arrangements are made between CAIR and the intern’s school. It is the student’s responsibility to research the requirements, work with the supervising director to tailor the internship, and ensure that appropriate forms are completed if they wish to receive academic credits from their respective institutions.


CAIR National offers a $15/day travel stipend to offset the cost of travel for onsite internships. *Please not that any remote internship will not include this stipend*. No other financial compensation is offered at this time. We are always happy to assist with securing funding through your academic institution or other third party program.

Timeline and minimum expectations

CAIR’s internship program is open throughout the year and we accept applications on a rolling basis. Considering high school and college academic calendars, each session generally runs between the following months, though this may be adjusted depending on your availability:

  • Winter/Spring: January – May (Suggested application deadline: December 15)
  • Summer: May – August (Hard application deadline: April 30th)
  • Fall: September – December (Suggested application deadline: August 15)

Due to the high volume of applicants, it is recommended that you send in your application as soon as possible.

Selection process

Applicants should be contacted within five (5) business days of sending their complete applications. If an applicant is identified as a viable candidate for the program, an interview is scheduled. Candidates may be asked for additional documents to complement their applications prior to their interview.

Scheduling requirements

Internships are offered throughout the year, and can be arranged to accommodate academic schedules based on the student’s availability. Summer interns typically work a full-time schedule — Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lunch break. Internships are approximately 10 weeks long but can be longer depending on the intern’s availability. Part-time interns are expected to come in between 1-3 days a week. Please include your availability in your cover letter.

Questions or concerns

For general inquiries, email or call David Manning, CAIR National’s Internship Coordinator, at or 202-488-8787.

Civil Rights Intern

The Civil Rights Legal Intern will gain an inside look at CAIR’s civil rights work, including assisting with high-impact litigation.


  • Conducting case intake and screening potential cases
  • Legal research and writing related to pertinent civil rights issues
  • Drafting of memoranda
  • Providing administrative support to the legal department
  • Other tasks as assigned


  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest or civil rights work
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and phone skills
  • Ability to work well in team environments


  • Law students preferred, but non-law undergraduate students are also encouraged to apply, especially those interested in law school
  • Minimum time requirement of one semester
  • Part time or full time schedules will be considered

Law Clerk


Law clerks handle a wide variety of work. Most of this work falls under two categories: (1) intake and case management of individual clients who have been the victims of religious discrimination and (2) research assistance on pending litigation.

(1) Case management: Law clerks take shifts handling the intake line for civil rights complaints. Interns are responsible for handling individual cases and performing advocacy short of litigation. For example, interns will work with victims of discrimination to draft letters and EEOC complaints.

(2) Research assistance: Law clerks write legal memos on topics connected to CAIR’s pending civil rights litigation. For example, topics may include religious discrimination by law enforcement and the terror watchlist statutory regime. Interns will discuss their research with staff attorneys to help develop creative approaches to litigation.


  • Strong legal research and writing skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and phone skills
  • Interest in civil rights work and issues affecting the American Muslim community
  • Preference given to students who have taken constitutional law, administrative law, and federal courts


  • All law students are welcome to apply; preference is given to 2Ls and 3Ls.
  • Preference given to students who can devote 20 hours a week.
  • Minimum time requirement of one semester
  • Part-time or full-time schedules will be considered

Research & Advocacy Intern

The Research and Advocacy Intern is an internal liaison and point of contact on a variety of projects and activities for the Research and Advocacy Department. They will report to the Research & Advocacy Coordinator. The work requires a high level of discretion, detail, and often requires the use and handling of confidential, sensitive information.


  • Assist with research and drafting of the Islamophobia report, including but not limited to:
    • Compiling a list of anti-Muslim/Islam statements made by politicians/elected officials over the last year
    • Compiling data on Islamophobic bias in the media
    • Compiling all anti-Islamophobia resolutions that have passed across the country
    • Conducting research into anti-Muslim groups, and writing brief synopsis about the organization
  • Gain real-world knowledge of working with research and advocacy on Islamophobia
  • Hands-on strategizing and planning with the Research and Advocacy Coordinator
  • Participation in regular staff and departmental meetings
  • Other relevant department work as needed


  • Must be motivated, organized, and possess good communication skills


  • Must be willing to work 20 hours per week around intern’s schedule during the academic year; up to 40 hours per week during the summer

Communications & Social Media Intern

The Communications and Social Media Intern will work closely with the Communications Coordinator to create content for various publications and develop social media campaigns.


  • Write, collect, and edit content for publications and web page
  • Write content for emails
  • Write blog posts
  • Develop social media strategies
  • Cover events


  • Excellent command of written English
  • Prepare, rewrite, and edit copy
  • Demonstrated ability to fulfill the above-mentioned responsibilities
  • Possess strong logical reasoning skills
  • Demonstrated ability to craft strategic, compelling messaging for target audiences
  • Ability to work under very strict time constraints
  • A strong interest in, and familiarity with broadcast, online & print media, especially concerning stories and issues related to Islam and Muslims


  • Must be willing to work for a minimum of 6 months
  • Must be able to work minimum of 20 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours per week

Nonprofit Management Intern

CAIR is seeking an intern in its Chapter Department. The Nonprofit Management Intern will report to the National Chapter Manager and Civil Rights Chapter Support Specialist.


  • Assist with initiatives to build and expand the capacity of CAIR chapters in
    • Advocacy
    • Community service
    • Fundraising
    • Governance
    • Programming
  • Develop training materials for CAIR chapters
  • Coordinate chapter trainings
  • Assist in the creation and dissemination of publications and resources for chapters
  • Perform other related duties as assigned


  • Sophomore status (or greater) at an accredited university
  • Enthusiastic, optimistic, focused, and motivated
  • Detail-oriented and creative; self-starter and can work under minimum supervision
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, analytical and communication skills
  • Thorough working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint


  • 10 hours/week with flexible schedule.

Events & Outreach Intern

This Events & Outreach intern will work closely with the Events and Outreach Manager to aide in successfully engaging with the community in the DMV area.  This internship is a part-time opportunity (15-25 hours a week).  The candidate must have flexible evening hours and be available on Fridays. 


  • Outreach
    • Make regular outreach phone calls to universities, interfaith partners, schools, mosques, and MSAs to build relationships and offer services
    • Improve various outreach databases by acquiring up-to-date contact information for each entry
    • Assist in locating and booking outreach tables at local community events to increase CAIR’s visibility
    • Work on a project that will be on-going- focus on community outreach and education
  • Events
    • Book CAIR workshops and speaking engagements
    • Maintain a current calendar of upcoming community events
    • Assist with CAIR’s national annual banquet and conference marketing & sponsorship
  • Volunteer management
    • Assist with volunteer orientations
    • Maintain volunteer database and follow up with interested parties
    • Help to plan activities to engage current interns and volunteers
  • Other administrative duties as assigned


  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Strong organizational and multi-tasking skills
  • Friendly and outgoing (comfortable speaking in public)
  • Demonstrates the ability to follow through on various on-going and newly assigned tasks
  • Experience interacting with the Muslim community
  • Must be passionate about community engagement
  • Must have flexible evening hours
  • Access to a car preferred
  • Facilitation skills and/or curriculum building experience is a plus


  • Must be able to work part-time (15-25 hours a week)
  • Must have flexible evening hours and be available on Fridays

Government Affairs Intern

The Government Affairs intern will work closely with the Government Affairs Coordinator to fulfill government relations, communications and administrative functions. CAIR’s expanding government affairs department coordinates nationwide advocacy work on issues of public policy. Former CAIR interns and staff have gone on to accept jobs with members of Congress and in the White House.


  • Assisting the department in following legislation
  • Helping with activities on Capitol Hill pertaining to issues facing Muslims
  • Supporting programs and activities of the department
  • Assisting in database management
  • Assisting in coalition building with other Muslim or civil rights organizations
  • Other office duties as assigned


  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Demonstrates follow-through and time management skills with assigned tasks
  • Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Committed to serving the community

Maryland Outreach Intern

The Maryland Outreach intern will work closely with the Maryland Outreach Coordinator to successfully facilitate office operations.


  • Organizing “Muslims Care” service projects in the local area (one project per month)
  • Establishing and maintaining solid relationships with the local community via Muslim schools, mosques, MSAs and Muslim organizations
  • Establishing and maintaining appropriate relationship with local organizations that overlap with CAIR’s scope of mission
  • Working with other CAIR departments on establishing and maintaining appropriate relationships with local governmental institutions;
  • Maintaining a comprehensive database of local outreach activities
  • Other office duties as assigned


  • Friendly, outgoing and self-motivated
  • Strong organizational and multi-tasking skills
  • Excellent critical thinking and visual skills
  • Demonstrate the ability to follow through the various on-going and newly assigned tasks
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Is able to work well under pressure 

Law Clerk for Compliance & Nonprofit Law


  • Write legal memos on topics connected to CAIR’s contractual relationship with its affiliates,
  • Write legal service agreements with affiliates
  • Handle federal compliance issues
  • Conduct research


  • Strong legal research and writing skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and phone skills.
  • Interest in nonprofit law and management.
  • One semester of Contracts.
  • All law students are welcome to apply; preference is given to 2Ls and 3Ls.
  • Preference given to students who can devote 15 hours a week. 
  • Applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (“B” average or better)

We encourage applicants to seek outside funding or a stipend for this program if available from your law school or other entity.

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goal of diversity, CAIR is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on any legally recognized basis including, but not limited to race, age color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis.

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