The CAIR internship and externship program

*Note* For Summer 2022 Semester Applicants: CAIR National will be recruiting and accepting Summer 2022 applicants with the understanding that the positions will likely be conducted on a hybrid basis, with both in-person and remote modalities, due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic. All applicants will be considered equally whether you will be physically in Washington DC or not.

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 15th)
  • 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.

Legal Intern

The Civil Rights Legal Intern will gain an inside look at CAIR’s civil rights work, providing exposure to a variety of case types and various aspects of a non-profit law office. Interns will conduct intake interviews with clients who call the hotline and manage their own caseload of clients.


  • Conducting legal case intakes and screening potential cases
  • Legal research and writing related to pertinent civil rights issues
  • Providing litigation and administrative support to the legal department
  • Assisting admin staff in office processing and management
  • Supporting projects and tasks assigned by attorneys
  • 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


  • Minimum time requirement of one semester
  • Part- or full-time schedules preferred.

Law Clerk

Law clerks will handle a wide variety of work related to civil rights matters that the CAIR Civil Rights Department handles, including: watchlist, incarceree rights, employment discrimination, free speech, discrimination by law enforcement, access to public accommodations, and other areas.  


  • Litigation support: Law clerks are responsible for assisting attorneys with all aspects of litigation including client-management, conducting legal research, drafting memoranda, drafting discovery requests, drafting motions and pleadings, drafting briefs, and other related work.
  • Pre-litigation support: Law clerks are responsible for assisting with cases in the pre-litigation stages, including assisting with client-management, conducting research and drafting memoranda, assisting with advocacy, drafting letters on behalf of clients, drafting administrative complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, drafting administrative complaints to human rights commissions regarding employment discrimination and denial of public accommodations, drafting complaints to the Department of Justice, and other tasks as needed. 
  • Additional support: Law clerks will provide ancillary administrative support to team members, as needed, in maximizing office processing and management.  


  • 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.
  • Minimum time requirement of one semester
  • Part-time or full-time schedules preferred.

Government Affairs Intern

The Government Affairs intern will work closely with the Government Affairs Director 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.


  • Conduct legislative research and policy analysis on issues facing the American Muslim community
  • Attend and summarize hearings and briefings on Capitol Hill and other government events
  • Assist the department in tracking legislation
  • Write press releases and action alerts
  • Participate in grass roots Get Out the Vote campaigns and community engagement
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Be enrolled in college or be a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in government, public policy, international relations, or another related field
  • Previous government or advocacy experience preferred
  • Previous campaign experience preferred
  • Basic knowledge of legislative processes
  • Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to write quickly and effectively under deadline
  • Demonstrates follow-through and time management skills with assigned tasks


  • Must be willing to work 20 hours per week around intern’s schedule

Research and 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, attention to detail, and often requires the use and handling of confidential, sensitive information.


  • Assisting with compiling & organizing Civil Rights data
  • Assist with research related to the annual Civil Rights Report
  • Monitor and document Islamophobic content, actors, and organizations
  • Work with Research and Advocacy Coordinator to write blogs for the Islamophobia website & provide periodic updates to website material
  • Additional tasks when deemed necessary


  • Must be motivated, organized, and possess good communication skills
  • 1-2 years of experience within and humanities or social science research preferred, but not required
  • Excellent research and writing skills


  • Must be willing to work a minimum of 10 hours to a maximum of 40 hours per week, around the intern’s schedule during the academic year

Communications and Programs Intern

The Communications & Programs Intern will report to the Deputy Executive Director and work closely with the Communications Director to assist with CAIR’s messaging, content creation, and advocacy as well as provide support to the programmatic needs of the CAIR National office.


  • Assist with:
    • Writing, collecting, and editing content for written publications and website
    • Aggregating & writing content for daily & weekly email newsletters
    • Coordinating & running CAIR’s social media platforms & online outreach
    • Coordinating & running CAIR’s biweekly CAIR on Air online programming and other digital events
    • Developing social media strategies & campaigns
    • Analyzing engagement on online content
    • Historical media preservation
  • Cover events and press conferences
  • Write original op-eds and blog posts
  • Help promote our work across various platforms


  • Excellent command of written English
  • 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
  • Social media experience management experience preferred
  • Graphic design experience highly preferred
  • Media archiving experience highly preferred


  • The minimum commitment is 1 semester, but encourage longer
  • The minimum average hours per week is 20, with a maximum of 40 hours per week
  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate/graduate academic program or a recent graduate

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.

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 

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

Accounting and Finance Intern

The Accounting & Finance Intern directly assists the CFO & Staff Accountants with a range of projects related to account reconciliation, invoicing, payroll preparation and more. Will also provide similar support as needed to the Legal Defense Fund. This internship is designed to be both educational and practical to provide an intern the opportunity to gain valuable on-the-job training within a professional non-profit setting.


  • Data-entry of invoices into the financial system
  • Receives payments (checks, cash, and credit cards) and records all accounts receivable
  • Printing and mailing of checks
  • Scanning & photocopying of accounting documents
  • Processes employee reimbursements
  • Maintains and updates W9 vendor information & 1099s
  • Filing monthly accounting paperwork
  • Audit support
  • Assist with other administrate tasks and special projects as needed


  • Current undergraduate or graduate student majoring in accounting, finance, or similar program
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in finance & accounting
  • Intermediate Excel experience to create and maintain accounting spreadsheets
  • Familiarity with Quickbooks, understands T-Accounts
  • Possess a high degree of discretion dealing with confidential information
  • Must be motivated, organized, and possess good communication skills


Must be currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student. 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. 

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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