NOTE: CAIR-Chicago internships and externships for Fall 2021 will be held remotely pending the latest COVID-19 pandemic statutes from local and/or state government authorities.
Check with your school’s Internship Coordinator BEFORE accepting the hiring offer to determine if this position satisfies the criteria for receiving academic credit. Be sure to know the process for approving the internship from start to finish, which may include (but is not limited to) qualifications, documents for you and CAIR-Chicago to complete and sign, assignments, deadlines, and requirements to remain in good standing and achieve a passing grade and/or receive academic credit (e.g., identify and meet goals).
Our Civil Rights Department handles cases that range from prejudiced gestures to full-blown discrimination. Our clients are Muslims, as well as members from other faith communities who have had Islam imputed upon them. Law Clerks and interns assist in several projects that highlight distinct civil rights issues that range from citizenship delays to securing the rights of Muslims to practice their religion freely in the public sphere, schools, places of employment, prisons, and other institutions.
This is UNPAID. Students are strongly advised to consult with academic faculty to determine if this meets eligibility standards for academic credit.
Interns and Externs will work closely with the Civil Rights Director, Litigation Director, and/or Staff Attorney on resolving cases of discrimination reported to CAIR-Chicago. Internships are open to undergraduate students or graduate students not enrolled in a J.D./L.L.M. program. Externships are limited to Law Students enrolled in a J.D./L.L.M. program (or who have completed one of these programs).
In order to ensure that each intern, extern, and fellow’s experience is maximized, each Civil Rights team member will be required to develop and train in the following core specialties:
1. Intake Processing
2. Legal & Policy Research
3. Administrative Assistance
Essential duties and responsibilities may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Assist in documenting incidents of religious discrimination by counseling and interviewing complainants regarding their incidents
- Research laws and policies on employment, student conduct, and immigration procedures, as well as criminal offenses and other areas as seen fit
- Assist in maintaining the Civil Rights Online Center
- Update databases containing information about abuses reported to CAIR-Chicago
- For those proficient in foreign languages primarily spoken by Muslim individuals (Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Spanish), participate in translating for complainants in communications with the Department or during legal proceedings, and translating documents for clients.
Law Clerks (Externs) have the following additional duties and responsibilities:
- Produce legal writings: draft arguments, memos, complaints, and discovery materials
- Assist in representing complainants in dispute resolution, EEOC mediation, filing complaints and lawsuits
- Those who are qualified and obtained the Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 License may also represent individual complainants in court proceedings under the supervision of an attorney in the Department
- An original writing sample (maximum 15 pages). For Intern candidates, the sample should relate to CAIR-Chicago’s scope on civil rights and advocacy. For Extern candidates (i.e., law school candidates, including current students and alumni), the sample should comply with legal writing standards, and any topic may be addressed in the document.
- Organized and demonstrate the ability to follow through the various on-going and newly assigned tasks
- Excellent written communication skills and a commitment to serving the community