civil rights attorney

Job Title:  Civil Rights Attorney

Areas of Practice: Policing, FBI/CBP, Prisoners’/Incarceree Rights, Employment Discrimination and Accommodation, Land use, School Bullying, Other Civil Rights

Reports to: Executive Director 

Schedule Type: Full-time

Location: Newark, NJ (Hybrid Schedule)


About the Organization:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. The demand for our services has grown tremendously. From restrictions placed on Muslims to practice their religion, to profiling and discrimination, the need for CAIR in New Jersey is great. CAIR New Jersey strives to ensure that Muslims in New Jersey enjoy the same protections that all Americans have. The CAIR-NJ staff has more than tripled in the last three years.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, New Jersey office (CAIR-NJ) is looking for a qualified, passionate, and talented individual to lead the Legal Department and represent CAIR-NJ clients. . We are seeking individuals capable of leading the organization’s ever-increasing civil rights work while growing the legal department and its impact. Join a quickly growing team that defends civil rights on behalf of American Muslims, promotes civic engagement, strengthens the image of Islam and Muslims in the media, and builds coalitions to promote justice and mutual understanding. 

Position summary:

CAIR New Jersey is looking for a passionate and talented individual to be our full-time Civil Rights Attorney. The Civil Rights Attorney would oversee CAIR-NJ’s civil rights casework and legal initiatives. Join one of the most dynamic teams serving the American Muslim community. 


  • Manage caseload and supervise related casework

  • Coordinate legal intake process with Operations Coordinator, case selection, and case referral.   

  • Conduct legal research and draft of legal documents

  • Participate in alternative dispute resolution

  • Work strategically with a CAIR-NJ Staff Attorney and Executive Director 

  • Manage client intakes 

  • Participate in all aspects of CAIR-NJ litigation

  • Participate in legislative advocacy when needed with the Government Affairs Manager

  • Participate in conducting community education and outreach, including Know-Your-Rights presentations at mosques and college campuses

  • Assist other staff in the production of reports

  • Build or maintain relationships with clients, affected communities, elected officials, law firms, law schools, legal clinics, allied legal groups, and other key stakeholders to advance the organization’s legal and policy work.

Required Qualifications:

  • J.D. degree (American Bar Association accredited school) with admission in good standing with the NJ Bar. (We will consider candidates whose State Bar results are currently pending)

  • Highly motivated and self-starting 

  • Ability to handle multiple concurrent assignments

  • Excellent research, analytical, written, and oral communication skills  

  • Proficiency with legal research and familiarity with legal search engines

  • Proficiency with Microsoft One Note and Excel, or any other legal case management software

  • Demonstrated leadership and ability to work independently and in collaboration with other attorneys, community advocates, and community-based organizations 

  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the rights of low-income, Black, Muslim, people of color, and/or immigrant communities 

  • Experience writing claim letters

  • Experience in organizing and/or working in coalition spaces to advance the rights of low-income, Black, Muslim, people of color, and/or immigrant communities  

Preferred Supplemental Qualifications:

  • Bilingual skills in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, or other relevant languages 

  • Working knowledge of New Jersey Muslim community

  • Experience with employment discrimination law 

  • Experience with civil rights law

  • Experience and/or knowledge of state legislative processes and structure 

Commitment to the mission:

  • Passion for the mission of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, including a strong commitment to securing the civil rights and justice for Muslim-Americans and their families.

Interpersonal skills:

  • Be independent and self-motivated, require minimal supervision 

  • Ability to work fluidly with staff, who may also be Muslim-American.

  • Must be able to work flexibly to deal with different cultural norms, educational backgrounds, and professional skills.

  • Enjoy working in a fast-paced and often changing environment.

Writing and analytical skills:

  • Superb writing skills and the ability to compile all necessary information for legal documents

  • Ability to analyze the best path forward given a community member’s individual circumstances


  • Annual Salary of $60,000 – $90,000, commensurate with experience. 

  • Fully paid health insurance for employee

  • Up to 3% IRA matching contribution

  • 11 paid holidays, 12 days paid vacation, 5 sick days, and 5 personal days per year

Other Benefits:

  • CAIR-NJ is invested in the professional development of its staff. The hire will have access to mentors through the CAIR Legal Network and can attend an annual legal training held by CAIR National.

  • CAIR-NJ provides an excellent Islamic work environment

  • CAIR-NJ provides a hybrid remote/in-person work schedule 

How To Apply:

All those interested and eligible to work in the U.S. (citizens or proper work visa holders) are encouraged to apply. Please submit:

(1) Cover letter

(2) Resume

(3) Three references

(4) Answers for the application questions (if any) found on this page

(5) Legal writing sample of no more than five pages, double spaced.


Application Deadline: Interviews conducted on a rolling basis.


CAIR-NJ is an equal opportunity employer.

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