The Civil Rights department is seeking a Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Fellow. The fellowship is for 3Ls, who have been hired by Chicago law firms (or with Chicago offices- confirm with PILI on details).
Through the PILI Graduate Fellowship Program, new associates at Chicago law firms spend 300 hours during the summer or fall working at legal service agencies in Illinois while studying for or after taking the bar. Fellows are sponsored by their firms, and receive a stipend through their firm. PILI ensures quality supervision by experienced legal aid attorneys and provides supplemental educational and networking opportunities, cultivating a commitment to pro bono work and public interest law that will stay with these new associates throughout their career.
CAIR-Chicago has hosted fellows from various law schools including Georgetown and the University of Chicago.
Fellows will work closely with CAIR-Chicago’s Litigation Director and Staff Attorney in representing complainants who have experienced various forms of religious discrimination. Fellows should be organized and committed to working on a case through its completion. The ideal Fellow will possess excellent oral and written communication skills and an interest in protecting civil liberties in the United States.
CAIR-Chicago is a local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization and was established to promote an accurate image of Islam and Muslims in America. CAIR-Chicago’s mission is to defend civil rights, fight bigotry, and promote tolerance. The Civil Rights Department counsels, mediates, and advocates on behalf of Muslims and others who have experienced religious discrimination, defamation, or hate crimes. The department works to protect and defend the constitutional rights of Muslims to freely practice their religion and be treated in a non-discriminatory manner.
In addition to pursuing individual complaints of religious discrimination reported to CAIR-Chicago, the Civil Rights Department has implemented several ongoing special projects that target important issues in the diverse Muslim communities. The Citizenship Delay Project works to end the lengthy delays in the citizenship process for Muslims applying for U.S. citizenship. The Employment Discrimination Project assists Muslims facing religious discrimination in the workplace. The Travel Free Project deals with complaints of Muslims encountering problems while traveling. The Police Misconduct Project advocates and represents clients in cases of discriminatory treatment by law enforcement. The FBI Project assists individuals contacted by FBI agents, fully protecting their constitutional rights when being questioned. The Prison Project secures the rights of Muslim inmates to practice their religion freely as well as seeks to ensure that inmates are treated humanely.