We're hiring. Join us!
Posted February 14, 2023
In 2005, Muslim Advocates was founded in the aftermath of the passage of the Patriot Act. In the years since, our organization has fought tirelessly to combat systemic, anti-Muslim discrimination.
Muslim Advocates is at a transformational point in its 18-year history. With the recent appointment of Omar Farah as Executive Director, Muslim Advocates is committed to defending the full, diverse spectrum of Muslim communities against abusive state and corporate power. Our approach is to leverage litigation that puts people and social movements first, advocacy that is coalitional and that amplifies the work of organizers across the country, and legislative engagement that pushes policymakers to be accountable to the demands of Muslim and other targeted communities. Through our strategic communications, Muslim Advocates will help shift the often oppressive narratives about Muslim identity.
Muslim Advocates’ organizational path is guided by ongoing strategic planning that will determine the pace and scale of our growth. This is a consequential and exciting time to join our team.
About the Position
Muslim Advocates seeks a creative, strategic, and experienced litigator with strong supervisory skills to lead and expand our legal department. The Legal Director must believe wholeheartedly in fostering staff belonging and joy through systems, practices, and norms that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Legal Director is responsible for furthering all aspects of organizational health and sits on the organization’s Senior Management Team. In partnership with the Executive Director, the Legal Director will be responsible for developing a comprehensive legal-advocacy strategy that brings Muslim Advocates closer to achieving our organizational mission.
The Legal Director will manage the legal department and will develop and drive a litigation docket that centers the demands of social movements working to combat anti-Muslim targeting in all of its forms, from surveillance and other discriminatory law enforcement practices, to over-incarceration of Muslims, the repression of dissent, and the targeting of non-citizens. The Legal Director will also work to expand Muslim Advocates’ reach into other thematic areas of litigation that address the complex, intersectional challenges faced by Muslim communities.
The legal team currently consists of four attorneys and one paralegal. The Legal Director will report directly to the Executive Director.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Develop, lead, and maintain an ambitious impact litigation docket that is responsive to social movements, thematically diverse, and that advances Muslim Advocates’ priorities.
- Manage and perform all aspects of Muslim Advocates’ litigation, including investigation, outreach, drafting complaints, pre-trial motion practice, discovery, trials, appellate advocacy, and proactive client communication.
- Build efficient litigation teams and strong co-counseling relationships with allied legal organizations, law firms, and law schools/legal clinics.
- Build, manage, and maintain relationships with affected communities, coalitions, frontline organizers, and other key stakeholders to develop trust and cooperation around shared goals.
- Anticipate and help respond to emerging legislative and policy threats to American Muslims with clear analysis that centers the most vulnerable.
- Supervise, train, and support the development of the legal team (attorneys, fellows, paralegals, interns) through all phases of litigation; regularly provide formal and informal feedback on legal staff performance; help identify external resources and opportunities to further professional development.
- Assist with recruiting additional legal staﬀ; model and foster a collaborative, equitable, and inclusive culture that is results-driven.
- Partner with other Muslim Advocates staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and to drive public education, legislative, and communication strategies.
- Lead the development of publishable written reports on important legal-advocacy matters for our stakeholders.
- Proactively partner with the Executive Director and the communications team to amplify our organizational messages by engaging in public education forums, legal-advocacy convenings, media appearances, and by drafting opinion pieces.
- Collaborate with the Executive Director and development team on Muslim Advocates’ fundraising strategy.
Muslim Advocates seeks a values-aligned Legal Director who is a skilled, tested, and highly productive litigator, a thoughtful manager invested in sharing their expertise with a motivated team, a strategic problem solver, and a self-aware, patient, and respectful relationship builder. To be successful, the Legal Director will be, have, or will be developing:
- An outstanding litigation record that includes the development of cases, federal trial and appellate experience, and a strong background in constitutional law and civil rights. Transferable criminal defense experience is also welcome.
- Experience or comfort with legal doctrine related to Muslim Advocates’ mission including, for example, freedom of religion, racial justice, prison conditions, surveillance, discriminatory policing, immigration and the targeting of non-citizens, and freedom of dissent.
- Experience managing staff, including supporting the development of attorneys and other legal professionals and promoting collaboration within and across teams to meet complex goals.
- Passion for Muslim Advocates’ mission and a well-informed understanding of intersecting civil rights challenges facing the diversity of American Muslim communities.
- Demonstrated talent for building and maintaining sturdy relationships with clients, allies, and other stakeholders.
- Outstanding oral and written communications skills for any audience.
- Initiative, creativity, and an entrepreneurial temperament to expand Muslim Advocates’ litigation team and its body of work.
- Kindness, empathy, and a sense of humor.
Other qualifications include: a JD from an accredited university and demonstrable depth of professional legal experience. Candidates must be admitted in good standing to the bar of any state and/or the District of Columbia. Candidates must be fluent in oral and written English; competence in other languages is highly valued.
Salary and Compensation
The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience, with an expected annual salary range between $150,000 and $180,000 per year. Muslim Advocates offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package. This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position.
Muslim Advocates’ staff works remotely. The incoming Legal Director must be capable of effectively managing a remote team that is predominantly based on the East Coast. Periodic domestic travel for staff gatherings, court appearances, case development, fundraising events, and other professional reasons is required.
Commitment to Equity
Muslim Advocates is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all employees and applicants. Muslim Advocates does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, disability, whistleblower status, or any other category protected by state or federal law.
Please submit a resume, cover letter, and a legal writing sample by March 31, 2023 to:
Lauren I. Gumbs
Senior Partner, Gumbs + Partner
Via email, [email protected]
For more information about Muslim Advocates, visit: www.muslimadvocates.org