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Job Opening

Legal Director

Posted August 9, 2021

Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power, and in communities to protect and defend the rights of American Muslims and other vulnerable populations. Founded in 2005 in the aftermath of the passage of the Patriot Act, which led to widespread surveillance and discrimination, Muslim Advocates utilizes legal advocacy, policy engagement and civic education to challenge discriminatory laws and policies, hold hate groups accountable, and ensure that all Americans can live free from hate and discrimination. Muslim Advocates also serves as a legal resource for educating American Muslims about their civil rights and how to effectively participate in American public policymaking.

Muslim Advocates’ long-serving Executive Director stepped down in July, and the organization is currently being co-led by two of its founding board members. As it prepares for a permanent leadership transition, Muslim Advocates is at an important and exciting inflection point as it reflects on its history and accomplishments and works to strengthen its team and prepare to meet the challenges of the future.

About the Position

Muslim Advocates seeks a creative, strategic, and experienced litigator to lead our our dynamic and growing legal team as its Legal Director. The Legal Director will play a leadership role as Muslim Advocates continues to serve its mission and priorities. This includes developing legal advocacy strategies and working with the Policy Director on high impact legal projects. The legal team currently consists of one senior staff attorney, one staff attorney, and an interim legal director. The Legal Director will supervise the legal team and report to the Co-Executive Directors until a permanent Executive Director is retained.

Roles and Responsibilities

● Develop, maintain, and implement legal and advocacy strategies and an ambitious impact litigation docket that advances Muslim Advocates’ priorities and responds to immediate or emerging threats to the rights and liberties of American Muslims and other vulnerable populations.

● Manage all aspects of Muslim Advocates’ legal programs, including coordinating the selection of cases in collaboration with the Executive Director(s); overseeing investigation and development of cases before commencing litigation; building litigation teams with in-house lawyers, private attorneys, and nonprofit partners; and managing litigation in federal and state courts.

● Supervise, train and support the development of the legal team (attorneys, fellows, assistants, interns) through all phases of litigation, including community education and outreach, identification of clients, case development, drafting pleadings and briefs, discovery, and oral arguments on pre-trial and appellate matters.

● Assist with recruiting additional legal staff (budget permitting); foster a collaborative organizational culture within the legal program that encourages professional development; and regularly review legal staff performance.

● Coordinate and collaborate with other Muslim Advocates staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact legal, communications, public education, and legislative strategies.

● Inform and contribute to Muslim Advocates publications on legal matters for staff, partners, and other constituents.

● Build, manage and maintain relationships with clients, affected communities, law firms, law schools/legal clinics, allied legal groups, and other key stakeholders to advance the legal advocacy work.

● Serve as a visible spokesperson for Muslim Advocates, working closely with the Executive Director and the communications team to regularly engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions, and media opportunities.

Qualifications

Muslim Advocates seeks a values-aligned Legal Director who is a skilled and experienced litigator with highly strategic and detail-oriented problem-solving abilities; an excellent manager who can build and motivate a growing team of lawyers; and a relationship builder with strong empathy and communication skills. To be successful in this position, the Legal Director will be or have:

● A solid track record of litigation experience, including development of cases; federal, appellate and trial/pretrial experience; and a strong background in constitutional law and civil rights.

● Experience managing staff, including supporting the development of attorneys and other legal professionals and promoting collaboration within and across teams, to meet impactful goals and objectives.

● Commitment to the Muslim Advocates’ mission and a well-informed understanding of civil rights challenges facing the diversity of American Muslim communities.

● Relationship-oriented (to build relationships with clients, community organizations and other important external stakeholders).

● Well-developed and highly effective oral, written and communications skills.

● Able to develop and gain wide acceptance of a bold vision and the goals and strategies to meet that vision.

● Energy, creativity, initiative with an entrepreneurial temperament to build a growing team and body of work.

Other qualifications include: a JD from an accredited university and 8+ years of professional experience (preferred though not required). Candidates should be admitted in good standing to the bar of any state and/or the District of Columbia. Candidates should be fluent in oral and written English (other languages are a plus).

Salary and Compensation

The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience, with an expected annual salary range between $130,000 and $140,000. Muslim Advocates offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package. This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position.

Location

Muslim Advocates is based in Washington, DC, with staff successfully working remotely for the foreseeable future. The incoming Legal Director should be capable of effectively managing a remote and/or hybrid team and, ideally, based on the East Coast.

Commitment to Equity

Muslim Advocates is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants, and 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. Muslim Advocates strongly encourages people with traditionally marginalized identities to apply.

Application Process

Please submit a substantive cover letter highlighting interest, relevant experience and values-alignment, as well as a current resume and relevant writing sample by September 15, 2021 to:

Lauren I. Gumbs
Senior Partner, Gumbs + Partner
Via email, [email protected]

For more information about Muslim Advocates, visit:
www.muslimadvocates.org