CAIR-Florida is currently offering internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students throughout the state. Be a part of the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization. Our 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.
Read what former interns have said about their time at CAIR-Florida and scroll further to read various positions that are available:
"I found that I learned much more about the law and practicing law than if I was at private law firms. I attribute this to the fact that the legal services offered were not streamlined and required a lot of “hands-on” attention. This made me tremendously more comfortable after I left CAIR-Florida in exploring creative approaches to cases, substantively working on my pleadings without over-reliance reliance on boilerplate pleadings for the law, and being more self-directed generally in private practice."
"Personally, I think working at CAIR-Florida made me more aware of the broader issues facing the community and served to give a face to many marginalized members of the legal community that I was previously only intellectually aware of. Additionally, I felt like I came away with an understanding of the dynamics of employment discrimination, and how pervasive it can become. This, in turn, challenged my assumption that employment discrimination was a relatively rare phenomenon, occurring only in extreme cases and exploited by lawyers. Instead, I became more aware of how it was a pervasive and often insidious product of many workplace environments, directed against those who do not gel with the workplace culture because of their race, religious beliefs and so forth."
"My internship experience at CAIR has helped law come to life outside of the textbooks. I have also gained a better understanding on how to work with clients and perform intakes. Also, doing legal research and writing memos has helped with my legal analysis. In particular, the issues we get at CAIR-Florida often require creative thought and a deeper level of research because the courts have not necessarily even touched the issues we are presented with. Also, it has helped me gain confidence in speaking to another party on the phone or communicating with places like the Sheriff’s Office to gain communication."
A candidate must be a law student, graduate student, an undergraduate student, or have graduated from an accredited university within a year of beginning the internship.
Interns usually work a minimum of ten hours per week during a 12-week internship period, although 25-35 hours is preferred. Internships are offered during the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Interns may receive academic credit if an agreement has been made between CAIR-Florida and the intern’s college or university. All interns are subject to the applicable CAIR-Florida employee rules. All internships are unpaid.
Candidates must complete the Internship Application form and submit it with a cover letter, resume, and short writing sample. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Once applications have been received and reviewed, selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.
Civil Rights Department
The civil rights intern will work closely with the Civil Rights Director and Legal Counsel on resolving cases of discrimination reported to. Our Civil Rights Department handles cases that range from prejudiced gestures to full-blown discrimination. Our clients are Muslims as well as people of other faiths who have had Islam imputed upon them. Additionally, we handle cases of non-Muslim discrimination on a case-by-case basis.
- Assist in documenting incidents of religious discrimination by counseling and interviewing complainants regarding their incidents
- Research laws and policies on employment, student conduct, immigration procedures, criminal offenses, and other areas as seen fit
- Legal writing: drafting arguments, memos and complaints
- Participate in representing complainants in dispute resolution, EEOC mediation, filing complaints and possible law suits
- Updating databases containing information about abuses reported to CAIR-Florida
- Be a current or recent law student.
- The ideal candidate is organized and able to demonstrate follow-through to complete all assigned tasks
- He/She possesses excellent legal reasoning, written communication, and time-management skills and a commitment to serving the community
Legislative and Government Affairs Department
Interns who work in the Legislative and Government Affairs Department will be responsible for handling a wide variety of assignments and will report directly to CAIR-Florida’s Legislative and Government Affairs Director. Interns will be required to work a minimum of eight hours per week for an entire semester.
The Communications internship gives student interns the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in public relations, social media management, and promotions for a non-profit civil rights organization.
The Communications intern would work directly with the Communications Coordinator in executing CAIR-Florida’s communications strategy which aims to highlight the work of CAIR-Florida and would maintain collaborative relationships with media and stakeholder communities in Florida. Interns are required to work a minimum of ten (10) hours per week.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Web site maintenance and updates
- Creating and posting social media updates
- Helping to develop newsletters and community emails
- Helping to develop online graphics/promotional content
Community Outreach and Events Department
The Community Outreach and Events internship gives student interns the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in event planning and execution for a non-profit organization and building ties between CAIR-Florida and other communities.
The Community Outreach and Events intern would work closely with the Community Outreach and Events Coordinator on creating, planning, and executing both new and annual events that CAIR-Florida holds, such as our three yearly banquets, Ramadan and Eid events, interfaith efforts, Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns when scheduled, Day of Dignity, and Florida Muslim Capitol Day.
Interns would also work on creating opportunities for CAIR-Florida to reach out to local communities and offer our services through either Know Your Rights trainings or Islam 101 workshops.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Phone banking during banquet season
- Reaching out to local Mosques and Islamic centers to host events
- Assisting with tabling at various Mosques on Fridays after Ju’mmah
- Coordinating with the Communications Department to advertise events
CAIR-Florida welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds and faiths. School or community service credit may be arranged during the first week of the academic term. Our offices are located in Tampa, South Florida (Sunrise), and Orlando.
CAIR-FL is a growing organization and you will find that working with us presents unique challenges and opportunities. Volunteers at CAIR-FL not only implement programs with a high degree of independence but also refine the organization's goals to better meet the needs of the community.
Differences Between Internships and Volunteer Positions
There is often a lot of confusion between an intern and a volunteer because there may be an overlap in responsibilities. Internships have a greater time commitment and supervisors are generally able to provide more supervision and training. Often, if desired, we can adapt an internship into a volunteer position. Both positions are unpaid.
Potential Volunteer Positions Listed in This Document
I. Event Planning
II. Grant Research/Writing
I. Event Planning
The Event Planning volunteer will help to coordinate logistics for our annual events: annual banquets in Tampa, South Florida (Sunrise), and Orlando; Day of Dignity; media breakfasts; etc. Event planning involves setting numerous appointments with executives via email and telephone, maintaining a detailed pre-event registration system, compiling attendee information, tracking planning committee members' work to ensure completion, tracking inventory of supplies needed for events, and developing logistics for all events.
II. Grant Writing/Research
CAIR-FL is not equipped to provide the resources or knowledge to train volunteers as grant writing/research volunteers. The volunteer’s first project will be to assist in writing the position description. The volunteer will create, research, and lead grant projects with a limited amount of support from the Operations Director and/or appropriate Coordinator.
CAIR-FL often receives calls from individuals requesting a translator. Translators assist CAIR-FL’s staff members and interns when communicating with complainants during legal intake interviews and sometimes throughout the length of the case. There may be an opportunity to translate Know Your Rights presentations. Almost all translating is done over the phone. There may be opportunities publications; i.e., flyers, brochures, letters, to be translated from English to Spanish, Creole, and/or Arabic. Typically, volunteers are contacted about once or twice a month with translation opportunities.
How to Apply for Volunteer Positions