Senior Staff Attorney
The Sikh Coalition seeks a highly motivated Senior Staff Attorney to join our team to provide direct legal assistance and advocate on behalf of Sikhs who have been discriminated against or subject to bias based upon their religious beliefs or Sikh identity. These include cases of hate crimes, employment discrimination, bias-based school bullying, religion-based discrimination, profiling, and other forms of discrimination.
The Sikh Coalition has favorably resolved major religious discrimination cases against the federal government, J.B. Hunt, Autozone, Disney, Lexus and the NYPD. In addition, it has successfully litigated against and secured a policy change allowing for Sikhs to serve in the U.S. Army with their turbans, unshorn hair, and beards intact. The legal team has provided direct support to the victims and survivors of anti- Sikh hate crimes across the country. In just 2016, the work of the Sikh Coalition’s legal team was featured nationally and internationally in media outlets including: The New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fox News, NPR, etc.
In this role, the attorney will have the opportunity to work with a dynamic, professional and experienced team that is viewed by law firms and other civil rights organizations as leading legal experts in its field. In addition, the attorney will work with major law firms, non-profit partners, government agencies and law school clinics. Not only will the attorney be responsible for representing and advocating on behalf of Sikh clients, but will also function as a spokesperson who can translate that work effectively through local and national media.
- Represent and advocate on behalf of Sikhs in a wide range of civil rights matters,
- Communicate effectively with clients;
- Analyze clients’ claims under relevant law, advise clients, and take appropriate legal action;
- Conduct legal research, and draft legal memoranda and pleadings;
- Conduct all aspects of litigation (strategizing, drafting pleadings, conducting discovery, etc.) in civil cases before state and federal courts and administrative bodies;
- Manage intake and interview prospective clients;
- Provide limited information and referrals in cases that the organization cannot take on;
- Recruit pro bono counsel and collaborate with other attorneys and organizations;
- Supervise and manage interns and fellows;
- Work effectively with the organization’s staff on collateral matters (whether advocacy campaigns, media initiatives, fundraising, etc.);
- Represent the Sikh Coalition at a variety of meetings and speaking engagements, and to the press and media outlets.
Commensurate with experience. Generous benefits package includes medical, dental, pension matching program, vacation and sick leave. Annual bar membership dues and CLE fees are reimbursed.
QUALIFICATIONS, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
- Bachelors and Juris Doctor degrees required;
- Bar membership in at least one U.S. based jurisdiction, preferably New York;
- At least three to five years of previous legal experience, preferably litigating;
- Excellent written, oral and analytical skills;
- Demonstrated passion for social justice;
- Compassion for clients and be able to connect with and gain the trust of community members of diverse backgrounds;
- Bright, intellectually curious, hardworking and self-motivated;
- Able to handle a large caseload, multi-task effectively, and work independently in a fast-paced environment;
- Enjoys playing David to the world’s Goliaths, i.e., is undeterred by the complex challenges faced by our clients and the Sikh community, and thrives on creative advocacy and strategizing of legal & non-legal solutions;
- Is a team player, i.e., is able to work effectively with legal and non-legal staff across all program areas, external co-counsel, board members, interns & fellows;
- Basic computer and Westlaw skills;
- Punjabi language skills a plus.