The Sikh Coalition is a wonderful place to work. We have a talented staff that is committed to social justice and has a long record of achievement in pursuit of justice. The organization is fast-paced, entrepreneurial and welcoming. Please consider a career fighting for Sikhs rights. Our generous benefits package for full-time employees includes medical insurance, dental insurance, a pension matching program, vacation and sick leave.
Position Summary: The Sikh Coalition is seeking a highly motivated 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 is a community-based organization that works towards the realization of civil and human rights for all people. The organization was launched in direct response to discrimination and backlash against Sikh Americans after 9/11. Since its inception, the Sikh Coalition has grown into the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the United States by delivering lasting and measurable results on behalf of Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.
The Sikh Coalition has favorably settled major religious discrimination cases against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York City's mass transit system), Autozone, Disney, Lexus and the NYPD. In addition, it has successfully secured the only three religious accommodations for Sikhs to serve in the United States Army with their turban and beard intact. The legal team has provided direct support to the victims and survivors of anti- Sikh hate crimes across the country. In just 2015, 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.
RESPONSIBILITIES: In this role, one 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 a leading legal expert in its field. The staff attorney will work with major law firms, non-profit partners, government agencies and law school clinics. Not only will the staff attorney be responsible for representing and advocating on behalf of Sikh clients through the legal system, but he or she will also function as a spokesperson who can translate that work effectively through local and national media.
This is a full-time position that reports to the Sikh Coalition’s Legal Director.
- 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.
- Bachelors and Juris Doctor degrees required;
- Bar membership in at least one U.S. based jurisdiction, preferably New York;
- At least 1-3 years of previous legal experience, preferably litigating;
- Demonstrated passion for social justice;
- Have compassion for clients and be able to connect with and gain the trust of community members of diverse backgrounds;
- Excellent written, oral and analytical skills;
- Bright and intellectually curious;
- Hardworking and self-motivated;
- Ability to handle a large caseload and multi-task effectively;
- Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment;
- Basic computer and Westlaw skills;
- Punjabi language skills a plus.
COMPENSATION: 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.
The Sikh Coalition is an Equal Opportunity Employer.