Palestine Legal is an independent organization dedicated to protecting the civil and constitutional rights of people in the US who speak out for Palestinian freedom. Our mission is to bolster the Palestine solidarity movement by challenging efforts to threaten, harass and legally bully activists into silence and inaction.
We provide legal advice, Know Your Rights trainings, advocacy and litigation support to college students, grassroots activists and affected communities who stand for justice in Palestine. Palestine Legal also monitors incidents of suppression to expose trends in tactics to silence Palestine activism.
Founded in 2012, Palestine Legal is the only legal organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to supporting the movement for Palestinian rights. Our attorneys are based in Chicago, New York City and the Bay Area, and our work spans all 50 states and Washington D.C. We work closely with several organizations, including the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild and others, to provide legal support to activists around the country.
Palestine Legal is a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
The movement for Palestinian rights is growing steadily in the United States – from the mushrooming of campus groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, to the rise in boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns, to everyday people moved to change the status quo in the region.
As support for Palestinian rights has grown, so too have attempts by groups that uncritically support Israeli state policies to silence advocates for change. Through a variety of tactics, these groups pressure government actors, universities and other private institutions to investigate, censor and punish individuals and groups who criticize Israel or support Palestinian rights.
On college campuses, students have been disciplined for peaceful protests and professors have been fired for tweets, forced to defend their research projects in Palestine, or faced intimidation for supporting an academic boycott. Events at public venues have been canceled in response to pressure campaigns. Local, state and national government actors have introduced legislation targeting BDS campaigns.
Provide legal advice, representation or referrals to individuals and groups.
Engage in legal and policy advocacy to protect the movement for Palestinian rights.
Palestine Legal works closely with a number of organizations and individuals to provide legal support to Palestine activists around the country. Our partners include:
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is Palestine Legal’s founding partner. While Palestine Legal is an independent organization, we collaborate closely with CCR, and our attorneys are CCR Cooperating Counsel.
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) partners closely with Palestine Legal. We work with NLG attorneys around the country, with the NLG’s Palestine Subcommittee and the National Executive Committee to provide advocacy support for the Palestine solidarity movement.
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (ALC) partners with Palestine Legal in an effort to guarantee that Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian students' civic engagement on campus is not undermined in the post-9/11 environment.
Jobs & Internships
+ Legal Internship (Fall Semester, Chicago)
Palestine Legal seeks to hire 1-2 legal interns for the fall semester (approximately 10 weeks), to intern up to 20 hours a week in Palestine Legal's Chicago office. Legal interns will be supervised closely by a staff attorney, and will gain skills and experience in different areas of Palestine Legal’s work, including by conducting legal research, drafting legal research memos, drafting legal and advocacy documents, and assisting with client communications. Interns will participate in an orientation to Palestine Legal’s work, methodologies, and theory of movement lawyering. Interns are regularly provided feedback on their assignments in one-on-one sessions with their supervising attorney, and provided opportunities to attend Palestine Legal and partner events. She/he/they will be directly trained and supervised by a Palestine Legal staff attorney.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Conduct legal research and draft legal research memos on relevant issues.
- Draft legal documents related to case work.
- Assist staff attorneys with client communications.
- Participate in case calls with staff attorneys.
OTHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Assist with other project areas as needed, including drafting communications materials.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: JD candidate from accredited law school.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- Excellent legal research and oral and written communication skills.
- Familiarity with the legal repression that Palestinian rights activists face in the U.S. and understanding of the Palestinian movement for freedom, in general.
- Interest in and basic understanding of relevant legal issues (First Amendment, students’ rights, national security, etc.).
- Experience and/or a demonstrated commitment to social justice, organizing and/or social movements, and Palestine Legal’s mission.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Candidate must be able to sit for long periods of time and type on a computer and must be able to communicate frequently by phone and electronically.
WORK ENVIRONMENT: This position requires work in a shared office space in Chicago. There may be 1 or more people in an office space with low to moderate noise levels (details to be determined).
COMPENSATION: Palestine Legal is dedicated to fairly compensating interns. Interns will be temporary employees of Tides Center, and will be paid an hourly wage, to be determined depending on whether the candidate has secured additional sources of funding. Where possible, Palestine Legal will assist interns interested in applying for academic credit or fellowships for the internship to supplement their compensation.
TO APPLY: Please email a resume, legal writing sample (3-5 pages) and cover letter explaining your interest in the internship to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “Legal Intern.” Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until July 1, 2017, or until the position(s) is filled, with strong consideration given to early applicants. The projected start date is September 15, 2017.
Palestine Legal, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.
Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.