1998 Inaugural Conference
In December 1998, Asifa Quraishi invited several MuslimJD members to participate in a Fordham University School of Law Conference (“Rediscovering The Role of Religion in the Lives of Lawyers and Those They Represent”).
The conference organizers facilitated a gathering of the Muslim participants, where they wrote a Mission Statement and began planning a national conference. (Drafters of the Mission Statement included Asifa Quraishi, Ahmed Taha, Sadiq Reza, Moushumi Khan, Kamran Memon, Mohammad Fadel, and Azizah Al-Hibri).
1999 National Conference
The first national NAML Conference (then known as MuslimJD) was held in November 1999 at the Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, IL. It was titled “Law and Muslims,’ and with the help of volunteer Northwestern law students and lawyers from around the country, the Conference drew approximately 100 people and a keynote address by Dr. Cherif Bassiouni, Director of the DePaul University Human Rights Law Institute and former Head of the United Nations War Crimes Commission for the Former Yugoslavia.
After the Conference, a concerted group of volunteers decided to proceed with the formalization of NAML as an incorporated professional institution.
2001 National Conference
The second national NAML conference, titled “A Muslim Legal Challenge,” was held on February 17-18, 2001 at the Georgetown University Law Center and brought approximately 200 attendees and keynote speaker David Gole, Georgetown Univesrity Law Professor, and expert in immigration and deportation and related constitutional issues. Professor Sherman Jackson, distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, also addressed the conference.
Conference panels included experts on non-profit formation and governance, civil rights, immigration and career planning.
2002 National Conference
The third national NAML Conference was held in October 2002 at Columbia University Law School in New York City, organized by conference co-chairs Farah Brelvi, Mohammad Fadel and Aasma Khan. Support was provided by New York Law School and Columbia Law School faculty and students, the New York Area Muslim Bar Association and Muslim Law Student Associations. The conference content illustrated the growth and evolving priorities of the American Muslim legal community.
Its theme was “Human and Constitutional Rights: Where Do We Stand?” and featured keynote speaker was U.S. Senator Russell D. Feingold (D-WI), then member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution. The only Senator to oppose the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001, Senator Feingold delivered an inspirational speech to the 200 NAML conference attendees, encouraging American Muslim lawyers to be active in their communities and consider public service.
Conference panels included presentations by leading Muslim legal professionals on national security, international human rights, Islamic finance, Islamic alternative dispute resolution. Our banquet featured the first NAML “Outstanding Lawyer” award, presented to Chaumtoli Huq and attendees were treated to a guided tour of the Islamic art collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
2006 National Conference
In March 2006, NAML held its fourth national conference, titled “The Muslim American Legal Community Meeting the Challenge: Strengthening Muslim Institutions & Advancing Justice,” in Washington, D.C. at George Washington Law School, co-sponsored with NMLSA (National Muslim Law Student Association). Our keynote speaker was Hauwa Ibrahim, a Nigerian human rights lawyer, joint winner of the 2005 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and then World Fellow at Yale University.
This was the first NAML conference with Farhana Khera, our new Executive Director, at the helm, bringing a new level of organization and professionalism to the event. Conference panels covered national and local legal issues, as well as topics in Islam and Islamic law relevant to Muslim legal practitioners.
2007 National Conference
NAML’s fifth national conference was held in San Francisco, California from Nov. 9-11, 2007, Titled “Protecting America’s Promise” and co-sponsored with NMLSA, this conference was organized by NAML Executive Director Farhana Khera and NAML staff in the new San Francisco office, with the support of local Bay Area Muslim lawyers and law students.
Continuing to reflect the evolution of the American Muslim legal community, the conference featured a welcome from Jameel Jaffer, ACLU attorney and Co-Author of Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond, a keynote presentation by Justice Carlos Moreno of the California Supreme Court, at the closing Banquet Dinner Fundraising Event to Benefit Muslim Advocates, (NAML’s sister organization).
2017 National Conference
"Advancing Justice, Serving Communities"
Keynote Speaker: Farhana Khera
2018 National Conference
"Lawyers as Leaders"
Keynote Speaker: Sahar Aziz
2019 National Conference
"Shaping Our Future: Innovation & Social Responsibility"
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sherman Jackson