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Meet Hassan Shahawy: Harvard Law Review's First Muslim President

posted on: Feb 17, 2021

Harvard Law Review
Hassan Shahawy, the first Arab-Muslim Harvard Law Review President
Source: The Crimson

On January 30, the Harvard Law Review has officially elected Hassan Shahawy, an Egyptian-American muslim Harvard Law student, as the Harvard Law Review president. This has made him the first Muslim Arab to receive this title within one of the most prestigious U.S. law journals. Harvard Law School student Hassan Shahawy has acknowledged that the “legal academia’s growing recognition of the importance of diversity, and perhaps it’s growing respect for other legal traditions.” Shahawy rings in a new era of exciting change within law academia that brings about progressive decisions. Shahawy is among some of the most successful and prestigious names within American politics to be part of the Harvard Law Review such as former U.S. President Barack Obama, current serving members of the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.

“Coming from a community routinely demonized in American public discourse, I hope this represents some progress, even if small and symbolic,”

Hassan Shahawy on Igniting Change in our Legal Academia
Harvard Law Review
Harvard Law Review Banner
Source: Harvard Law Review

“I’ve always tried to focus on the substance of my life and work: am I living consistently with my faith and my values, and am I helping people as much as I can” 

Shahawy on his goals and morals and how they align with his beliefs

What is the Harvard Law Review?

Harvard Law Review is a law review that is independently orchestrated by law students, and established on April 15, 1887. The primary focus of the Review is to publish legal information and scholarships, and comes out monthly from November through June. Harvard Law Review only accepts the top law students within the nation, making it the most prestigious program for law students, and creating opportunities for recruitment of judicial clerkships and other prestigious jobs in the profession. Among some of the names to make history along with Shawahy are ImeIme Umana, the first black women to become president, and Andrew M. Crespo who is the first Latino president in the Harvard Law Journal.

More About Harvard Law Review President-Elect

Shahawy, a Los Angeles born Egyptian-American muslim, graduated from Harvard as an undergrad in 2016 with a degree in History and Near Eastern Studies, and is currently in his second year of law school at Harvard Law School. He also attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to pursue a doctorate in Oriental Studies and studied Islamic law. Shahawy believes in refugee populations and on criminal justice reform and works with cases directly on those topics. He is also currently working for the MacArthur Justice Center, helping with criminal appeal cases. Shahawy was an editor for the review prior to running for presidency in January. He expressed that he’d never thought of pursuing the role of “first Muslim president-elect” and hopes to impact the system in a positive way. One way that he is planning on doing this is by diversifying the perspectives that are used within the review, and creating more open discussion for minority communities.

 “His collaborative approach to leadership, deep commitment to engagement across difference, and excellent judgement will serve the Review extremely well during this extraordinary time.”

Michaeljit S. Sandhu, Shahawy’s predecessor, on his excellent leadership skills

Shahawy is welcomed by the staff as well as his previous predecessor as an excellent leader that will lead the review into a new and more progressive approach.

To learn more about some of the most influential Arabs bringing about change to the American world, check out our blog!