Sahar F. Aziz

Associate Professor of Law

Sahar Aziz

“Law does not function in a vacuum. To competently represent their clients, lawyers not only must master legal doctrine but also understand the social, political and economic realities that shape law and ultimately define justice in America.”

Get to Know Sahar F. Aziz

What drew you to the law?

My parents immigrated from Egypt to the United States in pursuit of educational and economic opportunity. Over the years as we transitioned into our new home, we faced multiple challenges that exposed me to societal disparities that undermine America’s commitment to rule of law and equal opportunity for all. After serving as a student leader and advocate for underprivileged communities, I decided to become a lawyer committed to safeguarding the civil rights, opportunities and freedoms that attract millions of immigrants across the world to the United States in pursuit of a better life.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I view law school as a training ground for my students to prepare for the rigor and intellectual challenge of representing a diverse clientele in various contexts. As such, I take pride in teaching my students effective study habits, interpersonal skills, and the work ethic necessary to be a successful lawyer and future leader.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

Practicing law is much more than simply knowing statutes or legal doctrines. It is a multifaceted craft that requires years to master. As such, I incorporate into my courses experiential learning through simulations, legal memos and in-class exercises that allow my students to incorporate the legal doctrine into problem-solving processes. Rather than memorize law that is subject to change over time, my students are encouraged to be independent thinkers who can analyze and critique existing law and policy as they learn creative litigation strategies, how to persuasively frame arguments, and oral advocacy skills.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I was fortunate to utilize my law degree in various contexts, including as an associate at WilmerHale representing corporate clients, at Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll representing plaintiffs in class-action Title VII litigation, and as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. I had the privilege of serving as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Andre M. Davis (currently on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit) when he served on the U.S. District Court of the District of Maryland.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

As a former track and field athlete, running continues to be an important part of my life. I also love to travel internationally with my family, including my three beautiful children.

What are your research interests?

My research focuses on the intersection of national security and civil liberties, with a particular focus on the domestic impact on ethnic and religious minority groups and the global impact on authoritarianism and democracy in the Middle East.

Publications

My publications are available on BePress SelectedWorks™.

Presentations

  • Panelist (invited), “Fourth Amendment: Rights, Race, Religion,” Conference on Policing, Conflict, and Change, Cardozo School of Law (March 12, 2015)
  • Presenter (with Dr. James Rogers, Texas A&M University at Qatar), “Formal Models of Political Institutions,” Public Choice Society Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, (March. 12-15, 2015)
  • Presenter (selected from a call for papers), “Theater or Transitional Justice: Reforming Egypt’s Judiciary,” annual conference of the Association of American Law Schools, International Human Rights Section, Washington, D.C. (Jan. 3, 2015)
  • Presenter (invited), “Borders in Transition: Rethinking Sovereignty, Domestic Politics and International Relations in the MENA Region,” European University Institute, Florence, Italy (Dec. 11-12, 2014)
  • Discussant (invited), “The Legal and Regulatory Challenges Facing Egypt’s Press,” Egypt Media Forum, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 1-3, 2014)
  • Presenter (invited), “Cross-National Civil Rights Challenges Facing Muslim Women in the US,” Women in the Revolution: Gender and Social Justice after the Arab Spring, University of Iowa School of Law (Sept. 26, 2014)
  • Presenter (invited), “Theater or Transitional Justice: Reforming the Judiciary in Egypt,” Texas A&M University in Qatar, Doha, Qatar (Sept. 11, 2014)
  • ​Participant (invited), Transitional Justice in the Middle East Workshop, Georgetown University Center for International Relations, Doha, Qatar (Aug. 11-13, 2014)
  • Presenter (invited), “Egypt’s Election: Justice, Gender and Human Rights,” The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights (May 21, 2014). Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9HRz2zC5Ak&feature=share.
  • Presenter (invited), “Veiled Discrimination,” UCLA School of Law Critical Race Theory Workshop, Los Angeles, CA (April 15, 2014)
  • Speaker (invited), “Law at the Crossroads of Revolution in Egypt,” Yale Law School (Feb. 24, 2014)
  • Panelist (invited), “Cultural Considerations When Working with Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians,” Alternative Dispute Resolution Continuing Legal Education Course, State Bar of Texas, Dallas, TX (Jan. 17, 2014)
  • Panelist (invited, with Professor Nathan Brown), “Egypt’s New Constitution: Fulfilling the Revolution’s Goals,” The Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C. (Dec. 11, 2013)
  • Presenter (invited), “Workshop on Democratic Governance and the Post-2015 Framework,” The United Nations, New York, NY (Dec. 3, 2013)
  • Keynote speaker (invited), “What’s Next for Human and Civil Rights in Egypt,” The University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, SC (Nov. 14, 2013)
  • Panelist (invited), “Law and Politics in Post-Revolutionary Egypt,” The University of Texas Center for Middle Eastern Studies (Nov. 7, 2013)
  • Participant (invited), Community Surveillance: Strategizing for Solutions, Columbia Law School, New York, NY (Aug. 15-16, 2013)
  • Keynote speaker (invited), “Gender and Elections After Egypt’s Jan. 25 Revolution,” New Voices in Comparative Law, the American Society of Comparative Law Younger Comparativists Second Annual Conference, University of Indiana McKinney School of Law (April 18-19, 2013)
  • Presenter (invited), “A Typology of Muslim Women Feminists,” Section on Africa, Association of American Law Schools Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (Jan. 6, 2013)
  • Presenter (invited), “The Arab Spring and Constitutionalism in the Middle East,” Fordham Law School, New York, NY (Nov. 18, 2012)
  • Presenter (invited), “Consolidating the Change: Challenges of Writing New Constitutions,” Harvard Arab Weekend Conference, Harvard Law School (Nov. 10, 2012)
  • Presenter, “Preparing for Egypt’s Presidential Elections and the Transition to Civilian Rule,” The Center for Christian Muslim Understanding, Georgetown University (March 26, 2012)
  • Presenter (invited), “Muslim-American Citizenship: A Decade Since 9/11,” Columbia University, New York, NY (Oct. 7, 2011)

Expertise

  • National security and counterterrorism
  • Civil rights
  • Rule of law in the Middle East
  • Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in the West
  • Employment discrimination
  • Race and the law

Courses

  • National Security Law & Policy / Anti-Terrorism Criminal Enforcement
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Islamic & Middle East Law
  • Race & the Law
  • Torts

Academic Experience

  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-present)
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas Wesleyan School of Law (2011-2013)
  • Adjunct Professor
    Georgetown Law Center (2010-2011)

Education

  • J.D., University of Texas School of Law, cum laude
    • Texas Law Review, Associate Articles Editor
  • M.A., Middle East Studies, University of Texas
  • B.Sc. in Management Information Systems, University of Texas at Arlington, magna cum laude

Awards / Honors

  • Rose Nader Award, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (June 2015)
  • Texas A&M Law Review Service Award (May 2015)
  • Emerging Scholar Class of 2015, Diverse Magazine
  • Featured in University of Florida Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations newsletter, available here (Fall 2014)
  • Frederic White Texas ​Wesleyan School of Law Faculty Scholarship Award (May 2013)
  • Scholar in Residence, The Role of Law in Revolutionary Egypt, Institute for Immigration and International Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston, Texas (Oct. 2013)
  • Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (June 2011)
  • Patriot Award, Bill of Rights Defense Committee (October 2010)

In the Media

Other Professional Activities

  • Member, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Task Force to Combat Harassment in the Workplace (2015-2016)
  • Co-Chair, Islamic Law Section, Association of American Law Schools (2015)
  • Executive Committee, International Human Rights Section, Association of American Law Schools (2015)
  • Chair, Diversity Committee, Texas A&M School of Law (2013-present)
  • Mentor, Bush Institute Women’s Leadership Initiative, Egypt Project (2013-14)
  • Board member, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (2012-present)
  • Faculty Advisor, American Constitution Society Student Chapter, Texas A&M School of Law (2011-present)
    • Awarded Chapter of the Week by ACS National (Spring 2015)
    • Awarded Rising Chapter of the Year by ACS National (2013-14)
  • President, Egyptian American Rule of Law Association (2011-present)
  • Testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, “Federal Civil Rights Engagement with Muslims and Arabs,” Washington, D.C. (Nov. 9, 2012). Testimony available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2184973
  • Testified before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Strategic Enforcement Plan, Private, State and Local Government Sectors Roundtable,” Washington, D.C. (July 18, 2012). Testimony available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/7-18-12/aziz.cfm