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.
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.