Sahar F. Aziz

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

Link to my publications.

Presentations

  • "ISIS: Navigating Conflict with Non-State Actors," University of Texas School of Law (April 15, 2016)
  • "The Color of Surveillance," Georgetown Law Center (April 8, 2016)
  • “The Paradox of Preventive Counterterrorism,” US Counterterrorism Policy, Harvard Law School (March 28-29, 2016)
  • “(De)Essentializing Terrorism: A Typology of Terrorists, Symposium: Redefined National Security Threats: Tensions and Legal Implications,” Emory Law School (Feb. 10, 2016)
  • “Challenging Sovereignty: Exploring the Rise of ISIS and Boko Haram,” Association of American Law Schools Annual Conference (January 9, 2016)
  • “Coercive Assimilationism: The Perils of Muslim Women’s Identity Performance in the Workplace,” Columbia Law School, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law (Nov. 10, 2015)
  • “Convening on Religious Exemptions and Racial Justice,” Columbia Law School (May 11, 2015)
  • ​“Borders in Transition: Rethinking Sovereignty, Domestic Politics and International Relations in the MENA Region,” European University Institute, Florence, Italy (Dec. 11-12, 2014)
  • “The Legal and Regulatory Challenges Facing Egypt’s Press,” Egypt Media Forum, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 1-3, 2014)
  • “Law at the Crossroads of Revolution in Egypt,” Yale Law School (Feb. 24, 2014)
  • “Democratic Governance and the Post-2015 Framework,” The United Nations, New York, NY (Dec. 3, 2013)

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

  • Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2016-present)
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-2016)
  • 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

  • Derrick Bell Award, awarded by the American Association of Law Schools, Minority Section (2016)
  • 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)
  • Dean's Scholarship Award for Junior Faculty (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

  • Panel Testimony Witness for "Identifying the Enemy: Radical Islamist Terror" panel before the Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Sept. 22, 2016. Visit website.
  • 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-​2015)
  • 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