In another first for Muslim Americans nationwide, the Harvard Law Review, a prestigious law school journal,has named an Egyptian-American Muslim president for the first time in its 134-year history. According to Reuters, Hassan Shahawy now president of the Harvard Law Review is from Los Angeles, he joins others who were once Harvard Law Review presidents including President Barack Obama, who was the first Black president for the review and nation. This breaks barriers in one of the most coveted roles for a law student.
Shahawy said that he hopes his election will further represent “legal academia’s growing recognition of the importance of diversity, and perhaps its growing respect for other legal traditions.” His newly appointed position makes Shahawy a strong contender for prestigious judicial clerkships and legal careers.
“Coming from a community routinely demonized in American public discourse, I hope this represents some progress, even if small and symbolic,” he told Reuters.
Shahawy graduated from Harvard as an undergraduate in 2016 with a degree in History and Near Eastern Studies. He then attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to pursue a doctorate in Oriental Studies and studied Islamic law.
He told reporters he has been actively working with refugee populations and on criminal justice reform. While his future plans are unclear, he noted the possibility of becoming a public interest lawyer or working in academia.