Hassaan Shahawy is the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School. He is a historian interested in legal philosophy and Islamic law, with a related interest in property and trusts and estates. He is currently researching early Islamic debates about the authority of jurists to depart from formalistic reasoning by appealing to higher ideals (like justice, wisdom, and virtue), and the importance of those debates for understanding modern Islamic legal reform movements. He is similarly researching the role that wisdom and virtue play in American law, and their impact on how and when the American legal system marks decisions by different kinds of legal actors — from judges, to presidents, to people — as legitimate.
Hassaan received a BA in History from Harvard College, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MSt and DPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He has also pursued traditional Islamic studies in the US, UK, Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan. While at HLS, he was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow and served as President of the Harvard Law Review.
Hassaan has experience in impact litigation and direct services work on behalf of refugees, incarcerated and unhoused people, and people with disabilities. He clerked for Chief Judge David J. Barron of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- J.D. Harvard Law School, 2022
- D.Phil Asian and Middle Eastern Studies University of Oxford, 2020
- M.St. Islamic Studies & History University of Oxford, 2017
- B.A. History Harvard College, 2016