Leading Expert on Islamic Law To Join HLS Faculty

Northwestern University law professor and Islamic law expert Kristen A. Stilt will join the Harvard Law School faculty this fall, according to a Law School press release.

Stilt, who holds a dual appointment at Northwestern’s law school and history department, will also serve as co-director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program, along with law professor Intisar A. Rabb.

“It is unusual to find in one person a learned scholar, imaginative writer, and inspired teacher, yet Kristen Stilt is precisely a triple threat,” Law School Dean Martha L. Minow said in the announcement. “Her acclaimed expertise in the history of Islamic law in practice in society and her knowledge of contemporary issues in the Middle East undergird her vivid writings.”

In 1989, Stilt graduated magna cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of Texas with a degree in Middle Eastern studies. She then went on to University of Texas School of Law, where she graduated with honors and served as an editor of the Texas Law Review and editor-in-chief of Texas Journal of Women and the Law.

After briefly practicing law and working for the United Nations, Stilt enrolled at Harvard University, where she earned her Ph.D. in history and Middle Eastern studies in 2004.

Stilt taught at Boston University and the University of Washington and also served as a visiting associate professor at Harvard Law School before joining the Northwestern faculty in 2012.

“Joining the HLS faculty is a tremendous privilege,” Stilt said in the announcement. “HLS is an ideal place to further my broad scholarly interests and tackle pressing contemporary problems, and I look forward to the interactions with my new colleagues and students that will enhance both endeavors.”

—Staff writer Tyler S. Olkowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @OlkowskiTyler.


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