Ramzi Kassem


My driving ambition is for scholarship that remains rooted in and true to the lived experience and transformative vision of the clients, communities, and movements that have worked with me. Unmoored from the accountability that accompanies a principled praxis, legal scholarship all too often serves and perpetuates prevailing power structures.


Ramzi Kassem is a Professor of Law at The City University of New York. His writing, teaching, and legal practice all aim to contest the expressions and excesses of the sprawling U.S. security state, both domestically and abroad. Kassem’s work with his students has resulted in groundbreaking civil rights litigation challenging state surveillance, and it has led to the liberation of clients incarcerated, often for years, at Guantánamo Bay, other overseas facilities, and federal and immigration prisons. He works within various movements, including Communities United for Police Reform and Movement for Black Lives.

In addition to academic writing, Kassem’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian and elsewhere. Since 2009, Kassem has served as the founding director of the award-winning CLEAR project at CUNY School of Law. A proud immigrant and incorrigible New Yorker, Kassem’s full profile is here.