P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Ramzi Kassem, 2001

Professor, CUNY School of Law

Ramzi Kassem is an immigrant from Lebanon

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at Columbia University

Ramzi Kassem is an Associate Professor of Law at CUNY. He is the founding director of the CLEAR project.

Ramzi was born in Beirut to parents who have Lebanese, Syrian, Moroccan, Turkish and Circassian roots. 

Ramzi holds a JD from Columbia University, where he also completed a BA in Economics/Political Science. He also earned a French law degree from the Sorbonne in Paris. 

Aa an undergraduate, Ramzi received the Kings Crown Leadership Award, in part for his role in promoting Arab-Jewish dialogue, and wrote a thesis on the shifting boundary between fiction and biography in the works of Guadelupian writer Maryse Conde. At Columbia University he was an editor of the Columbia Law Review and the founder of Qanun, a group that addresses international legal issues in North Africa and the Middle East and domestic legal issues affecting Arab-Americans. 

As a witness partner at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon, Ramzi helped youths record video interviews with Palestinian residents who had been displaced from their homes in 1948 and edited the resulting footage into a documentary titled "The Road South." While in law school, Ramzi worked in New Orleans on death penalty issues, in Port-au-Prince on human rights and rule of law issues, in Washington, D.C., on a US redistricting case heard by the Supreme Court, and in New York at the Center for Constitutional Rights and at the International Rescue Committee. 

Ramzi completed his law studies in 2004, passed the New York bar exam and became a civil rights fellow at Cochran Enfold & Scheck in New York, focusing on litigation relating to police misconduct and wrongful conviction cases. He was an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School and a clinical lecturer at Yale Law School.


  • JD Law | Columbia University 2004
  • BA Economics & Political Science | Columbia University 1999
Work History
  • CUNY School of Law, Professor
transform="translate(188.000000, 15.000000)"