Montgomery Fellow Returns from Iran to Teach Islamic Law at Southwestern
Alumna Gilda Gazor '07, who recently studied law in Iran as the first Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Fellow, has returned to Los Angeles, where she will teach as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern. She will draw on her unique experience in the Middle East to co-teach a course in Islamic Law with Professor Mark Cammack during the spring semester, and then in the fall of 2013, she will teach Comparative Constitutional Law with a focus on Iran.
"Having spent the last two years studying in Tehran, Professor Gazor brings a unique global perspective to the classroom," Dean Austen Parrish said. "We're extremely pleased to host Gilda as the inaugural Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Fellow.”
Vice Dean Anahid Gharakhanian added, "Professor Gazor brings to us a deep knowledge of and a rare glimpse into law and society in Iran, which is bound to enrich our students' understanding of Islamic Law as well as Comparative Law in a valuable and unique way."
In 2009, Professor Gazor was selected as the inaugural Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Fellow. Southwestern is the first law school in the nation to participate in this program of long-term international law fellowships being offered by the John Hazard Institute of Hanover, New Hampshire. The program provides an opportunity to study law in a foreign country before returning to the United States to spend a year teaching based on the Fellow's overseas educational experience. Professor Gazor spent the first part of her fellowship studying at Shahid Beheshti University School of Law in Tehran where she earned an LL.M. in Public Law.
"I hope to bring a practical insight into what the Islamic and constitutional laws of Iran are and how they are applied today, and to demystify any negative misconceptions that people may have of the country by providing an actual picture of what it is like there," Professor Gazor said.
Born in the United States and raised in Piedmont, California, Professor Gazor has dual Iranian and U.S. citizenship and speaks fluent Persian. Prior to her participation in the Fellowship, Professor Gazor was an attorney at the office of Douglas & Garey, LLP. While a student at Southwestern, she was a member of the Trial Advocacy Honors Program and a recipient of the Paul Wildman Merit Scholarship. She was an extern at the Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Health, Education and Welfare Section and also served as an intern for Congresswoman Jane Harman.
As an undergraduate at UCLA, Professor Gazor was a columnist for the Daily Bruin and the host of a radio show on campus, which she parlayed into guest appearances on Persian radio and eventually into her own television show on a Persian satellite network.