SLS Announces New Executive Director of the Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law

STANFORD, CA, August 22, 2023 —Stanford Law School (SLS) announced today that Shannon Al-Wakeel has been named executive director of the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law, which serves students who are exploring or already committed to pursuing legal careers that advance the public good and also engages in programming and research to support the development of the public interest and public service legal community and increase access to justice.

Al-Wakeel joins SLS following three years as managing director of the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration at Northeastern Law School where she developed and orchestrated interdisciplinary research, student opportunities, and events that furthered its public interest mission.

Shannon Al-Wakeel

“I’m excited to join the Levin Center and Stanford Law School in the critical work of continually strengthening public interest culture, education and practice,” Al-Wakeel said. “Public service and public interest values aren’t confined to certain settings; they can animate a wide spectrum of legal pursuits. I look forward to working with the extraordinary SLS community, at the forefront of legal education, to maximize our profession’s impact as a force for public good.”

Al-Wakeel’s career has focused on systemic policy advocacy and direct legal representation, as well as nonprofit formation and leadership. She was the founding executive director of Muslim Justice League (MJL), a Boston-based non-profit advocating for rights that are threatened in the name of national security. 

“Shannon brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit and law school center management and operations, an impressive record of public interest work in immigrant and refugee rights, an incredibly thoughtful and conscientious perspective, and an unwavering dedication to students,” said Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest Law Anna Wang, who served as the Levin Center’s executive director for close to 15 years. “Shannon will be a wonderful addition to the Levin Center team and the SLS community.”

Prior to her work with Muslim Justice League, Al-Wakeel focused on immigrants’ rights at the municipal, state and federal levels as a Kaufman Public Interest Fellow with Massachusetts Law Reform Institute’s Immigrants Protection Project, and then as state policy director of Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.

Al-Wakeel received a bachelor of fine arts focused on printmaking from the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and her law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and has served on the Boards of Directors of the New England Muslim Bar Association and the ACLU of Massachusetts. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Defending Rights and Dissent, an organization working to strengthen participatory democracy by protecting the right to political expression.

About the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law

The mission of the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School is–through courses, research, pro bono projects, public lectures, funding programs and career development–to make public service a pervasive part of every law student’s experience and ultimately help shape the values that students take into their careers. It also engages in programming and research that support development of the public interest legal community to increase access to justice.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.