The University of Chicago Law School
Zehra Attari Memorial Fund
Leena is a rising second year law student at The University of Chicago Law School. A product of two rivers, Leena was raised in the deepest of the Deep South in Mississippi by Egyptian immigrant parents. Leena received her Bachelor of Arts from Duke University in North Carolina, where she double majored in Global Health and Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Neuroscience. In addition to being campus resident advisor and campus newspaper columnist, Leena spent most of her undergraduate career attempting to understand the wide effects of forced displacement on refugees. After conducting interviews with refugees in Egypt and Jordan, Leena co-founded and directed SuWA: Supporting Women’s Action, an organization for refugee women in North Carolina. SuWA continues to support refugee women through education, micro-finance ventures, and focus groups. Since SuWA, Leena has continued to find avenues of support for refugee communities. Recently, she started Conflict Cookbook, a story-cookbook that shares recipes and story-memories from refugees in America. Conflict Cookbook was recently selected as a featured commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative University.
After Duke, Leena worked as a Research Analyst at RTI International in the Center for Justice, Safety, and Resilience. At RTI, Leena worked on national projects to address pervasive issues related to substance abuse, health disparities, and the criminal justice center. Leena was also a member of the RTI-wide Diversity and Inclusion committee.
During law school, Leena is on the board of the Muslim Law Students Association, National Lawyers Guild, Southwest Asia and North Afrikan Law Students Association, and Human Rights Law Society. She is also a volunteer Lawyer in the Classroom for the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Chicago trek leader for the inaugural Palestinian treks (PalTrek) and involved with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). As a Research Assistant for Asma Uddin, Leena is researching how the history of religious liberty in the US. Leena is a 1L Pro Bono Skadden Scholar and spent her pro bono rotation at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she assisted immigration and asylum seeker clients overcome challenges posed by the US immigration system.
After law school, Leena hopes to continue fighting for justice to ensure everyone is afforded a home and safety. She hopes to merge research and law to guarantee that her advocacy is, not just informed, but also enduring. Lastly, she hopes to serve and represent her many communities that have nurtured her, inspired her, and propelled her to where she is today.
Areas of interest
- US Politics
- International Relations
- Middle Eastern/Near Eastern
- International Relations
- International Affairs and Political Science