Faisal Kutty

Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills

Image - Professor Faisal Kutty

J.D., cum laude, University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law, 1994
LL.M., Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2006
Ph.D. (on leave), Osgoode Hall Law School of York University

Member, Ontario Bar

Joined Southwestern Summer 2021


Faisal Kutty brings experience as an attorney, legal educator, and human rights activist. He comes to Southwestern after more than two decades of practice and teaching experience at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana, and the Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law at Barry University in Florida. In addition to teaching legal writing and analysis, he has taught comparative law, Islamic law, professional responsibility, and contract drafting. He also developed and taught a legal journalism course.  

Prof. Kutty graduated with distinction from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. While in law school, he served stints as the book reviews and articles editor of the flagship Ottawa Law Review. He also founded one of the first Muslim Law Students’ groups in North America.

Opting to establish his own practice after spending one year at a large Toronto firm following graduation, he founded and served as senior managing partner for what would grow to be an eight-lawyer firm when the academic bug bit and he pursued an LL.M. and a Ph.D. in law.

Prof. Kutty co-founded and then served many years as the legal counsel to the Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association. He subsequently helped co-found the Canadian chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (now renamed the National Council of Canadian Muslims). He served as vice-chair and legal counsel for this group during and after the tragic events of 9/11 when the Muslim community was singled out for profiling. Through these groups, Prof. Kutty was involved in many high-profile legal cases and constitutional challenges in Canada.

In preparation to get closer to Hollywood, he served as a Muslim culture consultant for the internationally acclaimed award-winning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie.

“I have learned from my nearly three decades in the field that legal analysis and writing are inextricable from our profession. A sharp, analytical mind and strong writing are indispensable in pursuing a career as a transactional lawyer or a litigator.”

 Prof. Kutty’s research interests are both doctrinal and pedagogical. His academic articles have appeared in law reviews and peer-reviewed books. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Manchester Journal of Transnational Islamic Law. He previously served on the editorial board of the Arab Law Quarterly. He has published hundreds of op-eds in publications worldwide, including the Toronto Star, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, Chicago Tribune, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, Arab News, Indian Express, etc.

He has testified as an expert on Islamic law, comparative law, and law and religion in Canadian, US, and European courts, including the Court of Justice of the European Union. Prof. Kutty has sat as an external Ph.D. examiner for Monash University. He previously served as chair of the Islamic Law Section of the AALS and as an executive of the international human rights law section. He has also served on the Diversity Committee of the Legal Writing Institute.

In 2007 he was invited by international human rights groups to monitor military trials in Egypt as an international trial observer. 

He has won numerous awards over the years, including the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. award for promoting diversity. For the past twelve consecutive years, he has been included in The Muslim 500: The World’s Most Influential Muslims, published by the Royal Strategic Studies Institute, based in Amman, Jordan.  Professor Kutty was also nominated twice over the last few years by the editorial board of Canadian Lawyer as a finalist for the “Changemaker” category of the 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada. His TEDx talk on "Why Conversations Matter" has been well received.