Professor of Law


SpearIt is an internationally recognized scholar and teacher, whose work is widely cited in both the legal academy, university disciplines, and popular media. His work is known for its interdisciplinary rigor and for cutting-edge critical theory. He is the author of American Prisons: A Critical Primer on Culture and Conversion to Islam (First Edition Design 2017), and is currently working on his next book, Muslim Prisoner Litigation: An Unsung American Tradition (forthcoming University of California Press), which examines the history of Muslim prisoner litigation through the lens of OutCrit Jurisprudence.

As an instructor, SpearIt has taught a range of courses in the law school curriculum, including Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, Sentencing, Corrections Law, and Professional Responsibility, among other courses. He has taught at a number of law schools including at Saint Louis University, Seattle University, Texas Southern University, University of Arkansas, and Gonzaga University. In addition, he has taught undergraduates as instructor of record and taught prisoners at San Quentin State Prison.

SpearIt graduated with a B.A. in philosophy, magna cum laude, from the University of Houston. He also earned a Masters of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, Ph.D. in Religious Studies at University of California Santa Barbara, and J.D. from University of California Berkeley School of Law.

SpearIt is currently a member of the Editorial Board for the Race, Rights, and the Law Blog and Contributing Editor at JOTWELL Criminal Law. He also serves on the American Bar Association’s Section on Criminal Justice’s Corrections Committee and serves as an Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Security, Race, and Rights at Rutgers University.

His recent scholarship includes Muslims in American Prisons: Advancing the Rule of Law through Litigation Praxis, 3 Harvard J. Islamic L. 29 (2022); 9/11 Impacts on Muslims in Prison, 27 Mich. J. Race & L. 101 (2022); Bargaining Away the Constitution, JOTWELL (6/23/22) (reviewing Carissa Byrne Hessick, Punishment Without Trial: Why Plea Bargaining is a Bad Deal (2021)). He also wrote, “Shootings Proclaim War on Terror is Dead,” Pittsburgh Tribune Review (6/1/22), was recently interviewed on the podcast, Law According to a King entitled In God We Trust (1/14/22), and quoted in TIME Magazine, “‘I Don’t Think You’re Going to be Eating Tonight.’ Muslims Describe Ramadan in U.S. Prisons” (5/12/21) and in American Bar Association, "Challenging Systemic Racism with Human Connection," (2/26/21).

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