About

Sharmila L. Murthy is an Assistant Professor at Suffolk University Law School, where she teaches property law, environmental law, international environmental law, and a  course on global poverty and human rights.  Her research focuses on the intersection of human rights, poverty, and the environment.  She is particularly interested in examining legal and policy barriers to equitable water access and sustainable water management and a list of her scholarly publications is available here.  In 2014, Sharmila was selected as a finalist for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Previously, Sharmila was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she served as the lead investigator for water for the Project on Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development through the Sustainability Science Program. She also co-founded the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program as a Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.  In addition, Sharmila has taught as part of the Water Diplomacy Workshop since 2013.

Prior to transitioning to academia, Sharmila was a Skadden Fellow with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, where she created the Refugee and Immigrant Partnership Program for Legal Empowerment and litigated predatory lending and foreclosure rescue scam cases. For these efforts, she received the New Advocate of the Year award from the Tennessee Alliance of Legal Services. Sharmila also litigated complex and class action cases as an associate with Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, where she focused on mortgage fraud and natural resource cases.

Sharmila received her JD from Harvard Law School, her MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and her BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University.  She clerked for the Honorable Martha Craig Daughtrey on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  She was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in India, where she studied the rural microfinance program of the Self-Employed Women’s Association.

Sharmila has also been active with numerous civic organizations. She was the President of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, the founding President of the Nashville Chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS), and the co-President of the Boston ACS Lawyer Chapter, where she remains an active board member.

Sharmila can be reached at smurthy@suffolk.edu.