Assistant Professor of Law


  • Office: 120 Tremont St.,
  • Suite: 250-C
  • Phone: 617-573-5758
  • Fax: 617-305-3079
  • Email:


  • BS, Cornell University
  • MPA, JD, Harvard University


  • Property
  • International Environmental Law
  •  International and Comparative Perspectives on Poverty and Human Rights


Sharmila L. Murthy is an Assistant Professor at Suffolk University Law School, where she teaches property law, international environmental law, and a new course on global poverty and human rights. She is also a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Kennedy School, where she serves as the lead investigator for water for the Project on Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development through the Sustainability Science Program. She co-founded the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, where she was previously a Fellow. In addition, Professor Murthy teaches as part of the Water Diplomacy Workshop, an intensive short-course that trains water officials from around the world how to manage conflicts using a non-zero sum negotiated approach to building consensus.

Professor Murthy’s 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. She has written on the meaning of the human right to water and sanitation under international law and the controversy over privatization; on the relationship between land security and water access in the slums of Mumbai, India; on international water law as a tool for water diplomacy; on the use of carbon markets to fund clean water projects; on the right to water in the Negev in Israel; on Iraq’s constitutional mandate to ensure the just distribution of water; and more broadly on questions of water governance. A list of Professor Murthy’s scholarly publications is available here:

Professor Murthy received her JD from Harvard Law School, her MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and 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.

Prior to transitioning to academia, Professor Murthy 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. Professor Murthy 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.

Professor Murthy 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.

For more information, please visit Professor Murthy’s personal website: