Theodore M. Shaw is "Of Counsel" to the law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP). His practice involves civil litigation and representation of institutional clients on matters concerning diversity and civil rights. Mr. Shaw joined Fulbright in May of 2008. Mr. Shaw has litigated education, employment, voting rights, housing, police misconduct, capital punishment and other civil rights cases in trial and appellate courts and in the United States Supreme Court. In addition to being "of counsel" to Norton Rose Fulbright, Mr. Shaw is a full time faculty member at Columbia Law School, where he teaches civil procedure, advanced constitutional law, and civil rights.
Prior to joining Fulbright, Mr. Shaw was Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., for which he worked in various capacities over the span of twenty-six years. From 1982 until 1987, he litigated education, housing, and capital punishment cases and directed LDF's litigation docket. In 1987, Mr. Shaw relocated to Los Angeles to establish LDF's Western Regional Office, where he litigated housing, voting rights, police misconduct, employment and other civil rights cases. In 1990, Mr. Shaw left LDF to join the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Law, where he taught Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure and Civil Rights. While at Michigan, he played a key role in initiating a review of the law school's admissions practices and policies, and served on the faculty committee that promulgated the admissions program that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger.
In 1993, Mr. Shaw returned to LDF as Associate Director-Counsel, and in 2004, he became LDF's fifth Director-Counsel. Mr. Shaw's legal career began as a Trial Attorney in the Honors Program of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., where he worked from 1979 until 1982.
Mr. Shaw has testified on numerous occasions before Congress and before state and local legislatures. His human rights work has taken him to Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Currently, Mr. Shaw is Professor of Professional Practice in Law at Columbia University School of Law, where he teaches Civil Procedure, Advanced Constitutional Law, and Civil Rights. In addition to teaching at Michigan Law School, he has taught at CUNY School of Law at Queens College and at Temple Law School. He was a visiting scholar at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia for 2008-2009.
Mr. Shaw served on the Obama Transition Team after the 2008 presidential election, as team leader for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.
From 1986 until 1989, Mr. Shaw served as an alumni-elected trustee of Wesleyan University, before his appointment as a charter trustee from 1991 until 2003. He retired from the Board as senior vice-chair, and is Trustee Emeritus. He is on the Board of Equal Rights Trust, a London-based international human rights organization, The International Center for Transitional Justice, and has served on the Legal Advisory Committee of the European Roma Rights Centre, a Budapest-based human rights organization. Mr. Shaw is also a member of the Board of American Constitution Society, and The New Press. He is also a member of the Board of Deacons of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York.
Mr. Shaw has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2012 Harlem Neighborhood Defenders Office W. Haywood Burns Humanitarian Award, the 2012 Office of the Appellate Defender Milton S. Gould Award for Outstanding Advocacy, the 2011 Wesleyan University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the 2011 Connecticut Fair Housing Council Mildred and Richard Loving Award, the 2011 Shirley Chisholm Award, the 2008 National Council of Jewish Women Faith and Humanity Award, the National Bar Association's Judicial Council Civil Liberties Award, the 2008 Groundwork Impact Award, the 2007 Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Cade Distinguished Service Award, the 2006 Office of Black Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York Pierre Toussaint Medallion, the 2006 Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Excellence in Legal Service Award, the 2006 National Urban League Center for Urban Leadership Whitney M. Young, Jr. Leadership Award, the 2003 Columbia University School of Law Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility, the 2003 National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division A. Leon Higginbotham Memorial Award, the 2003 Wesleyan University Raymond E. Baldwin Medal, the 1998 New York Metropolitan Bar Association Outstanding Attorney of the Year, the 1991 Wesleyan University Distinguished Service Award, and the 1990 Los Angeles Langston Bar Association Civil Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.
Mr. Shaw received a B.A. with Honors from Wesleyan University in 1976. He earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1979, where he was a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow.
Mr. Shaw was an Aspen Fellow in Law and Social Justice in 2007, a Twenty-First Century Trust Fellow in London, England in 1989, and a Salzburg Fellow in Salzburg, Austria in 1990.