FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Lauren Shapiro

Brooklyn Defender Services
Attorney-in-Charge, Family Defense Practice
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Lauren Shapiro is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Family Defense Practice at Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS). The practice provides interdisciplinary legal representation to 1,000 new respondents in child welfare proceedings in Brooklyn Family Court each year.   Ms. Shapiro founded the project in 2007 as the Brooklyn Family Defense Project, which was part of Legal Services NYC at the time.  Ms. Shapiro moved the practice to BDS in December 2012 where clients have the benefit of BDS’s criminal, immigration, education, and housing resources. Ms. Shapiro is responsible for managing the family defense practice of over 40 staff members, including lawyers, social workers, parent advocates and administrative staff.
Ms. Shapiro has devoted her legal career to representing low income communities. She graduated from New York University School of Law in 1986 and worked at South Brooklyn Legal Services for over 20 years. She founded and directed the office’s HIV Unit – one of the first in the country- for over seven years and was the director of the Family Law Unit for over 10 years. Ms. Shapiro co-chairs the ASFA Ad hoc Task Force, a collaboration of agencies that work on areas of mutual concern involving child welfare issues. She is also a member of the NYC Bar Association’s Council on Children and Families. For many years, she co-chaired the Kings County Family Court Domestic Violence Working Group. She taught a civil externship class at Brooklyn Law School for six years and has published extensively on child welfare and family law related topics. She is a recipient of the New York County Lawyers Association Public Interest Award and the NYC Bar Association’s Legal Services award.


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