Paul Shechtman

Lecturer in Law

Office:
Tel: (212) 704-9600
Email: pshech@law.columbia.edu

Mr. Shechtman graduated from Swarthmore College in 1971, earning a B.A. in Economics with high honors. He then attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving a B. Phil. in Economics in 1973. In 1979, he received his J.D. in from Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude. Following graduation, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Louis H. Pollak, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and to the Honorable Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. From 1981 to 1985, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, including as Chief of Appeals. From 1985 to 1987, he taught law at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1987, he became Counsel to the District Attorney of New York County, a position he held until 1993, when he returned to the United States Attorney’s Office as Chief of the Criminal Division. From 1995 to 1997, he was the Director of Criminal Justice for the State of New York under Governor George E. Pataki. In 1998, he went into private practice and is now at the firm of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.

During his tenure in private practice, Mr. Shechtman has represented the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in a complex federal investigation of the City’s water treatment facilities; was trial counsel for a Mexican national in a Southern District insider trading prosecution; defended a high-level manager charged with committing health care fraud and obstruction of justice; was appellate counsel to the Governor of New York State in a challenge by the State Legislature to the Governor’s authority in the budgeting process; represented the former counsel to the Governor of the State of Delaware in a death penalty appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court; and handled the appeal of an art dealer convicted in the Southern District of transporting artwork stolen from Egypt, among many other matters.

Mr. Shechtman has also continued his public service work. He was the Chair of the Governor's Judicial Screening Committee for the Court of Claims and the Chair of the State Ethics Commission and is now a member of the New York Sentencing Commission.  He is also a regular contributor to the New York Law Journal.