Theodore M. Shaw

Professor of Professional Practice in Law

Office: 435 W. 116th Street
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 643
New York NY 10027
Tel: 212-854-7690
Fax: 212-854-7946

Assistant Info

Name: Hilda Daniels
Phone: 212-854-8714


  • Civil procedure
  • Constitutional law
  • Advanced constitutional law


  • Wesleyan University, B.A., 1976, with honors
  • Columbia Law School, J.D., 1979, Charles Evans Hughes Scholar



Theodore M. Shaw is Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University School of Law.  He is also “Of Counsel” to Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. 

For twenty-three years Mr. Shaw was an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  He served as Assistant Counsel and Director of the Education Docket (1982-1987), Western Regional Director (1987-1990), Associate Director-Counsel (1993-2004), and Director-Counsel and President (2004-2008).  Mr. Shaw started his legal career as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (1979-1982).
In addition to his current position on the faculty of Columbia Law School, Mr. Shaw has taught at the University of Michigan Law School (1990-1993), and has also held rotating chairs at CUNY and Temple Law Schools.

Mr. Shaw has testified before Congress and before state and local legislatures on numerous occasions, and he has been a frequent guest on national and local television and radio. He has authored numerous articles and opinion pieces. 

Mr. Shaw has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and before U.S. Courts of Appeals in numerous cases, and has tried education, voting rights, housing discrimination, capital punishment, and other civil rights cases in trial courts throughout the Nation. He played a key role in initiating and drafting the admissions policy that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger, and was lead counsel for black and Latino interveners in Gratz v. Bollinger. He has trained, worked and consulted with human rights lawyers in Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Mr. Shaw is an honors graduate of Wesleyan University (1976) and a graduate of Columbia Law School (1979).  He is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and citations. He was an Aspen Institute Fellow on Law and Society (1987); a Twenty-first Century Trust Fellow on Global Interdependence (1989) (London, England); and a Salzburg Institute Fellow (1991).

Mr. Shaw currently serves on the Boards of the American Constitution Society, Common Sense, The Equal Rights Trust (London, England), The International Center for Transitional Justice, The New Press, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, the Wesleyan University Center for Prison Education, and the Board of Deacons of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York. He is a Trustee Emeritus of Wesleyan University.