Paul Shechtman is a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School. 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 New York County’s District Attorney’s Office for six years. He later returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office as chief of the criminal division. From 1995 to 1997, he was the director of criminal justice for New York State under Gov. George E. Pataki.
In 1998, he went into private practice and is now at the firm of Zuckerman Spaeder.
During his tenure in private practice, 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; and defended a high-level manager charged with committing health care fraud and obstruction of justice. His work also includes appellate counsel to the New York governor’s office in a challenge by the state legislature on the governor’s authority in the budgeting process; represented the former counsel to the Delaware governor 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.
He served as chair of the governor's judicial screening committee for the court of claims, chair of the State Ethics Commission, and is a member of the New York Sentencing Commission. Shechtman is a regular contributor to the New York Law Journal.
He served as law clerk to the Honorable Louis H. Pollak of U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and to Supreme Court Justice Warren E. Burger.
Shechtman graduated with a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School; a B. Phil. from Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship; and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.