David M. Shapiro

Clinical Associate Professor of Law


David M. Shapiro is the Director of Appellate Litigation of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center. His national practice focuses on protecting the rights of men and women caught up in the criminal justice system. Shapiro has litigated appeals in nearly all of the federal circuits and obtained victories in appellate and trial courts across the country.

Examples of Shapiro's cases include Berger v. City of Seattle, 569 F.3d 1029 (9th Cir. 2009), in which the en banc court struck down speech restrictions imposed on street performers in the Seattle Center; Castro v. County of Los Angeles, 833 F.3d 1060 (9th Cir. 2016), in which Shapiro argued before the en banc court as counsel for amici curiae and obtained an order that reversed the panel and clarified the legal standard in detainee-on-detainee violence cases in jails; Jamal v. Kane, 105 F. Supp. 3d 448 (M.D. Pa. 2015), a First Amendment case in which the court invalidated in toto a state statute that silenced people with criminal records; and Prison Legal News v. DeWitt, No. 2:10-cv-2594 (D.S.C. 2012), which restructured the censorship regime of a correctional facility.

Shapiro has published articles on prisoners' rights in the George Washington Law Review, the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and the online component of the Michigan Law Review.

Prior to joining the faculty at Northwestern, Shapiro was a staff attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project. He also worked as an associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, focusing on First Amendment cases, and as a law clerk to Judge Edward R. Becker, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Shapiro studied Russian literature in Moscow as a Fulbright Scholar and is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

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  • AB summa cum laude, Harvard College
  • JD, Yale Law School

Prior Appointments

  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Staff Attorney, ACLU National Prison Project
  • Associate, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Edward R. Becker, Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

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