David M. Shapiro

Clinical Associate Professor of Law


David M. Shapiro is the Director of the Supreme Court and Appellate Program of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, a group of eight appellate attorneys in Chicago and Washington D.C. dedicated to strategic representation in high-stakes civil rights appeals throughout the nation.

Shapiro recently obtained certiorari in a juvenile life-without-parole case that he will argue shortly in the U.S. Supreme Court.  In recent years he has argued before the en banc Eighth and Ninth Circuits, the Illinois Supreme Court, and numerous federal appellate panels across the country, winning appeals regarding law enforcement brutality and misconduct, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, criminal procedure, First Amendment liberty, and deaths in custody. In the federal district courts, Shapiro litigated a First Amendment case that restructured a jail’s censorship regime and helped to try a case that ended the segregation of prisoners with HIV.

Shapiro has published extensive scholarship on civil rights, including articles in the Harvard Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, the George Washington Law Review, and the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. He is also an author of a prisoners’ rights casebook, Incarceration and the Law: Cases and Materials. 

Prior to joining the faculty at Northwestern, Shapiro was a staff attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project. He worked as an associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP 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 graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School.

View Full Bio


  • 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

Back to Faculty