About Us

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is a public interest law firm founded in 1985 by the family of J. Roderick MacArthur to advocate for human rights and social justice through litigation. The MacArthur Justice Center became part of Northwestern University School of Law's Bluhm Legal Clinic in 2006. 

As one of the premier civil rights organizations in the United States, the MacArthur Justice Center represents individuals and organizations in trial litigation across the country. It pursues cases focused on addressing systemic injustice within the criminal legal system, including police abuse; ending the punishment of poverty, including the practice of cash bail; and standing against the oppression of marginalized communities, including protecting the rights of prisoners, immigrants, voters and protesters. 

It currently operates offices in Illinois (in partnership with the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law), Louisiana, Mississippi (at the University of Mississippi School of Law), Missouri and Washington D.C. MacArthur attorneys hold clinical faculty appointments at Harvard, University of Mississippi and Northwestern law schools and frequently partner with state and federal public defenders, private attorneys, and large law firms.

 

Who We Are

 

 

Locke BowmanLocke E. Bowman, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center Executive Director and Clinical Professor of Law

Locke Bowman has been a clinical law teacher since 1993 (at the University of Chicago Law School 1993-2006 and at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law from 2006 to the present).  Locke has been Executive Director of the MacArthur Justice Center since 1992.  He is an experienced trial lawyer who frequently represents wrongfully convicted persons contending their constitutional rights were violated in the course of investigations that led to their convictions.  Working with students, Locke handles a range of trial-level litigation matters that present complex factual and legal questions in the area of civil rights.  

Before joining the MacArthur Justice Center, Locke was a judicial law clerk (the Hon. Hubert L. Will in the Northern District of Illinois), a Big Law associate (Mayer, Brown & Platt), a government lawyer (City of Chicago Law Department during the Harold Washington administration), and an associate and then a partner at a small firm specializing in white collar criminal defense (Silets & Martin, Ltd.)  Learn more about Locke.

 


 

John ConroyJohn Conroy, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center Senior Investigator

John Conroy serves as Senior Investigator at the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.  Within the Civil Rights Litigation Clinic, he lectures on investigating official misconduct and works with students in the Civil Rights Litigation Clinic primarily on wrongful conviction and prisoner’s rights cases.  Prior to joining the MacArthur Justice Center, he was Director of Investigations at the DePaul College of Law Legal Clinic, and prior to that he was an investigative reporter whose work was published in numerous publications.  He has written nonfiction books on Northern Ireland and on torture, and is the author of a play, produced in 2012 and published in 2015, set against the backdrop of the Chicago Police torture scandal. Learn more about John.

 


 

Professor del ValleVanessa del Valle, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center Attorney and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law

Vanessa del Valle is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law with the MacArthur Justice Center Civil Rights Litigation Clinic at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Within the clinic, she supervises teams of students who work on trial-level cases to achieve criminal justice reform, including cases involving the rights of incarcerated individuals, the rights of victims of police misconduct, the rights of protesters, the rights of innocent people who served time for crimes they did not commit, the rights of transgender individuals, and the rights of immigrants. Prior to joining the Justice Center, she clerked for the Hon. Ruben Castillo on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Vanessa is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Yale University. Learn more about Vanessa and her cases.  

 


 

Maggie FillerMaggie Filler, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center Attorney

Maggie Filler is a staff attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center and a clinical fellow with the Justice Center’s Civil Rights Litigation Clinic at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She works with Northwestern clinical students on litigation at the forefront of civil rights and civil liberties, including cases challenging the practice of solitary confinement in correctional facilities around the country, as well as cases targeting excessive force by law enforcement and wrongful convictions. Before joining the Justice Center, Maggie was an attorney with Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, and clerked for the Hon. Marsha Berzon, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Hon. Myron Thompson, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Maggie is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Wesleyan University. Learn more about Maggie and her cases with the Justice Center.

 


 

Daniel GreenfieldDaniel M. Greenfield, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center Supreme Court and Appellate Counsel

Daniel Greenfield is Supreme Court and Appellate Counsel at the MacArthur Justice Center and a clinical teaching fellow at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Within the clinic, he supervises students working on appeals vindicating the rights of prisoners and detainees incarcerated across the nation. He is particularly interested in challenging the use of solitary confinement, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and Qualified Immunity. Prior to joining the Justice Center, he clerked for the Hon. Diana Murphy, U.S. Court of Appeals – Eighth Circuit and was pro bono counsel at Sidley Austin. Daniel holds a JD and a BS from Northwestern University and an MFA from New York University. Learn more about Daniel and his cases.

 


 

Professor ShapiroDavid M. Shapiro, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center Director of the Supreme Court and Appellate Program and 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. He has argued cases at every level of federal and state court, from a range of trial courts across the nation and all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has won cases regarding law enforcement brutality and misconduct, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, criminal procedure, First Amendment liberty, deaths in custody, and the segregation of prisoners with HIV. Within the clinic, his teaching focuses on both the craft of appellate briefing and argument and the use of appellate litigation as an impact litigation strategy. David is a co-author of a prisoners’ rights casebook and has published widely on civil rights in the criminal justice system in top journals including the Harvard Law Review. Learn more about David.

 


 

Professor Van BruntAlexa Van Brunt, Director of the MacArthur Justice Center Clinic at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and Clinical Associate Professor of Law

Alexa Van Brunt is the Director of the MacArthur Justice Center Civil Rights Litigation Clinic at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Within the clinic, she supervises teams of students, who work on class action suits challenging discrimination and excessive force by law enforcement, the violation of prisoners' rights in correctional facilities, denial of access to counsel for people in custody, wrongful conviction damages actions, and the elimination of cash bond in the criminal courts.  Prior to joining the Justice Center, she clerked for the Hon. Myron Thompson, U.S. District Court – Middle District of Alabama.  Alexa is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Brown University. Learn more about Alexa and her cases.

 


 

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