The Columns

W&L Law’s Shapiro Honored for Pro Bono Work

— by on October 16th, 2017

Jon ShapiroJon Shapiro

Jonathan Shapiro, visiting professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, was honored recently by the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition for pro bono work in the immigration field.

Shapiro, along with W&L, received the Impacting Justice Award from the organization during their annual Justice for All event. This spring and summer, Shapiro filed and litigated two state habeas petitions to overturn criminal convictions being used to deport his client from the country. The client, now in her twenties, has lived in the U.S. since the age of eight and has two children who are U.S. citizens. Her entire family lives in the U.S., and she has not returned to her native country since coming here as a child.

“Since coming to W&L and limiting my active practice of law, I have been looking for a way to continue to use my skills for the public good,” said Shapiro.  “Working with W&L students like Katie Sheild on cases like this has enabled me to continue working for social justice and involve the school as well.”

CAIR Coalition represents immigrant men, women, and children at risk of detention and deportation in the DC metropolitan area and beyond. A particular area of focus is the representation of unaccompanied immigrant children detained at juvenile facilities Maryland and Virginia.  Each year, CAIR Coalition serves over 500 detained immigrant children. CAIR Coalition also engages in advocacy projects to advance the human and civil rights of the immigrant communities.

At W&L, Shapiro teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure as well as the Criminal Practice Practicum. He has practiced criminal law in the federal and state courts for more than 40 years, and has been listed for years in the Washington Magazine’s survey of best criminal lawyers.  Among his more notable cases, he represented accused spies Harold Nicholson, a CIA station chief, and NSA employee Brian Regan.  Along with his partner Peter Greenspun, he represented “Beltway Sniper” John Allen Muhammad.

Shapiro was previously a clinical instructor at the Washington College of Law at American University, where he was also the director of the Institutionalized Persons Clinic.  Shapiro was honored by Washington College of Law in 2001 with the Peter Cicchino Alumni Award for Outstanding Advocacy In The Public Interest Within The United States.

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