Theodore M. Shaw

Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights

Areas of Expertise

  • Access to Justice
  • Civil Law
  • Civil Procedure
  • Civil Rights and Discrimination
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Justice Policy
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Education Law
  • Election Law
  • Fourteenth Amendment
  • Housing Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Legal History
  • Litigation
  • Race and the Law
  • Supreme Court of the United States


Ted Shaw is the Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and the Director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights. Shaw teaches Civil Procedure, Election Law, and Social Justice Lawyering. His research areas include the Fourteenth Amendment, affirmative action, housing policies regarding fair housing. Among his scores of honors are the 2012 Harlem Neighborhood Defenders Office W. Haywood Burns Humanitarian Award and the 2012 Office of the Appellate Defender Milton S. Gould Award for Outstanding Advocacy. Shaw has published many book chapters, articles and essays on civil rights, including the introduction to The Ferguson Report: United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.

Shaw attended Columbia University Law School as a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow. He then practiced as a Trial Attorney in the Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. In 1982 Shaw joined the staff of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). He worked for over 26 years, including litigating cases related to elementary, secondary and higher education, housing, voting rights and capital punishment. He also directed LDF’s education docket. In 1987, under the direction of the LDF’s third Director-Counsel, Julius Chambers, Shaw established LDF’s Western Regional Office in Los Angeles. In 1993, Shaw returned to LDF and in 2004, became its fifth Director-Counsel.

Shaw previously taught at the University of Michigan Law School, where he played a key role in initiating a review of its admissions policy that was later upheld in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003 by the Supreme Court. He also taught at Columbia University School of Law, CUNY School of Law at Queens College and Temple Law School. He is currently a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute.


  • J.D. (Charles Evans Hughes Fellow), Columbia University School of Law (1979)
  • B.A. (Honors), College of Social Studies, Wesleyan University (1976)

Selected Publications

Does U.S. Federal Employment Law Now Cover Caste Discrimination Based on Untouchability?: If All Else Fails There Is the Possible Application of Bostock v. Clayton County (with K. Brown, L. Khandare, A. Waughray, and K. Dau-Schmidt), 46 N.Y.U. REV. L. & SOC. CHANGE 117 (2022).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

In Memoriam: Tribute to Jack Greenberg, 117 COLUM. L. REV. 1057 (2017).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | Hein | BEPress

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