Shon Hopwood’s unusual legal journey began not at law school, but federal prison, where he learned to write briefs for other prisoners while serving a 12-year sentence for bank robberies. Two petitions for certiorari he prepared were later granted review by the United States Supreme Court, and he won cases for other prisoners in federal courts across the country. Since he became a licensed attorney, Shon’s record of success has continued. In 2016 alone, he won three federal habeas appeals before the Fourth and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Shon is currently an Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, which is located in Washington D.C. and is considered one of the top law schools in the United States. He is an expert on federal courts, criminal procedure (including federal sentencing), and prisoners’ rights.
His amazing story about success after prison has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, NPR, and the Seattle Times. Shon co-wrote his memoir entitled Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Cases and Finding Redemption. Shon is an also advocate for criminal justice reform and his scholarship on courts and the criminal justice system has been published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties, Fordham, and Washington law reviews, the Georgetown Law Journal’s Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, and the American Criminal Law Review.
Shon received a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law as a Gates Public Service Law Scholar. He clerked for Judge Janice Rogers Brown at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then served as a Teaching Fellow at Georgetown’s Appellate Litigation Program.
Shon is currently a tenure-track professor of law at Georgetown Law School. He is a founding partner at PrisonProfessors.com and he works to create content that will improve outcomes of our nation’s criminal justice system. Readers may contact Shon by writing Shon@PrisonProfessors.com