Julie Shapiro

Julie Shapiro

Professor Emerita

 Sullivan Hall 430


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  • Civil Procedure
  • Family Law


  • B.A., Wesleyan University, 1977
  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, 1982; University of Pennsylvania Law Review associate editor; Order of the Coif
  • Clerk to Joseph S. Lord III, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania


In Memory of Professor Emerita Shapiro

Click here for her In Memoriam webpage with remembrances from colleagues and students.

Professor Shapiro joined the faculty in 1991, teaching Civil Procedure, Family Law, and Law and Sexuality. Her scholarship, focusing on lesbian and gay family law issues, was published in a variety of law reviews and presented at several symposia. She was invited to speak about legal implications of assisted reproductive technology, the role of judicial review in controversial cases, and the history of the legal treatment of non-traditional families. Professor Shapiro also wrote Related Matters , a blog that provided a forum for intelligent and sustained discussion of how the law was adapting - or not - to the increasingly complex ways in which families are structured.

Applying her scholarship to practice, Professor Shapiro assisted the Northwest Women's Law Center in numerous lesbian and gay family law cases, including In re L.B., which established the rights of de facto parents in the state of Washington, and Andersen v. King County, the case challenging Washington's Defense of Marriage Act. For her efforts, she was co-recipient in 2006 of the first Queer of the Year Award, given by Outlaws, Seattle University Law School's LGBTQ student organization.

Professor Shapiro began her legal career clerking for Judge Joseph S. Lord, III in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. After her clerkship, she entered a small practice where she specialized in police misconduct. In 1984 she was co-founder of Maguigan, Shapiro, Engle and Tiryak, a small civil rights law firm. In addition to police misconduct, Shapiro and her partners pioneered the use of the federal RICO statute to protect abortion clinics. In 1987 Shapiro opened her own solo practice, continuing to specialize in police misconduct and also litigating AIDS discrimination cases in cooperation with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania. Her public service was recognized by the AIDS Law Project and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1991.


Book Chapters

Changing Ways: New Technologies and the Devaluation of the Genetic Connection to Children, in FAMILY LAW AND FAMILY VALUES (Maclean, ed) (Hart 2005).


For a Feminist Considering Surrogacy, Is Compensation Really the Key Question? 89 Washington Law Review 1345 (2014)

Five entries in Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies, (Abbie Goldberg, ed.)(forthcoming Sage Publications 2015)

Invited Response to Unsex Mothering Harvard Journal of Law and Gender On-Line symposium, February 2012

Counting From One: Replacing the Marital Presumption With A Presumption of Sole Parentage 20 Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law 509 (2012)

The Law Governing LGBT Families Chapter in LGBT-Parent Families: Innovations in Research and Implications for Practice (Goldberg and Allen, eds) (2012)

Entry: Family Law Encyclopedia of Gender and Society Sage Publications (J. O’Brien, Ed.)(2008)

Reflections on Complicity  8 N.Y.C.L.Rev. 1901 (2005)

A Lesbian Centered Critique of “Genetic Parenthood”, 9 Journal of Race, Gender and Justice 591 (2005).

Check Only One: M/F/Other, 11 Cardozo Women’s Law Journal 587 (2005).

DeFacto Parents and the Unfulfilled Promise of the New ALI Principles, 35 Willamette L. Rev. 769 (1999).

A Lesbian-centered Critique of Second-parent Adoptions, 14 Berkeley Women's L.J. 17(1999).

Custody and Conduct: How the Law Fails Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children, 71 Ind. L.J. 623 (1996).

Snake Pits and Unseen Actors: Constitutional Liability for Indirect Harm, 62 U. Cin. L. Rev. 883 (1994).

Sources of Security, 15 U. Puget Sound L. Rev. 843 (1992).

Remedies for Private Intelligence Abuses: Legal and Ideological Barriers, 10 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 233 (1981).


Book Chapters

Why a Big Tech Breakup Looks Better to Washington

March 17, 2019 | The New York Times

Public sentiment toward Amazon has changed, says Professor Julie Shapiro.