From Inmate to Georgetown Professor

Shon Hopwood began writing briefs for inmates while he himself was incarcerated. It was during his time in federal prison when the U.S. Supreme Court first agreed to hear a petition for certiorari that Mr. Hopwood had written for a fellow inmate.

Seth P. Waxman of WilmerHale, who was the U.S. solicitor general at the time, read Mr. Hopwood’s petition and agreed to argue the case for free. “It was incredibly good. It really identified, sort of a crystalline form, the questions presented. It explained the conflict, it explained the importance,” Mr. Waxman said. He sought out Mr. Hopwood and the two began a friendship that has greatly affected Mr. Hopwood’s life.

After Mr. Hopwood’s release from prison in 2008, Mr. Waxman encouraged a legal printing business in Omaha to hire Mr. Hopwood to help with Supreme Court briefs. A federal clerkship opportunity soon followed, then a teaching fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center. This July, Mr. Hopwood will be starting his new position as associate professor of law at Georgetown.

To learn more about Mr. Hopwood’s journey, read the full Washington Post article.

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