I am delighted to welcome Shavar Jeffries who is an Associate Professor of Law at Seton Hall Law. Professor Jeffries’s work focuses on impact civil-rights scholarship, advocacy, and litigation, focusing on education and housing inequities affecting urban communities. He has represented thousands of urban children in education-reform litigation, including children denied free, after-school tutoring services under the No Child Left Behind Act, and thousands of Newark children attending public-charter schools who were denied equitable instructional and facilities funding. Professor Jeffries has also represented individuals and community associations in a variety of housing cases, including tenants facing unlawful rent-increases in subsidized housing units, and individual victims of mortgage fraud and predatory lending.
From 2008 to 2010, Professor Jeffries took a leave from Seton Hall Law to serve as Counsel to New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram. In that role, Professor Jeffries had oversight responsibility for several divisions of the office, including the Division on Civil Rights, the Juvenile Justice Commission, and the state’s multi-state litigation and advocacy portfolio. Professor Jeffries also managed a range of special initiatives, including the state’s mortgage-mediation program and several initiatives design to grant greater protection to domestic-violence victims.
Prior to joining Seton Hall in 2004, Professor Jeffries was a Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Litigation at Gibbons P.C., where he worked on a variety of cases including matters involving special education, voting rights and affordable housing. Professor Jeffries also clerked for Nathaniel R. Jones, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and worked as an Associate at the law firm of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, where he defended the University of Michigan in affirmative-action litigation challenging its admissions policies, and represented black farmers who for decades had been denied farming loans by the United States government because of their race.
Professor Jeffries, a Newark native, is extensively involved in the Newark community. He was the Founding Board President of TEAM Academy Charter School, the largest public charter school in New Jersey, and served as Board President from 2002 through 2007. From 2004 through 2007, Shavar was Board President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark, which had a $700,000 deficit when he took over and which had three consecutive balanced budgets during his tenure. In April 2010, Shavar was elected to the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board, winning more votes than any school-board candidate in seven years. Shavar was then unanimously selected by his colleagues to serve as President of the board.
For his public-interest advocacy, Shavar has received numerous honors including the Garden State Bar’s Young Lawyer Award, the Greater Newark HUD Tenants Coalition’s Public Service Award, the Brendan Byrne Distinguished Public Servant Award, and recognition by the Newark Star-Ledger as a “Person Who Made a Difference” and by New Jersey Superlawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star.”
Professor Jeffries received his B.A. in History from Duke University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Paul Robeson Scholar, Jane Marks Murphy Prize recipient, Mitsubishi International Fellow, and Managing Editor of the COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW.