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Matthew Patrick Shaw

Assistant Professor of Law
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education

Matthew Patrick Shaw's scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal law and educational policy and explores education rights and regulations through critical legal history, doctrinal analysis and econometric policy studies. Professor Shaw joined the law faculty in 2022. He had previously served on the faculty of Vanderbilt Peabody College since fall 2017, having joined Peabody as an assistant professor of public policy and education after completing his doctorate in education at Harvard University and a two-year fellowship with the American Bar Foundation and Law and Society Association. After earning his law degree in Columbia Law School in 2005, he was a law clerk for then-Chief Judge W. Louis Sands of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia before practicing law in Atlanta.

Shaw received the Education Law Association's Steven S. Goldberg Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarship in the field of education law, in fall 2023 for his 2022 Chicago Law Review article, "The Public Right to Education." His current projects investigate the constitutional status of rights to education across the K-20 lifecycle and the rights of vulnerable and marginalized members of the education ecology, including undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ school-aged youth, and historically Black K-12 and higher-educational spaces.

Research Interests

Education as property, educational institutions and dilemmas of difference, empirical legal studies, federal law and educational policy, law and society, race and the law

Representative Publications

  • "The Public Right to Education," 89 University of Chicago Law Review 1179 (2022)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "The Perils of Asian-American Erasure," 103 Boston Unviersity Law Review 140 (2023)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "Identifying the Plessy Remainder: State Exploitation of Private Discriminatory Actions," 74 South Carolina Law Review 203 (2023)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "Challenges Facing Immigrant Students" in The Oxford Handbook of K-12 Education Law, Oxford University Press, New York (K. Bowman, editor), 2021
  • " Creating the Urban Education Desert through School Closures and Dignity Taking," 92 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1087 (2018)
  • "Bans on Affirmative Action in States with a History of State-Sponsored Discrimination" in Education and Civil Rights, Teachers College Press (E. Frankenberg, L.M. Garces and M. Hopkins, editors), 2015
  • "Contextualizing Gay‐Straight Alliances: Student, Advisor and Structural Factors Related to Positive Youth Development among Members," 86 Child Development 176 (2014) (with V.P. Poteat, H. Yoshikawa and J.P. Calzo)