Shaw joined the VLS faculty from the faculty of Vanderbilt Peabody College, where he was an assistant professor of public policy and education. He is also an Affiliated Scholar of the American Bar Foundation and an affiliate of the Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab.
His appointment was announced by Dean Chris Guthrie. “Matthew Shaw brings broad expertise in education law and policy to VLS. As a scholar, teacher, colleague and mentor, he will contribute in myriad ways to the life of the law school,” Guthrie said.
Shaw’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal law and education policy and explores education rights and regulations through critical legal history, doctrinal analysis, and econometric policy studies. His article, “The Public Right to Education,” is forthcoming in the University of Chicago Law Review. He is also the author of a chapter, “Challenges Facing Immigrant Students,” in the 2021 edition of the Oxford Handbook of Education Law.
Shaw’s 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 communities invested in historically Black K-12 and higher-educational spaces.
He has been named to the 2022 cohort of the American Enterprise Institute/Thomas B. Fordham Institute Emerging Education Policy Scholars. He was the Francis Lewis Scholar-in-Residence at Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2020-21. At Peabody, he was recognized with the 2020 David Schleyer Faculty Award, which honors faculty for outstanding mentoring of undergraduate students.
Shaw joined the faculty of Vanderbilt Peabody College in 2017 after completing his doctorate in quantitative policy analysis in education at Harvard University and a two-year fellowship with the American Bar Foundation and Law and Society Association. He earned his law degree from Columbia Law School in 2005, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. After law school, he was a law clerk for then-Chief Judge W. Louis Sands of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia and then practiced law with King & Spalding and Schulten Ward & Turner in Atlanta. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
At Vanderbilt, he will teach courses in constitutional law, education law, property, and race and the law. He is affiliated with the Program in Law and Government and the George Barrett Social Justice Program.