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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Joel Shapiro

February 14, 2013

Volunteers play an invaluable role in NCVLI’s work protecting, enforcing, and advancing victims’ rights. We decided to take a moment to learn a little more about what our current volunteers are up to outside of the NCVLI offices.

Joel came to us this past fall with a wealth of experience in the law, from legislative work in the United States Senate to serving as a prosecutor.  He jumped right in on work related to violence against women and children.  First, he provided assistance with researching constitutional and statutory grounds to challenge non-prosecution of domestic-violence cases.  Now, he is helping analyze the state of the nation with regard to rights for child-victims to aid in crafting model legislation to advance the rights of this vulnerable population.  We are so lucky to count Joel as one of our pro bono attorneys!


What do you do for a paycheck? 
Attorney – solo practice

How did you get involved with NCVLI and victims’ rights? 
I’ve been a pro bono attorney volunteer at NCVLI for the past few months.  I first began working on victims’ rights issues as a law student under Doug Beloof.  At that time, I crafted and spearheaded efforts to enact a hearsay exception for domestic violence cases that was passed by the Oregon Legislature and signed into law.  I’ve also served as a Deputy DA, and worked on policy issues on behalf of victims in the U.S. Senate and locally, particularly focusing on domestic victims of sex trafficking. 

What is something that stands out in your work with NCVLI ?
At NCVLI, I’ve worked on researching legal and policy options to help victims of domestic violence in a jurisdiction where the local authorities refuse to prosecute such cases.  This is an interesting question because there is no clear-cut legal remedy, but instead this situation calls for a creative approach in seeking justice for these crime victims. 

What do you do for fun? 
I am an avid cyclist.  I’ve ridden Cycle Oregon seven times, and participated in many other local rides, including completing “Seattle to Portland” as a one-day rider (200 miles.)  I’m also a former fitness trainer, and wrote a blog post during the fall campaign about my experience working as a trainer along side Paul Ryan. 


Interested in volunteering at NCVLI? Visit our volunteer page for more information.