Joel Shapiro ’99

Executive Director, Trafficking Law Center

I work with victims and survivors of sex trafficking to overcome legal barriers and achieve their life goals. This is not a career path I envisioned as a law student. But there’s a direct path from studying domestic violence victims’ rights with Doug Beloof, to drafting a state DV statute as a law student, to crafting the first major domestic sex trafficking victims’ bill in the U.S. Senate, to my current legal advocacy work. The common thread is redressing exploitation: a mission to strengthen statutory rights and increase access to justice through litigation on behalf of trafficking survivors. Our clients lack power, privilege, and resources. Given their exploitation and trauma, it’s extremely difficult for them to clear legal hurdles that stem from being trafficked. With an understanding of their experiences, we help overcome trauma, rebuild lives, and pursue dreams so they are not bound by their pasts.

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