Founder and Executive Director of the Movement Law Lab, Civil-Rights Litigator, Law Professor

Movement Law Lab

Purvi Shah is Founder and Executive Director of the Movement Law Lab. An experienced movement lawyer, civil-rights litigator, policy advocate and law professor, Purvi has spent her career at the intersection of law and social movements. After a decade of providing legal support to grassroots movements, Purvi founded Movement Law Lab to build a new generation of legal organizations and lawyers with the skills, know-how and vision to use law to create social change. Purvi has a long-track record as a legal innovator having founded numerous visionary legal organizations in the past decade. In 2015, in the aftermath of the Ferguson uprisings, Purvi co-founded Law For Black Lives, a national network of 3,500 lawyers committed to using law to build a world where #BlackLivesMatter. Prior to that, Purvi was the founding Director of the Bertha Justice Institute at the Center for Constitutional Rights, the nation’s first movement lawyering institute. While there, she trained thousands of emerging lawyers on movement lawyering and helped build a global network of movement lawyers in 16 countries. Prior to that, Purvi co-founded the Community Justice Project of Florida Legal Services in 2006. There, she represented taxi drivers, tenant unions, public housing residents, and immigrants’ rights groups. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Purvi worked as a community organizer with youth in Miami, students in India, and families of incarcerated youth in California.

Purvi is best-known for being an effective multiplier and a skilled coach on movement lawyering. Her teaching experience spans being a distinguished Givelber Lecturer at Northeastern Law School, a clinical professor at the University of Miami School of Law (2007-2011) and a sought-after trainer on movement lawyering at law schools and legal organizations around the world. For her work, Purvi has been awarded an Ashoka Fellowship, Echoing Green Fellowship, Soros Equality Fellowship, Harvard Law School Wasserstein Fellowship, Miami Foundation Fellowship, and a New Voices Fellowship. She is also the recipient of the East Bay Community Law Center’s Justice Award, the ACLU of Florida’s Rodney Thaxton Award for Racial Justice and the Community Justice Project’s Community Defender Award. Purvi’s work has been featured in Forbes, MSNBC, the Nation, the Miami Herald, and the Daily Business Review.


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