Bank Robber Turned Supreme Court Litigator

ImageShon Hopwood isn’t the typical law student.

Sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for robbing 5 banks in his home state of Nebraska, Hopwood used his time on the inside to teach himself the law and began writing petitions for other inmates to challenge their sentences.  His petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of fellow prisoner John Fellers was accepted and the case, which Hopwood eventually won, set him on a path to redemption outside of prison. As Hopwood puts it, “There’s a compelling case to be made to give people a second chance.”

Now a law student, husband and father, Hopwood is coming to the Earle Mack School of Law on Thursday, October 25, at 4 p.m. to discuss his new book, “Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Court Cases, and Finding Redemption,” and the notions of justice in the law. A reception and book signing will follow.

Check out this story on Hopwood in the New York Times: A Mediocre Criminal, but an Unmated Jailhouse Lawyer.