How A Bank Robber Became A Law Professor

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Shon Hopwood’s new job as a tenure-track faculty member at the Georgetown University Law Center is the latest improbable twist in a remarkable life: In two decades, “he has robbed banks in small towns in Nebraska, spent 11 years in federal prison, written a legal petition for a fellow inmate so incisive that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, done that again, earned undergraduate and law degrees and extremely competitive clerkships, written a book, married his hometown crush and started a family,” the Washington Post reports.

His time in prison gave him an understanding of the impact of sentencing and the nation’s dramatic growth in incarceration, an unusual perspective on the law that allows him to see things other lawyers overlook. He takes the job at a time when criminal-justice issues have real urgency, from lawmakers to protesters to students. The Post traces Hopwood’s unlikely path from a small town in Nebraska to a law professor’s post in Washington D.C., with crime in between.



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