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Jailhouse lawyer who wrote winning US Supreme Court cert petition will soon clerk for DC Circuit


A decade ago, Shon Hopwood was a convicted bank robber serving time. Hitting the books in the prison library, he honed his legal skills and wrote, on behalf of a fellow inmate, a rare winning certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court that a former U.S. solicitor general who later worked on the case described as “just terrific.”

That was the beginning of a soaring career trajectory for Hopwood, who subsequently was released, worked as a paralegal, went to law school and interned for a federal district judge in Washington state. Next year, after he earns his law degree from the University of Washington, he will clerk for Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the Blog of Legal Times reports.

“I’m amazed at the opportunities and second chances I have been given,” the 38-year-old Hopwood told the BLT on Wednesday, describing himself as “still in a state of shock” after his Monday interview with Brown.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Superb Skills as Jailhouse Lawyer Put Ex-Inmate in Position to Help Top Attorneys”

ABAJournal.com: “Skilled Jailhouse Lawyer Is Now in Law School, Thanks to Bill and Melinda Gates”

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