Shavar Jeffries


Shavar Jeffries is presdient of Democrats for Education Reform. He is a former partner at Lowenstein Sandler in Newark, New Jersey, and a former associate professor of law at Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Social Justice. His work at Seton Hall focused on litigation, civil-rights scholarship, and advocacy, with emphasis on education and economic inequities affecting urban communities.

A native of Newark, Jeffries was the founding board president of TEAM Academy Charter School, board president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark, and a board member of Seton Hall Preparatory School. In 2010, he was elected to the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board, where he was unanimously selected by his colleagues to serve as board president. Jeffries ran as a candidate for Newark mayor in 2014, in a campaign that attracted national attention. Despite being a first-time municipal candidate, his reform platform gained broad support and won him more than 46 percent of the vote, more votes than any other first-time municipal candidate in modern history.

Jeffries has received numerous honors for his client and community advocacy, including "40 Under 40" recognition by the National Bar Association as one of the nation’s top lawyers under 40, the NAACP’s Freedom Fund award, and the Brendan Byrne Distinguished Public Servant Award. He received his B.A. in history from Duke University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Paul Robeson Scholar, Jane Marks Murphy Prize recipient, Mitsubishi International Fellow, and Managing Editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review