Director of Family Defense Practice
Lauren Shapiro, Director of Brooklyn Defender Service’s family defense practice, founded the Brooklyn Family Defense Practice (BFDP) in 2007. Originally an office of Legal Services NYC, BFDP’s mission is to advance the due process rights of low income families while helping families get the benefits and services they need to strengthen their families. BFDP was selected by the City of New York to represent parents faced with abuse and neglect charges in Brooklyn Family Court. Ms. Shapiro is responsible for managing the family defense practice of over 30 staff members, including lawyers, social workers, parent advocates and administrative staff.
Ms. Shapiro has devoted her legal career to representing low income communities. She graduated from New York University School of Law in 1986 and worked at South Brooklyn Legal Services for over 20 years. She founded and directed the office’s HIV Unit – one of the first in the country- for over seven years and was the director of the Family Law Unit for over 10 years. Ms. Shapiro co-chairs the ASFA Ad hoc Task Force, a collaboration of agencies that work on areas of mutual concern involving child welfare issues. She is also a member of the NYC Bar Association’s Council on Children and Families. For many years, she co-chaired the Kings County Family Court Domestic Violence Working Group. She taught a civil externship class at Brooklyn Law School for six years and has published extensively on child welfare and family law related topics. She is a recipient of the New York County Lawyers Association Public Interest Award.