Omavi Shukur

Assistant Professor

Photo of Omavi Shukur


  • BA, Columbia University
  • JD, Harvard Law School

Omavi Shukur is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. He conducts research at the intersection of criminal law, criminal procedure, and critical race theory. His research explores contextual factors often elided in laws, legal proceedings, and legal academic discourse concerning subordinated people’s efforts to contest state control. His scholarship assesses these constraints by pairing doctrinal, legislative, and statuary analysis with insights from history, behavioral science, and social sciences.

Prior to joining the Maryland Carey Law faculty, he was a lecturer and research scholar at Columbia Law School, where he co-taught an Abolition Practicum and supervised a team of law students who worked in conjunction with Law 4 Black Lives and Interrupting Criminalization to provide legal resources to abolitionist practitioners.

He also litigates civil rights and criminal cases that implicate a myriad of pressing social justice issues, most notably the harms caused by the criminal legal system. He was an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Before that, he organized alongside formerly incarcerated people to successfully bring an end to the ban on people with felony drug convictions receiving food stamps and welfare benefits in his home state, Arkansas. He began his legal career as a public defender in New Orleans.

He is currently a director of the Little Rock Freedom Fund. He is a member of the Arkansas, Louisiana (inactive), and New York state bars, and is admitted to various federal district and appellate courts.

He received his JD from Harvard Law School and BA in Political Science from Columbia University.


Punishing Involuntary Resistance, 113 Georgetown Law Journal (forthcoming 2024). Abstract

The Criminalization of Black Resistance to Capture and Policing, 103 Boston University Law Review 1 (2023). Abstract