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Naomi R. Shatz

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Partner Naomi Shatz focuses on students' rights, university discipline, and employee rights. She represents students at all levels of education from elementary school through graduate school, as well as teachers and professors involved in discrimination cases and disciplinary proceedings regarding claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and academic misconduct. Naomi also advises and represents individuals in employment matters and criminal cases.

Naomi has been selected to the Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers each year since 2016. In 2018, Naomi was named an Up & Coming Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawers Weekly. The Women's Bar Association selected Naomi for the 2020 class of the Women Leadership Initiative.

Students’ Rights and Title IX

Naomi has substantial experience representing students and faculty involved in college and university disciplinary proceedings arising from allegations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence. Naomi’s creative legal thinking and deep understanding of Title IX, sexual harassment law, and sexual assault issues have resulted in significant victories for the students and professors she has represented who are either accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus or have been the victim of harassment or assault.

In many of the cases Naomi has handled, her clients have been found innocent of the charges against them. She has negotiated resolutions to complaints that protect her client’s academic records, and when necessary, taken her clients’ claims to court. She has, for example, won a preliminary injunction requiring her client’s college to readmit him after it had expelled him for allegedly engaging in sexual assault. She has also successfully settled cases on behalf of her clients both before and after starting litigation.

Naomi also represents students, staff, and faculty who have experienced sexual harassment or other discrimination at their schools, colleges, or universities. She has litigated Title IX claims on behalf of plaintiffs who were subjected to hostile environments or deprived of access to their educations because of sexual harassment. Her in-depth knowledge of the law applicable to higher education and her background in employment law makes her uniquely situated to assist college and university graduate students and professors who may be entitled to protection under both employment and education laws addressing discrimination. In the last two years, Naomi has settled two cases against major universities where she represented students or staff who had experienced gender discrimination.

Naomi also represents students accused of plagiarism and other academic misconduct and helps guide those clients through the university disciplinary system. For example, Naomi helped one undergraduate client win his academic dishonesty case and avoid discipline. She represented a graduate student in his appeal from a finding that he committed plagiarism, obtaining a reversal of the finding and the suspension from his program. She also represented a graduate student given a failing grade in a course based on plagiarism allegations, winning a reversal of the grade assignment on appeal.

Naomi is nationally recognized as a thought leader in Title IX law. She frequently writes on legal issues surrounding Title IX sexual assault & sexual misconduct (respondents), gender discrimination in educational institutions, and related matters. In 2017 she was invited by the U.S. Department of Education to join a group of experts for a roundtable discussion about how best to address Title IX sexual assault & sexual misconduct (respondents). Naomi frequently provides her expertise to the press on matters related Title IX sexual assault & sexual misconduct (respondents), and other legal issues related to education.

Employment Law

Naomi applies her knowledge of discrimination issues to her employment practice, where she represents clients who have faced discrimination and retaliation in the workplace based on their race, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation, and she advises clients in ongoing employment situations and workplace conflicts. She frequently represents university employees, including professors, staff, and graduate students, and helps them assert their rights under both employment and education laws. Naomi has helped numerous clients negotiate separation from their employers and obtain favorable severance packages. She also litigates employment cases at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and in state and federal court. In one federal case, Naomi helped secure her client’s reinstatement to a position to which she had been promoted and obtained a significant monetary settlement against the Department of Correction for gender discrimination, equal pay, wage and hour, disability, and FMLA claims. Naomi recently authored an amicus brief to the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers’ Association (MELA) in favor of a state police officer who had been deprived of a transfer to a more desirable position because of his race and age.

Civil and Criminal Litigation

In addition to her university law and employment practices, Naomi represents clients in other complex civil matters. She represented a client in a federal case before the First Circuit Court of Appeals against the Transportation Security Administration. The suit alleged that the TSA’s invasive whole-body pat-down procedures violate traveler’s Fourth Amendment Rights and discriminate against travelers who, like Naomi’s client, have disabilities that require them to have metal joint implants. She has represented plaintiffs in a complex multi-defendant products liability case, parties in harassment and abuse order proceedings, and plaintiffs seeking to vindicate their civil rights. She has successfully argued dispositive motions, winning motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. In addition to representing clients in the trial courts, Naomi also handles appeals to the Massachusetts and federal appellate courts, and writes amicus briefs on issues relating to her practice.

Naomi brings zealous advocacy and thorough legal research to her criminal defense practice, where she works with clients to prevent criminal charges from being brought against them and handles criminal cases from arraignment to trial. Naomi has successfully prevented criminal charges from issuing against her clients at numerous “show-cause” hearings before both clerk-magistrates and judges in cases with charges including assault, restraining order violations, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Naomi helps clients seek resolution of their cases prior to trial in cases involving juvenile, felony, and misdemeanor charges. Where resolution is not possible, she takes the case to trial. In a case charging her client with felony animal abuse Naomi successfully argued at trial for a required finding of not guilty for her client, resulting in the judge dismissing the case in the middle of the trial.

Prior Experience

Prior to joining Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, Naomi was a Skadden Fellow and a staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Naomi represented one of the first students in the country alleging discrimination by his school for ignoring his complaints of harassment by other students based on a failure to conform to gender stereotypes. Naomi helped her client secure a settlement wherein the school district not only compensated the student but agreed to overhaul its policies and practices for preventing and addressing harassment of students. She also represented New York City public school students in a class-action suit challenging police practices in the schools.

At Yale Law School Naomi was a managing editor of the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, an editor of the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, and chair of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. She helped found the school’s Domestic Violence Clinic, where she represented survivors of domestic violence in family law matters.


J.D., Yale Law School, 2008

B.A., Barnard College, 2004
summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar & Court Admissions Commonwealth of Massachusetts
State of New York
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • Justice Ralph D. Gants, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 2011-2012
Professional Affiliations

Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association

Boston Bar Association

Women’s Bar Association

Legal Network for Gender Equity

Client Reviews
I hired Mr. Duncan to deal with a very sensitive issue that my daughter had. Since the first contact, I had a very good impression of him. He transmitted confidence and appeared to know exactly what to do. I called and emailed him many times, he was polite and comprehensible with the anxiety of a father and appeared to know every step to solve the case. I strongly recommend Mr. Duncan. Flavio Lajoia
If you are reading this review, it means either you or a family member is in trouble and needs immediate legal counsel. Please know your search can end right now because Zalkind, Duncan & Bernstein is the law firm to hire. They are honest, responsive, compassionate and have the experience and expertise to bring... Client
I contacted Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein to assist with a Title IX case. From our initial conversation, Naomi Shatz had a strong understanding of Title IX policies and conducted each step of the process with professionalism, honesty and a responsiveness that did not disappoint. Ms. Shatz displayed confidence and just as important, compassion when needed. Client
I worked with Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah. And from my first contact on the phone, on to my first meeting in their office and during the trial, I found them and the firm's entire team to be a group of consummate legal professionals who are very knowledgeable, patient, dedicated, fair, honest and caring... Chantal C.
I am forever grateful to all the staff at this firm, but in particular, Ms. Shah, Mr. Zalkind and Mr. Silverglate. They represented my son who was being sought for extradition to Scotland. The case took years to fight, covering new legal ground, setting precedence. But each one of these legal eagles went above and beyond the duty of office... Suzanne D.