Riya Saha Shah, Esq.

Managing Director

Riya Saha Shah joined Juvenile Law Center in 2005 as the fourth Sol and Helen Zubrow Fellow in Children’s Law. During her time at Juvenile Law Center, Riya has represented youth in dependency court, written amicus briefs, and conducted trainings for child-serving professionals and youth. Shah also leads the organization’s Second Chances initiative, focusing her efforts on juvenile record confidentiality and expungement. She has written extensively on collateral consequences, expungement, and the right to counsel.  Riya was instrumental in Pennsylvania’s successful challenge to the imposition of harsh registration laws for youth charged with sexual offenses.

Riya employs legislative and litigation strategies to implement juvenile justice systems reform at the state and federal levels and is involved in policy advocacy to ensure the child welfare system is more responsive to the needs of older youth as they prepare for adulthood. Riya graduated cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she was a Civitas ChildLaw Fellow and Editor-in-Chief of The Children’s Legal Rights Journal.  She is a graduate of University of Michigan Ann Arbor where she earned her B.A. in Psychology and American Culture. Before going to law school, Riya taught second grade in Jersey City, New Jersey through Teach for America, and third grade to bilingual students in Detroit, Michigan.

Articles and Publications

Marsha Levick and Riya Saha Shah, "The Momentum Builds: Challenging Lifetime Registration of Juveniles Convicted of Sexual Offenses in the Post-Roper Era," NYU Review of Law and Social Change, March 2016.

Lisa Ann Minutola and Riya Saha Shah, "A Lifetime Label: Juvenile Sex Offender Registration," Delaware Lawyer, 2016.

Riya Saha Shah, Lauren A. Fine, "Failed Policies Forfeited Futures: A Nationwide Scorecard on Juvenile Records," 2014.

Riya Saha Shah, Lauren Fine, Jamie Gullen, "Juvenile Records: A National Review of State Laws on Confidentiality, Sealing and Expungement," 2014.

Riya Shah and Lisa Campbell, "Ineffective Assistance and Drastic Punishments: The Duty to Inform Juveniles of Collateral Consequences in a Post-Padilla Court," in Duke Forum for Law and Social Change, 2011

Jessica Feierman and Riya Shah, "Protecting Personhood: Legal Strategies to Combat the Use of Strip Searches on Youth in Detention," in Rutgers Law Review, No. 67, 2007

Riya Shah, "Book Review: 'Children, Medicine and the Law,'" in Journal of Legal Medicine, No. 255, June 2006

Riya Shah, "Book Review: 'Getting to the Bottom of Sickened,'" in Children's Legal Rights Journal, No. 3, Spring 2004