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William R. Shaw

William R. Shaw

Senior Member
Ithaca, New York

William R. Shaw has a unique blend of public service and over 40 years of private practice of law. His civil and criminal litigation experience along with practical and extensive advice in commercial transactions, business, and personal legal affairs are still available to the Firm and its clients.

Bill Shaw was born and raised in Ithaca, New York and resides with his wife in nearby Trumansburg, New York. His education includes an Undergraduate, Masters, and Doctorate degrees from Cornell in government, public administration, and law, respectively.

He has limited his active services to the role of Senior Counsel to the Firm in 2018. He remains a member of the Tompkins County and New York State Bar Associations.
He concluded a decade of public service in Washington D.C., Albany, NY, and as Mayor of the City of Ithaca in 1982-83 before entering private practice.  More recently, he served as a Town Justice in Seneca County, part-time.

Bill Shaw is admitted to practice in all New York State Courts and certain Federal District Courts.  He has appeared in County Courts, NYS Supreme Court, and its Appellate Divisions.  He has conducted trials in State Court, Federal Court, and the NYS Court of Claims.

Mr. Shaw has handled real estate matters involving single lots and large subdivisions, and residential and commercial transactions of six, seven, and eight figures.
Mr. Shaw's experience in employment law and discrimination included forty years of practice for employers and employees in Employment Discrimination before the NYS Division of Human Rights, USEEOC, State, and Federal courts.

Bill Shaw remains current with his knowledge of computer software to research and prepare legal papers, as well as to communicate with clients, adversaries and courts.

Areas of Practice

  • Business Organization and Advice
  • Commercial and Residential Real Estate
  • Criminal Defense
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Estate Planning and Administration
  • Federal Court Litigation
  • General Practice
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Matrimonial and Family Matters

Litigation Percentage

  • 25% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1974
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York, 1995


  • Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York
    • J.D. - 1973
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
    • M.P.A. - 1973
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
    • B.A. - 1969
    • Major: Government & History

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New York State Bar Association, Member
  • Tompkins County Bar Association, Member
  • Seneca County & NYS Magistrates Association , Former Member
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Former Member

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Contact Information

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Contact Us

Shaw & Murphy Law Firm

Ithaca Office
The Frontenac Building
109 East Seneca St
Ithaca, New York 14850
Phone: (607) 273-2900
Fax: (607) 273-2933
E-mail: [email protected]

Groton Office
170 Main Street
Groton, NY 13073
Phone: (607) 898-3190
Fax: (607) 898-3765
E-mail: [email protected]