Attorney Lenore Shefman Appointed to Mayor's Task Force on Institutional Racism

Lenore Shefman has been appointed as part of the Criminal and Civil Justice work group for Mayor Steve Adler’s Task Force on Institutional Racism


Austin, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/03/2017 --Personal injury attorney, Lenore Shefman has been appointed as part of the Criminal and Civil Justice work group for Mayor Steve Adler's Task Force on Institutional Racism. The 49-member task force was revealed on November 16, 2016, and will be composed of top city leaders from five subgroups consisting of finance, real estate and housing, education, health, and criminal and civil justice. These community members will include Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz and Huston-Tillotson University President Colette Pierce Burnette, both of whom co-chair, Chas Moore with the Austin Justice Coalition, and Shefman of Cyclistlaw.

Several high-status incidents involving Austin police officers prompted Mayor Adler to address concerns of institutional racism and develop a task force to help serve and protect communities and neighborhoods of color throughout the city. According to Mayor Adler, institutional racism refers to "discrimination typically found in social groups, schools, banks, and the law. We have structures in place that create unjust and inequitable outcomes". (

This new "Anti-Racist" task force comes on the heels of recent violent and highly controversial incidents that occurred in Austin. One incident involved the February 2016 shooting of a naked unarmed teen by former APD officer Geoffrey Freeman. Freeman stipulated that he feared for his life when 17 year-old David Joseph charged at him, so he shot him in self-defense. After an investigation, Freeman was relieved of his duties as a police officer. The second incident involved the vicious arrest of elementary school teacher Breaion King. A video of King's arrest shows APD officer Bryan Richter pulling her out of the car and slamming her to the ground. A grand jury decided not to file criminal charges against Richter; however King sued the city of Austin, which was later dismissed, as well as Richter for excessive use of force.

Although the task force was met with some cynicism, skepticism, and defensiveness after its initial unveiling, it will keep the people within Austin's communities and organizations updated about what's going on. Its goal is to help to combat racial inequality throughout the city by advocating for changes in certain areas and in March 2017 will present a plan of action to City Council on how to eliminate racial inequality in Austin, after which the task force will be disbanded.

About Lenore Shefman
Local attorney, Lenore Shefman, was appointed to the Criminal and Civil Justice work group for Mayor Adler's task force. Since 2000 Shefman has been practicing law in California and Texas, advocating for those who are underrepresented in our society. During that time, she has never lost a jury trial. Most of her practice is centered on personal injury cases resulting from bicycle, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents due to others' negligence.

In 1993, she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work and quickly began to create change in Austin by creating social and educational programs for urban youth and their families. In addition, she has volunteered her time and provided free legal help through the Homeless Advocacy Projects in Austin. Prior to her work within the Criminal and Civil Justice system, Shefman showcased her passion for helping others during her time as a search-and-rescue seaman and as a maritime law enforcement officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Her honesty, integrity and hard work make Lenore Shefman a force to be reckoned with.

Because of her distinguished history, Shefman has been honored to be included in many associations: Practice by the Supreme Court of Texas; The Supreme Court of California; The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; The United States District Court, Northern District; and The United States District Court for the Eastern District. She is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, The Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, the State Bars of California and Texas, and is also a member of Bike Austin, and received the honor of Million Dollar Advocate, a distinguished honor vetted by her peers.

For more information about Attorney Lenore Shefman, please visit: or