Shawn F. Summers


Shawn F. Summers is an associate in the Litigation Department. His practice is focused on commercial litigation, media and First Amendment law, government and internal investigations, and regulatory compliance. Shawn has experience across the litigation lifecycle – including emergency injunctive relief, motions practice, discovery and document review, and preparing for trial – in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Shawn first came to Ballard Spahr as a summer associate. Before law school, Shawn worked as a software quality analyst, supporting and advising clients in the insurance, banking, and retail industries. Shawn also worked as a staff member at a Pennsylvania craft distillery.


Representative Matters

  • Served on a team advising publisher Simon & Schuster during the Department of Justice’s attempt to block its publication of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memoir The Room Where It Happened.
  • Performed legal research, drafting, and discovery for a food manufacturer pursuing fraud and breach of contract claims in connection with the organic certification status of a company it acquired.
  • Helped to successfully defend a major newspaper and its reporter against a defamation, false light, and commercial disparagement suit brought by the target of the paper’s investigative business reporting.

Professional Highlights

Pro Bono Experience

Shawn maintains an extensive pro bono practice divided between impact litigation and representation of individual clients. He successfully represented a medically vulnerable federal prisoner seeking compassionate release during the COVID-19 pandemic, securing the client’s release and sentence reduction to time served over prosecutorial opposition. Shawn also represented the Philadelphia Bail Fund in a First Amendment challenge to Philadelphia’s policy of conducting bail hearings off the record, and helped a group of civic leaders and organizations in New York sue the federal government over its failure to produce certain public health reporting before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shawn has also represented clients seeking asylum in the United States after fleeing persecution in their home countries.

Judicial Internships

Hon. Robert B. Kugler, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Summer 2017


Co-author, "Buzzkill: The AML Implications of Banking Marijuana-Related Businesses," 36 Rev. Banking & Fin. Servs. 109, 2020



University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D. 2019)
Online Managing Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
Member, Penn Law National Moot Court Competition Team

University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine (M.B.E. 2019)

Georgetown University (A.B. 2012)



U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit