Paula Howell Anderson, Esq.


Paula Howell Anderson, Esq.

Litigation Partner

Shearman & Sterling LLP

New York, NY

Age: 39



In high school, Paula Anderson was enthralled by the abolitionist movement and the power of the law to effect social change. “This became the impetus for my pursuit of a legal career, and today my practice allows me to have a meaningful impact on humanity, from promoting corporate social responsibility in the boardroom of corporate America to fighting for the rights of human trafficking victims in rural Africa,” she says. 


Born in Barbados and a believer in “the power of you,” Anderson is the first African-American litigation partner at Shearman & Sterling, an elite U.S. “white shoe” law firm. Her work on investigations under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, cross-border commercial disputes, litigation relating to corporate mergers and acquisitions and international arbitration, has earned her accolades from industry publications. She worked on the prosecution of genocide perpetrators in Rwanda at the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; taught Advanced Trial Advocacy at the Tribunal and the International Criminal Court; and currently serves as the Court’s pro bono counsel. “I am dedicated to international criminal justice and stomping out crimes against humanity,” asserts Anderson, who funded the college education of a young man she met while working in Sierra Leone to adopt local laws criminalizing enlistment of child soldiers.


Anderson holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree in criminology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she established a scholarship for underprivileged students seeking to study law and is a trustee. She serves on the Diversity Committee at Shearman, and with the White House Clemency Project and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.  Surprising family and friends, she started boating a few years ago, securing a boating license and captaining her own 34-foot vessel down the Hudson River.