Justice James Gregory "Greg" Shaw was born in 1957 and raised in Birmingham, where he graduated from Banks High School. Justice Shaw graduated from Auburn University in 1979, receiving a B.S. degree with a major in Chemistry. He is married to S. Samantha "Sam" Shaw. Justice Shaw met Sam while at Auburn, and they married in August 1980, just before Justice Shaw's second year of law school. Sam was elected Alabama's State Auditor in 2006 and reelected in 2010.
In 1982, Justice Shaw graduated in the top 10% of his class from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law. While at Cumberland, he received the American Jurisprudence Award for excellence in the study of evidence under Professor Charles Gamble, the author of the preeminent evidence treatise in Alabama.
After his admission to the Alabama State Bar in 1982, Justice Shaw worked with a small law firm in St. Clair County. He later started his own general law practice in Birmingham. In the fall of 1984, Justice Shaw joined the staff of Supreme Court Associate Justice Janie L. Shores and moved to Montgomery. After serving as Justice Shores's staff attorney for one year, he joined the staff of Supreme Court Associate Justice James Gorman Houston, Jr., in the fall of 1985, where he served as Justice Houston's senior staff attorney for over 15 years. Justice Shaw was elected to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in 2000 and was reelected to the Court in 2006. On March 16, 2007, Justice Shaw was appointed Chief Judge of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. Justice Shaw served on both the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary until January 20, 2009, when, after being elected in 2008, he assumed the office of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. He was reelected to the Supreme Court in 2014.
Justice Shaw completed the Master of Laws Program at the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004, receiving the degree of Master of Laws (LL.M.) in the Judicial Process. He graduated with 30 other state and federal judges selected nationwide and he is one of only 3 judges from Alabama to participate in the program. Justice Shaw is an Honorary Master of the Bench of the Hugh Maddox Inn of Court in Montgomery and has served on the Alabama State Bar's Committee on Archives and History. Justice Shaw also serves as the Supreme Court's liaison on the Standing Committee of the Rules of Evidence.
Justice and Mrs. Shaw have two sons. Gregory graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2007 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He is married to Dr. Elise Shaw. Christopher, "CJ," graduated in May 2009 from Georgia Tech with an honors degree in mechanical engineering. He is married to Dr. Nicole Shaw. Justice and Mrs. Shaw are members of Auburn United Methodist Church.