Sharon Fairley is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and has taught at the Law School since 2015. She became a Professor from Practice in 2019. Sharon's teaching responsibilities include criminal procedure, policing, and federal criminal law.
Before joining the Law School, Sharon spent eight years as a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, investigating and trying criminal cases involving illegal firearms possession, narcotics conspiracy, bank robbery/murder, murder for hire and economic espionage, among other criminal acts. She also served as the First Deputy Inspector General and General Counsel for the City of Chicago Office of the Inspector General. In December 2015, following the controversial officer-involved shooting death of Laquan McDonald, Fairley was appointed to serve as the Chief Administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency responsible for police misconduct investigations. Sharon was also responsible for creating and building Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
Professor Fairley's academic research and writing focuses on criminal justice reform with an emphasis on police accountability.
She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a BS degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and also holds an MBA in Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.