Sharon Chaitin-Pollak is a Research Fellow at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at NYU School of Law. She recently spent fifteen months in Beijing as a Fulbright grantee, studying Chinese language at IUP on the Tsinghua University campus and researching issues at the intersection of Chinese criminal procedure, the rights of attorneys, and defense of the indigent as an affiliated researcher at the Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Her present research focuses on the representation of indigent criminal defendants and others in China.
She is admitted to practice law in New York and Massachusetts, and spent several years as a public defender and impact litigation attorney on behalf of the Massachusetts public counsel agency’s indigent clients. Published, successful cases in which she was involved include Emilio E. v. Commonwealth, 453 Mass. 1024 (2009) (rights of pretrial juveniles to be free from GPS monitoring), Kenniston v. Dep’t of Youth Svcs., 453 Mass. 179 (2009) (substantive due process rights of adults formerly found delinquent of crimes as juveniles), Commonwealth v. Ruiz, 453 Mass. 474 (2009) (procedural due process rights of inmates with respect to on-and-after probation sentences), Commonwealth v. Connolly, 454 Mass. 808 (2009) (rights of suspects to be free from warrantless GPS monitoring), and Commonwealth v. Canadyan, 458 Mass. 574 (2010) (rights of homeless probationers not to be punished for homelessness).
She graduated in 2005 with a J.D. from NYU School of Law, where, as a Civil Rights Clinic student-attorney she defeated a motion to dismiss and obtained a favorable settlement in a Title VII employment discrimination suit [Fernandez v. M & L Milevoi Mgmt., 357 F. Supp. 2d 644 (E.D.N.Y. 2005)], received a Furman Summer Fellowship, was active in the Asia Law Society, and served as Notes Editor on the Environmental Law Journal. Prior to law school, she obtained a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University (2002), where she researched the 2001 revisions to China’s marriage law, and was a recipient of the Foreign Language and Area Studies scholarship. Her Bachelor’s Degree is from Cornell University (2000, summa cum laude), where she received honors for her legal anthropology research on the small claims courts of Paris. In 1998-99 she studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and at the Sorbonne, and became an Associate Researcher at the Sorbonne’s Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Juridique.