Sharon Brett is the Legal Director of the ACLU of Kansas. In that role, she develops and implements the affiliate's litigation strategy and actively litigates a wide array of civil rights and liberties cases in Kansas' state and federal courts. Sharon also manages the affiliate's legal intake program and contributes to legal policy analysis, working collaboratively with other departments at the affiliate to carry out the ACLU's integrated advocacy approach.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Sharon was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Criminal Justice Policy Program (CJPP) at Harvard Law School, where she conducted policy research and advocacy related to the criminal legal system. Sharon’s work at CJPP focused on how states impose and collect fines and fees, and the role of government actors in perpetuating our nation’s wealth-based systems of punishment.
Sharon began her legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. John M. Facciola (ret) on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and then joined the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section as a trial attorney through the Attorney General's Honors Program. At DOJ Civil Rights, Sharon focused on complex investigations and impact litigation regarding police misconduct and unconstitutional conditions in prisons and jails. She spearheaded several pattern or practice investigations of law enforcement agencies and wrote amicus briefs on a variety of criminal legal issues, including the criminalization of poverty, medical care for transgender prisoners, and unconstitutional monetary bail schemes.
Sharon received her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where she participated in the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic and held summer positions with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the ACLU’s National Prison Project. Her undergraduate degree is also from the University of Michigan, in psychology and criminal justice. Sharon teaches as an adjunct at the University of Kansas School of Law, where she teaches Social Justice Lawyering to upper level law students.