Katherine M. Sharkey

Katherine Sharkey, Family Law Attorney

Katherine M. Sharkey practiced law in Chicago from 2006-2010 at Cabrini Green Legal Aid as a Family Law Staff Attorney, where she represented hundreds of low-income clients in divorce, child custody, guardianship and parenting time cases. She moved back to her home state of Michigan and worked at Legal Services of South Central Michigan- Family Law Project from 2011-2013, representing survivors of domestic violence in personal protection and family law cases. In October 2013, she went into private practice as an associate with the Ann Arbor firm Nichols Sacks Slank Sendelbach Buiteweg & Solomon, where she practiced until August 2019.

The focus of her practice continues to be family law: she is a litigator and mediator. She also serves as a guardian ad litem and parenting coordinator in contentious custody cases. Prior to law school, Katherine worked as a child welfare caseworker in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the Honors Program at Marquette University where she double majored in Social Work and Spanish Language and Literature. She graduated in 2006 from the University of Detroit-Mercy Law School, where she was active in moot court and legal clinics and was a teacher’s assistant for the first-year legal research and writing class.

As a parenting coordinator and guardian ad litem, Katherine utilizes her social work background to help parents reach agreements in the best interests of their children. When parents are not able to agree, Katherine’s social work skills guide her interviews with children and recommendations to the Court.

As a litigator, Katherine is a strong and pragmatic advocate. She works hard to achieve fair results for her clients both in and out of the courtroom.

Leadership Roles & Community Involvement

  • Chair, Washtenaw County Bar Association Public Service and Pro Bono Committee
  • Chair, Washtenaw County Bar Association Judiciary Committee
  • State Bar of Michigan, Domestic Violence Committee
  • Secretary, Abbot Elementary Parent Teacher Organization
  • President, Washtenaw Region, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, 2014-2015
  • Director at Large, Washtenaw County Bar Association, 2016-2019

Speaking Engagements & Publications

  • “Advocating for DV Survivors in Divorce: Getting Beyond 50-50,” Michigan Family Law Journal, March 2019 issue
  • Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project Training, March 2018 (Drafting an “Iron clad” Judgment of divorce)
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) – Family Law Institute, November 2017 (Advising Clients in a Post Obergefell Era)
  • Michigan Poverty Project Roadshow, September 2017 (Property Division)
  • June 2015, Trial Practice, Committee on Regional Training for Lawyers

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