Sharon Katz
  1. Special Counsel for Pro Bono

Ms. Katz is Davis Polk’s Special Counsel for Pro Bono. She joined the firm in the fall of 1982 and retired in 2011 after nearly 30 years of service, including almost 15 years as a partner in the Litigation Department.

From 2006 through 2011, she served as Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee. In the spring of 2012, she returned as Special Counsel for Pro Bono.

In this position for the firm, she oversees our broad array of pro bono cases and initiatives and manages the many relationships that the firm maintains with various legal services organizations.

Working closely with our Pro Bono Committee, she guides our strategy to enhance and expand its overall pro bono program. She also works closely with individual associates and supervises a variety of matters ranging from wrongful conviction, criminal appeals, immigration, education, domestic violence and family law matters.

Of Note

Pro Bono Practice

Ms. Katz has served as a member of the boards of a number of pro bono legal services providers and organizations committed to policy and direct service work on behalf of low-income and indigent New Yorkers, including the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Hour Children, Inc., The Correctional Association of New York and Advocates for Children. 

For more than 15 years, she has been providing pro bono advice and representation to incarcerated women in connection with visitation, custody and other family law matters as part of the Volunteers of Legal Services Incarcerated Mothers Project, and has been honored for this work by Women’s E-News as one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.”

She has also received awards for her pro bono work from Advocates for Children, Volunteers of Legal Service, The Women’s Prison Association and the Legal Aid Society.

Professional History

  • Special Counsel for Pro Bono, 2012-present
  • Senior Counsel, 2011-2012
  • Partner, 1997-2011
  • Senior Attorney, 1990-1997
  • Associate, 1982-1990
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Thomas C. Platt, U.S. District Court, E.D. New York, 1981-1982

Practice Focus

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York


  • B.A., New School, 1971
  • M.S., Columbia University, 1975
  • J.D., Brooklyn Law School, 1981
    • summa cum laude
    • Member, Brooklyn Law Review