Nicola Sharpe

Director of the Chicago Business Law Program

Professor Nicola Sharpe teaches business law courses, including Business Associations, Antitrust, and Corporate Governance. Professor Sharpe’s scholarship relies on management theories, such as organizational behavior and organizational strategy, to analyze how efforts to regulate modern business practices are limited by an incomplete conception of the firm, and particularly an incomplete conception of the interaction between corporate boards of directors and executive management. Professor Sharpe’s forthcoming article “Improving Corporate Board Process through Organizational Behavior” will be published in the Southern California Law Review. Additionally, she recently published “The Cosmetic Independence of Corporate Boards” in the Seattle University Law Review’s Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law & Society symposium issue (“Berle II”), and “Corporate Cooperation through Cost-Sharing” in the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review.She has also published “Rethinking Board Function in the Wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis” in the Maryland Journal of Business and Technology Law and “Is Apple Playing Fair? Navigating the iPod Fairplay DRM Controversy” with Olufunmilayo B. Arewa in the Northwestern Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property.

Professor Sharpe is a fellow at the Center for Law, Economics, and Finance (“C-LEAF”) at George Washington University Law School. She was selected to present her forthcoming article, “Improving Corporate Board Process through Organizational Behavior,” at C-LEAF’s inaugural junior faculty roundtable. Her paper was 1 of 12 selected from a pool of over 80 submissions. In addition, the potential impact of her research on corporate boards earned her the Arnold O. Beckman Award from the University of Illinois Campus Research Board. This award is made to projects of special distinction, promise, or resource value. Professor Sharpe was an invited participant and contributor to the Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law & Society symposium at Seattle University and she was invited to present “The Cosmetic Independence of Corporate Boards” at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Socio-Economists co-sponsored by the Law and Economics Center at Boalt Hall School of Law. Additionally, she has made presentations at Indiana University Law School, Loyola University Chicago Law School, Notre Dame Law School, University of Illinois College of Law, University of Iowa College of Law, University of Maryland School of Law, and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

Prior to joining the University of Illinois, Professor Sharpe served as a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Law. Professor Sharpe earned her law degree from Yale Law School, her M.B.A. from Yale School of Management, and her B.A. from Cornell University. Before entering law teaching, she was an associate with the antitrust group of Shearman & Sterling LLP, where she counseled corporate clients on a wide variety of antitrust matters.