Sharon Yates

Sharon Yates

Associate Professor of Law

334-386-7404Jones School of Law

About Judge Sharon Yates


  • University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, Al J.D., 1982
  • University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • B.S. in Education, 1975
  • M.A. in Educational Administration, 1976

Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor of Law, Jones School of Law, June 2014 to Present
    Courses taught: Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Criminal Law, and Appellate Advocacy
  • Distinguished Jurist in Residence, Professor of Law, Jones School of Law, January 2013 to June 2014
    Courses taught: Appellate Advocacy, Advanced Criminal Procedure
  • District Court Judge, Montgomery County, Alabama, January 2007 to January 2013 Created and implemented, with cooperation of District Attorney, the first Misdemeanor Drug Court and Misdemeanor Pre-trial Diversion Program
  • Private Practice / Trial and Appellate Mediation Practice, Montgomery, AL 2005- 2007
    Handled cases in state and federal courts; registered Mediator and Arbitrator
  • Judge Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, 1993-2005
    First woman elected to court and last four years served as Presiding Judge
  • Professor, Jones School of Law, 1989-1993
    Courses taught: Contracts, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Administrative Law, Criminal Law, and Civil Procedure
  • Private Practice of Law, Montgomery, AL, 1987-1992
  • Beasley & Wilson, Montgomery, AL, 1984-1987 Associate Attorney; General Litigation
  • Alabama Supreme Court, Staff Attorney, 1982-1984 Associate Justice Sam Beatty
  • Alabama Supreme Court, Summer Clerk, 1981 Chief Justice C.C. “Bo” Torbert
  • Southeast Regional Resource Center, Montgomery, AL, 1978-1979
    Educational Programmer; Worked with State Departments of Education in six Southeastern states and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
  • Bureau of Postsecondary Education, Washington D.C., 1976-1978 Worked for Planning Staff
  • Dean, College of Education, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1975-1976 Graduate Assistant to Dean


Professional Service

  • Jones School of Law Advisory Committee Cumberland School of Law Advisory Committee Unified Judicial System Technology Commission
  • Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Inc. (Board Member) Family Law Task Force – created by Alabama Act 2008-121
  • Alabama Supreme Court Appellate Mediation Committee – responsible for the implementation of Appellate Mediation
  • Alabama Supreme Court Commission for Dispute Resolution – Initial Member and Chair 1998-2000
  • The Family Preservation Court Improvement Project Alice M. Meadows Council Bar Participation Committee Constitutional and Court Rules Sub-committee
  • Alabama Task Force on Judicial Elections Committee on Women in the Legal Profession Children’s Justice Task Force
  • Third Citizen’s Conference on Alabama State Courts

Community Service

  • YMCA Youth in Government Board of Directors
  • Children’s First Foundation Board of Directors Child Protect, Inc. Board of Directors
  • Christian Women’s Leadership Advisory Board, Samford University National Conference for Women in Politics
  • Children’s Justice Task Force Leadership Alabama, Class XIV Leadership Montgomery, Class XIV

Seminar and CLE Presentations

  • “Appellate Mediation: Why and How to Effectively Mediate a Decided Case” “Alabama Appellate Mediation Program – An Overview”
  • “Fundamentals of Appellate Practice: Procedures and Professionalism” “How to Lose Your Case on Appeal” Essential Skills for Appellate Practice “Workers’ Compensation Law”
  • “Appellate Consideration from the Bench:  Divorce on the Bench”
  • “Women on the Bench: Rights and Responsibilities” Presented to Auburn University Women’s Leadership Institute
  • “Practicing Before the Court of Civil Appeals”
  • “Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004” Presented to Virgin Island State Office of Special Education Hearing Officers and Mediators Workshop
  • “Professionalism and Legal Ethics” Presented 2002 Bar Admissions Ceremony
  • Alabama’s Domestic Violence Benchbook by Alabama Against Domestic Violence Benchbook Committee (July 2005)
  • “Alabama’s Unified Court System” The People’s Law School
  • “The Status of Women in Leadership in Alabama” “Women in Public Office” Presented Judson College
  • “Becoming Role Models for Our Daughters” Presented to A Woman for all Seasons Women’s Conference (Dawson Baptist Church)
  • “Judicial Perspectives – A View from the Bench” Presented Alabama Bar Young Lawyers Section (Jones Law School – 2001)


  • Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, Inc. – 2010 “Women of Distinction”
  • Induction into the Alabama Women’s Academy of Honor by the Alabama Business and Professional Women’s Foundation
  • Selected for Inclusion with 26 Alabama leaders in Business, Government, Judiciary, Education, Medicine, etc.  “Alabama Faces of Destiny” 1997


Personal Background

Native of Tallapoosa County, attended public schools; member of First Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.  Three Children: Nathan (Ashley), twins, Parker (Lizzy) and Mallory