Professor and coordinator of Paralegal Studies at College of DuPage, Fairbank earned her J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. After moving to Chicago, she worked as an associate attorney at a medium-sized civil litigation firm, in transactional law at International Harvester (now Navistar) and Motorola in Chicago, and in the juvenile division at the DuPage County Public Defender's office.
In 2002, Fairbank began teaching Business Law at College of DuPage. When the Paralegal Studies program started at the College in 2006, Fairbank was hired to create curriculum, interview and hire adjunct faculty, schedule all courses, select all textbooks, and form an active advisory committee that now consists of 19 lawyers, paralegals and career professionals. In 2010, the program received approval from the American Bar Association, a recognized leader in evaluating paralegal education programs and granting approval to programs that meet its rigorous guidelines.
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This spring, Fairbank was named Outstanding Overall Faculty Member at College of DuPage and received a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Foundation. On June 1, the ICCTA announced Fairbank as the statewide winner, selected from the outstanding faculty awardees from all 48 Illinois community colleges.
"I thank ICCTA for not only recognizing me but also the Paralegal Studies program at College of DuPage," she said. "My career as an educator has far surpassed my expectations, and my reward is seeing how far our students go once they graduate."
For more about the Paralegal Studies program, visit www.cod.edu/programs/paralegal.