Scott Turow is the author of ten bestselling works of fiction, including IDENTICAL, INNOCENT, PRESUMED INNOCENT, and THE BURDEN OF PROOF, and two nonfiction books, including ONE L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic.
After earning his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at Harvard cum laude in 1978, Turow became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago, serving in that position until 1986. There he prosecuted several high-profile corruption cases, including the tax fraud case of state Attorney General William Scott. Turow also was lead counsel in Operation Greylord, the federal prosecution of Illinois judicial corruption cases.
Turow was elected the president of the Authors Guild in 2010, and was previously president from 1997 to 1998. As the Authors Guild president he has been criticized for his copyright maximalist and anti-e-book stance. Turow has often responded that he is not against e-books and does the majority of his own reading electronically. His goal, he said often, is to protect writing as a livelihood.
From 1997 to 1998 Turow was a member of the U.S. Senate Nominations Commission for the Northern District of Illinois, which recommends federal judicial appointments. In 2011, Turow met with Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig to discuss political reform including a possible Second Constitution of the United States; according to one source, Turow saw risks with having such a convention, but believed that it may be the "only alternative" given how campaign money has undermined the one-man-one-vote principle of democracy.
Turow is a partner of the international law firm Dentons. Turow works pro bono in most of his cases, including a 1995 case where he won the release of Alejandro Hernandez, who had spent 11 years on death row for a murder he did not commit. He was also appointed to the commission considering the reform of the Illinois death penalty by former Governor George Ryan. He was the first Chair of Illinois' Executive Ethics Commission. He served as one of the 14 members of the Commission appointed in March, 2000, by Illinois Governor George Ryan to consider reform of the capital punishment system. Turow also served as a member of the Illinois State Police Merit Board 2000-2002.