Sarah Shalf

  • Professor of Law, General Faculty
  • Director of Clinical Programs

Sarah Shalf is the director of clinical programs. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Virginia, she was the director of externships and the faculty advisor and counsel of record for the student-run Supreme Court Advocacy Program at Emory University School of Law.

Shalf began her career in the Atlanta litigation boutique of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, where she practiced commercial litigation as well as a wide range of public interest litigation. Her successes include winning an appeal on behalf of Martha Burk declaring that an ordinance restricting her ability to protest the Master’s Tournament was unconstitutional, and negotiating a favorable settlement for a wheelchair user who was housed in non-accessible facilities in the Georgia Department of Corrections. She also helped win a ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court declaring medical malpractice caps on noneconomic damages unconstitutional, and she assisted in the litigation against Georgia’s photo ID statute, forcing it to be modified. At Emory she was counsel on behalf of ELSSCAP for 15 petitions for certiorari (including one grant in Bullock v. BankChampaign N.A., which resulted in a 9-0 win) and 30Civil litigation, appellate advocacy, clinical education, and community engagement amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, and she helped win an Eleventh Circuit appeal on behalf of a prisoner seeking to grow an untrimmed beard in accordance with his faith.

She was named as one of 14 Atlanta lawyers under 40 and “On the Rise” by the Fulton County Daily Report in 2006, and she was named a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer by Atlanta Magazine in 2006 and 2010. Active in bar leadership, she chaired the Atlanta Bar’s CLE Board and the Technology Law Section of the Georgia Bar. She was the founding chair (in 2004) of the Georgia Lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society, and a chair of Election Protection’s Georgia Legal Committee from 2012-16. She has also been active in AALS Clinical Committee leadership and founded the Georgia Association for Legal Externships, a consortium of all Georgia law schools’ externship faculty.

A native of Virginia, she is a graduate of both the College and the Law School at the University of Virginia. She was elected to the Order of the Coif and received the Margaret Hyde Award. She served as an executive editor on the Virginia Law Review and a justice on the William Minor Lile Moot Court Board. She also served on the board of the Virginia Law Weekly and co-directed the Libel Show band. After graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Frank M. Hull on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.


  • J.D.
    University of Virginia School of Law
  • M.S.
    University of North Carolina
  • B.A.
    University of Virginia

Writing Consultant (Ch. 3 author), Institute of Medicine Board on Health Sciences Policy, Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners, National Academies Press (2006).

“The Legal Context of School Violence: Effectiveness of Federal, State & Local Law Enforcement Measures to Reduce Gun Violence in Schools (with Richard Redding), 23(3) L. & Pol'y 297 (2001).

“Legal Liability Issues Concerning Pre-Adjudicatory Drug Testing of Detained Individuals” (with Richard Redding)  U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJ 183500 (1999).

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