Faculty Profiles

Sarah  Shalf

Sarah Shalf

Professor of Practice

Areas of Expertise

Appellate Advocacy, Civil Rights Litigation, Externships, Professionalism, Technology Law, Voting Rights

Curriculum Vitae

Sarah M. Shalf joined the Emory Law faculty in April 2011 as director of the externship program and co-director of the professionalism program after nine years in practice in Atlanta. A native of Virginia, she is a graduate of both the college and the law school at the University of Virginia, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and received the Margaret Hyde Award, which is awarded by the faculty to an outstanding member of the graduating class. She served as an executive editor on the Virginia Law Review and a justice on the William Minor Lile Moot Court Board. She also holds a master of science in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Frank M. Hull on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and then joined the Atlanta litigation boutique of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore LLP, where she practiced commercial litigation with a focus on cases involving technology and intellectual property, business torts and unfair competition, and racketeering and fraud, as well as appellate litigation at all levels of the Georgia and federal court systems.

In addition to her commercial cases, she litigated a number of public interest cases, as pro bono service or otherwise, including in the areas of First Amendment protests; election law; disability law and prisoner civil rights; immigration, direct criminal, and habeas appeals; and constitutional challenges to medical malpractice damages caps.

She was named as one of fourteen Atlanta lawyers under forty 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.

She is active in the Atlanta and Georgia Bar associations, and she is the past chair of the technology law section of the Georgia Bar. She was the founding chair of the Georgia Lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society, on whose executive board she still serves.

At Emory Law, in addition to directing and teaching in the externship program and coordinating the Professionalism Program, she is the faculty advisor for the Supreme Court Advocacy Program, supervising student teams writing one to three petitions for certiorari and four to six amicus briefs each school year. She is also the faculty advisor to the Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition, the Emory Law student chapter of the American Constitution Society, and Social Enterprise at Emory Law (SEEL).

Education: JD, University of Virginia School of Law 2001; MS, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill 1996; BA, University of Virginia 1994

Journal Articles

"The Legal Context of School Violence: Effectiveness of Federal, State & Local Law Enforcement Measures to Reduce Gun Violence in Schools," 23(3) Law & Policy297 (2001) (with Richard Redding).

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

Book Chapters

Chapter 3, Institute of Medicine Board on Health Sciences Policy, Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners, National Academies Press (2006) (writing consultant).

Published Cases

  • Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C. v. Nestlehutt, 286 Ga. 731 (2010) (constitutional challenge to medical malpractice noneconomic damages cap)
  • Fraser v. Smith, 594 F.3d 842 (11th Cir. 2010) (personal jurisdiction over foreign defendant)
  • Common Cause/Georgia v. Billups, 554 F.3d 1340 (11th Cir. 2009) (challenge to state photo ID requirement for voting)
  • CNL Hotels & Resorts, Inc. v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co. et al., 291 Fed. Appx. 220 (11th Cir. 2008) (insurance coverage for restitutionary payments in settlement of securities class action)
  • Cypress Communications, Inc. v. Zacharias, 291 Ga. App. 790 (Ga. App. 2008) (class action arbitration procedure)
  • Valley Drug Co. v. Geneva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 262 Fed. Appx. 215 (11th Cir. 2008) (class action opt-out procedure)
  • Miller v. King, 449 F.3d 1149 (11th Cir. 2006); Miller v. Donald, 541 F.3d 1091 (11th Cir. 2009) (prisoner civil/ADA rights and Prison Litigation Reform Act)

Amicus Briefs

  • McCutcheon v. FEC, No. 12-536 (pending) (for amicus Committee for Justice in support of Petitioners on the merits) (party-strengthening benefits of eliminating aggregate contribution limits, and ineffectiveness of those limits in eliminating perception of corruption)
  • Scott v. St. John’s Church in the Wilderness, No. 12-1077 (for amici Historians of Art and Photography in support of Petitioners on certiorari) (impact of ruling restricting display of “gruesome images” in light of historical impact of war photography)
  • Vance v. Rumsfeld, No. 12-976 (for amici Government Transparency and Accountability Organizations in support of Petitioners on certiorari) (need for accountability in lawsuits for American civilian contractors tortured by American military overseas)
  • Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. , No. 12-398, 133 S. Ct. 2107 (2013) (for amici The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Professor Brian Scarnecchia in support of Petitioners on the merits) (moral concerns with recognizing genetic material as patentable)