Sara R. Thornton

Adjunct Professor

sara thornton

Sara R. Thornton is a Principal with the law firm Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C. in Austin, Texas and is a member of the firm’s Water Practice Group and Compliance and Enforcement Group.   Sara received a Bachelor of Science in Renewable Natural Resources (2002) and a Master of Urban Planning (2004) from Texas A&M University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech School of Law (2008). Sara joined Lloyd Gosselink in May 2008.

 Sara assists her clients with various water supply and water quality permitting, compliance, and enforcement issues and has particular expertise in wastewater permitting, Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting, TCEQ enforcement, and compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

In her practice, Sara is able to utilize her education and prior Master’s research in collaborative ecosystem management and environmental planning to address complex environmental legal issues involving numerous stakeholders, such as the federal permitting of the first two water supply reservoirs in Texas in almost 30 years.

Sara regularly supports her clients in legislative activities at both the state and federal levels on water policy issues.  Sara also actively participates in the Federal Affairs Committee of the Texas Water Conservation Association, including advocating on behalf of the Association on various federal policies affecting water and wastewater utilities.

Sara joined the Texas A&M School of Law Faculty as an Adjunct Professor in 2021. She has also guest lectured at other law schools on topics related to Texas water law and policy. 

Sara has contributed to various publications in her areas of expertise, including the Texas Water Journal, the Texas A&M Journal of Property Law, and the American Water Resources Association Water Resources Impact.  Sara is also the Managing Editor of her firm’s newsletter, the The Lone Star Current, and a regular contributor to her firm’s podcast, Listen in with Lloyd Gosselink.

In her free time, Sara can be found at the Austin Women’s Boxing Club practicing her double unders, doing heavy bag work or going a few sparring rounds in the ring.