Sara Zampierin

Instructional Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Civil Rights Clinic

Sara Zampierin

“The law is not synonymous with justice. As lawyers, we have to dedicate ourselves not only to practicing law but to doing justice.”

Get to Know Sara Zampierin

What drew you to the law?

In college, I struggled to find a career path that felt meaningful to me. I knew I wanted to find a job where I could work daily towards justice and equality. I was inspired by the great lawyers of the civil rights movement and by the attorneys with whom I worked on death penalty defense cases and on international human rights projects, and I liked that studying law would provide the analytical foundation and tools to work towards justice across a range of subject areas.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I greatly enjoy seeing students build confidence and develop new skills in both the classroom and clinical settings. I like to engage students in discussions about the types of lawyers that they want to be and then seeing the ways those students put those ideals into practice during law school and in their subsequent careers. I also appreciate the opportunities that teaching provides to think deeply with students about our legal system and how we could improve it.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

My goal is to help students develop a range of skills and tools that will allow them to engage with new and complex problems, especially with respect to issues of injustice. I hope that students will also recognize the power of community and the ways that lawyers can work to support grassroots advocacy. I want students to leave my courses with the energy and tools to be bold and creative in their future practice.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I worked as an attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center on issues of economic justice, including predatory lending, public benefits, and ways in which the criminal legal system punished those who were unable to pay fines and fees or bail. Before that, I clerked for Judge Keith P. Ellison of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

What are you passionate about outside the law?

Spending time with my family, traveling, breakfast tacos, and baking sourdough bread.

What are your research interests?

My research interests stem from my practice and work with clients and other community members. These interests include examining systems that contribute to mass incarceration and other forms of carceral control outside of sentencing, including fines and fees, bail, and electronic monitoring.

Publications

Link to my publications.

Presentations

Presentations are listed on my CV.

Expertise

  • Experiential Education
  • Civil Rights

Academic Experience

  • Instructional Associate Professor of Law and Clinic Director
    Texas A&M University School of Law (Fall 2022-Present)
  • Robert M. Cover Clinical Teaching Fellow, Associate Research Scholar in Law, and Clinical Lecturer in Law
    Yale Law School (2020-2022)

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School
    • Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Human Rights Journal
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Rice University

Awards / Honors

Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow, Harvard Law School (2017)