Sara A. Clark
Sara Clark joined SMW in 2010 and is an associate at the firm. Ms. Clark’s practice focuses on representation of environmental groups, Indian tribes, and public agencies in CEQA and NEPA litigation, federal Indian and public land law, initiative and election law, and land conservation.
Ms. Clark represents clients in litigation and provides advice and counseling for non-litigation matters. She was part of the SMW litigation team that successfully challenged the development of a proposed new city in rural Riverside County. She also has worked on a series of actions seeking to recover possession of tribal lands from non-tribal members who refuse to pay rent or vacate the properties. Currently, Ms. Clark represents local environmental organizations in their challenge to an ill-sited housing development in the City of Brea; after a trial court victory, the case is currently on appeal.
In non-litigation matters, Ms. Clark regularly advises land trusts on complex legal issues, including conservation easement drafting and enforcement. She also advises the Colorado River Indian Tribes in its efforts to ensure cultural resource protection on public lands facing pressure from utility-scale energy developers. In addition, Ms. Clark represented the Transbay Joint Powers Authority in negotiations over the electric service agreement for the Transbay Transit Center.
Ms. Clark graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she earned a certificate in environmental law and was elected to the Order of the Coif. During law school, she served as Editor in Chief of the Ecology Law Quarterly and was a member of the Environmental Law Society’s Environmental Justice Symposium steering committee. She worked as a summer law clerk at SMW and spent a year as a legal intern at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Prior to attending law school, Ms. Clark worked in land conservation. She was part of the land acquisition team at the Peninsula Open Space Trust, a regional land trust that protects the San Francisco peninsula, and was part of the conservation research program at the Open Space Institute in New York City. Ms. Clark graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2004 with a degree in environmental science and public policy.
Ms. Clark is a member of the Bars of the State of California, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, and Eastern Districts of California, and the courts of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. Ms. Clark is Chair of the Board of Directors of Bay Area Wilderness Training and a member of the Peninsula Open Space Trust NextGen Committee.