SARA MANDELBAUM is pro bono counsel in the firm’s New York Office. As a trial and appellate lawyer, Sara previously headed the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, founded by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, where she managed a docket of nationwide impact litigation on behalf of women and girls, as well as fathers denied parental leave on the basis of sex. She represented Shannon Faulkner in her historic Fourteenth Amendment challenge to the all-male Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and coordinated the Supreme Court amici initiative in the groundbreaking sex discrimination case against the Virginia Military Institute.
Sara has successfully argued dozens of appeals on behalf of pregnant women wrongfully criminalized for being addicted to drugs. Sara authored the first public health brief challenging these nationwide prosecutions on behalf of the American Public Health Association, which served as the template for dozens of similar cases.
Sara served as a clerk for the Honorable Sylvia B. Pressler (NJ) and was subsequently awarded a fellowship from Georgetown Law School to work on sex discrimination and Supreme Court judicial nominations at the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund in D.C. After the fellowship, she served as a litigation associate at another global law firm, where she practiced general commercial litigation and devoted much of her time to pro bono matters in reproductive rights and women’s economic equality.
Sara received her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law, with high honors, winning awards in women’s rights and criminal law. She served as an editor of the Rutgers Law Review and the Rutgers Women’s Rights Law Reporter. Upon graduating from Brandeis University, magna cum laude, Sara was hired by Ms. magazine, where she published several book reviews. She has since published articles in various law reviews and the New York Law Journal in the area of women’s constitutional rights.
Sara was named by Jane magazine as “One of the 15 Gutsiest Women” for her work and has been recognized by the National Organization for Women as a “Woman of Power and Influence.”
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University.