Sarah Carthen WatsonAssociate Counsel
Sarah Carthen Watson is Associate Counsel in the Fair Housing and Community Development Project. Prior to assuming the role of Associate Counsel, Sarah was the George N. Lindsay Fellow, where she a used a three-pronged approach of impact litigation, local advocacy and community engagement to challenge the discriminatory effects of nuisance and crime-free ordinances on minorities, victims of domestic violence, and low-income communities. In addition to continuing the Fair Housing Project’s Nuisance and Crime-Free Initiative, Sarah works with the rest of the Fair Housing and Community Development team to bring litigation challenging discriminatory housing practices, engaging in strategy and advocacy around fair housing policy issues, and working with jurisdictions around the country to draft and implement their fair housing plans in compliance with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule.
Sarah received her J.D. and Certificate in Public Interest Law from Washington University School of Law in. While in law school, she served as Co-Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee, Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association, and participated in two semesters of the Civil Rights, Community Justice and Mediation Clinic. As a clinic student, she worked first as a law clerk at the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council doing fair housing litigation, staffing the Landlord-Tenant Hotline, and mediating over 50 cases in eviction court. Sarah also spent a clinic semester at the St. Ann Municipal Courthouse outside St. Louis, working on eliminating records backlogs that contribute to the criminalization of poverty through fines and fees. She also worked as a law clerk at the St. Louis District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York City Law Department, the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General, and Legal Aid at Work.
Prior to law school, Sarah earned her B.S. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University, with a minor in African American Studies. While at Northwestern, Sarah was leader in numerous on-campus student activism and social justice efforts, including Co-Founding the school chapter of Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, serving as the Coordinator of the Black Student Alliance, and leading student protest efforts that ultimately lead to the creation of the office of Campus Inclusion and Community. She is licensed to practice in Minnesota.