Associate Professor of Law
- J.D., University of New Mexico School of Law
- M.S.W., Smith College
- B.A., University of Oregon
Sarah Steadman has taught at the UNM School of Law since 2013. She teaches primarily in the Child and Family Justice Clinic, which serves marginalized children and their families who have unmet legal needs due to poverty and racial and social injustice. She also teaches Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and the Law, Elder Law, and has taught Family Law. Her scholarship focuses on law reform to protect transgender and gender-expansive youth and elders. Prior to becoming an attorney, she was a child and family therapist in a variety of mental health care settings.
Steadman serves on the board of directors for the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico and A Step Ahead nonprofit, on the NM Commission on Access to Justice, and on the advisory committee for the ADOBE program, an interdisciplinary service provider for formerly incarcerated youth and their families.
Child and Family Justice Clinic
The Child and Family Justice Clinic (CFJC) addresses family and child instability; food and economic insecurity; youth emancipation and school disciplinary issues; decision-making for young adults with incapacitating disabilities; and gender identity actualization, among other basic youth welfare needs. It aims to help build a legal infrastructure to serve New Mexico’s most vulnerable children and families through alliances with UNM’s Health Sciences Center, legal services organizations and community partners.
Students in the CFJC provide advocacy in a variety of matters affecting at risk youth and families who are impacted by poverty, racial and social inequity, immigration status, disability, disproportionate juvenile justice system involvement, the school-to-prison pipeline, and LGBTQ bias. Students are equally engaged in representing individual clients and in social justice project work. Through our Youth Racial Justice, Immigrant Child Safety, LGBTQ Youth, and ADOBE Juvenile Re-entry projects, students educate and counsel youth and parents, do community outreach and support legislative and policy initiatives in partnership with community advocates. CFJC promotes interdisciplinary collaboration with medical providers and social workers, as well as the development of innovative methods to address systemic inequities and unmet civil legal needs.
CFJC students learn and apply core lawyering skills including establishing effective attorney-client relationships, cultural literacy, client interviewing and counseling, fact investigation and development, drafting of pleadings, and motion practice. Through client representation and supervision, they develop their professional identities and engage in self-reflection, establishing career-long learning and best practice habits.
In this course we will examine the impact of the law on the formation and dissolution of intimate partner relationships and on parent-child relationships. We will explore family law from the perspective of the practicing attorney, and drafting assignments are intended to provide real world experience. Topics will include: cohabitation and prenuptial agreements; marriage, including the history of interracial and same-sex marriage; divorce, including collaborative divorces; child custody and support; spousal support; property division; jurisdictional issues; motions practice in family law cases; and domestic violence in intimate partner relationships.
Please see instructor for course description.
Then They Came for Me: Access to Justice Harms for a Generation of Transgender Youth, work in progress
That Name is Dead to Me: Reforming Name Change Laws to Protect Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth (forthcoming Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 55, Fall 2021)
Youth in New Mexico Bear Heavy Burden of Adverse Childhood Experiences Before Incarceration (co-author with Lori S. Zigich, George Davis, Andrew Hsi).
It's Still Me: Safeguarding Vulnerable Transgender Elders, 30 YALE J.L. & FEMINISM 369 (2019).
Available at: UNM-DR
From Out to In: The Opportunity and Need for Clinical Law Programs to Effectively Serve Low-Income LGBT Individuals, 26 CAL. REV. L. & SOC.JUST. 1 (2016).
Available at: UNM-DR