Director, TrialWatch Project at Columbia Law School Smith Family Human Rights Clinic
Sarah Mehta is the Director of the TrialWatch Project at Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and Manager of Clinic Partnerships at the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ), working to develop and implement a new international trial monitoring project. CFJ's TrialWatch initiative will monitor and respond to trials that pose a significant risk of human rights violations, with a particular focus on trials in which the law may be used as a tool to oppress vulnerable groups, to silence speech, or to target political opponents or critics.
Before joining the TrialWatch Project, Sarah was a human rights researcher with the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Human Rights Program. In this position, she worked primarily on immigrants' rights and criminal justice reform through investigations and legislative advocacy while also representing the ACLU before international human rights bodies and as a monitor for the military commission proceedings at Guantánamo Bay. Previously, Sarah was the detention attorney for the national ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Program and a staff attorney at the ACLU of Michigan, where she brought cases challenging racial profiling, police brutality, prison conditions, and housing discrimination. From 2009-2010, she was the Aryeh Neier fellow at Human Rights Watch and the ACLU for which she investigated and then litigated around the treatment of people with mental disabilities in U.S. immigration courts. Sarah is a graduate of Yale Law School (2009) and Brown University (2003), where she majored in Development Studies and South Asian Studies. She was also a Fulbright Scholar in India (2005-06) working on Muslim women's access to public health and education services. Sarah speaks French and intermediate Hindi/Urdu and Spanish.