Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Sarah Stevenson is a litigator and a member of the firm’s Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Department. Her practice focuses on water law, Native American law, and commercial litigation. She represents clients in federal and state district courts and administrative agencies, and in appeals to the United States Supreme Court, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and New Mexico Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Sarah’s water law practice includes water adjudications and interstate water compacts. In the field of Native American law, she advises clients on issues regarding jurisdiction, indigenous rights, contract formation, and natural resource development. She litigates business disputes, and has experience in employment and First Amendment law. She has argued before the New Mexico Supreme Court and regularly represents parties and amicus curiae in federal and state appeals.

Sarah is a member of the State Bar Indian Law Section Board of Directors and Chair of its CLE Committee, provides pro bono legal services to families in conjunction with the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center, and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and a former member of the Foundation’s Young Professionals Committee.

Sarah graduated magna cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, and received a joint J.D./M.A. in International Political Economics and Development from Fordham University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. While at Fordham, she was chosen as a Crowley Scholar in International Human Rights, participated in the Leitner Human Rights Clinic, and was a research assistant for Professor Russell Pearce. She clerked for the Honorable Patricio M. Serna of the New Mexico Supreme Court from 2009 to 2011. Her B.A. is from Scripps College.

Education

Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 2009, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Dean’s List 2007-2009

Fordham University, M.A., International Political Economy and Development, 2009

Scripps College, B.A., American Studies, 2001, with honors

Bar Admissions

New Mexico

New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma

Professional Activities

  • Modrall Sperling CLE Committee Chair, 2016-2017
  • Board of Directors, Indian Law Section, State Bar of New Mexico, 2015-2017
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, 2011-present; Young Professionals Committee, 2012-2016; Human Rights and the Extractive Industries Conference Steering Committee, February 2016
  • Oliver Seth Inn of Court
  • New Mexico Women’s Bar Association

Clerkships

  • Law Clerk, Justice Patricio M. Serna, New Mexico Supreme Court, 2009-2011

Public Service

  • U. S. Peace Corps, Niger, West Africa; HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator, 2004-2005; Community Health Agent, 2002-2004

News

Modrall Sperling Announces Four New Shareholders

Posted on January 1, 2018 By

Articles

A Historic Moment in Indian Water Rights in New Mexico: Entry of the Aamodt Final Decree

August 29, 2017
By Maria O’Brien and Sarah M. Stevenson

The Congressional Review Act: Regulations on the Chopping Block

March 20, 2017
By Jennifer L. Bradfute and Sarah M. Stevenson

Professor Kevin Washburn: Reflections on Service as Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, the State of Indian Law in 2016, and Returning Home to New Mexico

April 21, 2016
By Sarah M. Stevenson

Indian Law Cases Pending Before the Supreme Court Worth Following

March 18, 2016
By Brian K. Nichols, Lynn H. Slade and Sarah M. Stevenson

Wind Energy: Challenged Under Federal Regulations, but More Native American Nations Appear to Be Embracing Its Development

February 24, 2016
By Walter E. Stern and Sarah M. Stevenson

Santa Fe County’s Interim Mining Moratorium Upheld for Now

Mineral Law Newsletter,
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Volume 32, No. 2, pages 16-17, October 7, 2015
By Stuart R. Butzier and Sarah M. Stevenson

Don’t Let the Well Run Dry: Management and Use of Groundwater in Times of Scarcity

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute Proceedings 2015,
Vol. 61, ch. 23, Maria O’Brien and Sarah M. Stevenson, October 7, 2015
By Maria O’Brien

Indian Reserved Water Rights: Groundwater Included

June 19, 2015
By Maria O’Brien and Sarah M. Stevenson

Balancing Opposing Cultural and Religious Beliefs on a Shared Reservation: Agency consideration of “Native American culture” not enough to demonstrate narrowly tailored compelling interest

May 28, 2015
By Lynn H. Slade and Sarah M. Stevenson

Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Sacred Sites and Traditional Cultural Properties and the Role of Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent

32 J. Energy & Nat. Resources L.,
No. 3, 297, July 22, 2014
By Stuart R. Butzier

Recreational Release Enforced: Modrall Sperling Obtains Summary Judgment for Indoor Climbing Gym Sued for Negligence

May 23, 2014
By Martha G. Brown and Sarah M. Stevenson

Jemez Pueblo’s Aboriginal Title Claims to the Valles Caldera Dismiss; Pueblo Appeals

December 31, 2013
By Sarah M. Stevenson

New Mexico Court of Appeals Split Opinion Rules Tribal Sovereign Immunity Does Not Apply in Action to Declare Road Status on Tribal Fee Land

September 13, 2013
By Sarah M. Stevenson

The Pueblo of Sandia’s Leasing Regulations and What Businesses Need to Do to Enter into Leases

May 30, 2013
By Sarah M. Stevenson

Maori Land Rights & the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 32 Fordham Int’l L. J. 298

October 7, 2008
By

Papers

  • Maria O’Brien & Sarah M. Stevenson, Don’t Let the Well Run Dry: Management and Use of Groundwater in Times of Scarcity, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute Proceedings, Vol. 61, ch. 23 (2015).
  • Stuart R. Butzier & Sarah M. Stevenson, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Sacred Sites and Traditional Cultural Properties and the Role of Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent, 32 J. Energy & Nat. Resources L. No. 3, 297 (2014).
  • Sarah M. Stevenson, Maori Land Rights & the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 32 Fordham Int’l L. J. 298 (2008).

Presentations

  • Tribal Consultation and Influence on Off-Reservation Development, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Indian Law and Natural Resources: The Basics and Beyond, Sept. 26-27, 2017, Westminster, Colorado, Sarah M. Stevenson & Vanessa Ray-Hodges.
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Sacred Sites and the Role of Consultation and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Int’l Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development, and Investment, April 22-24, 2013, Cartagena, Colombia, Sarah M. Stevenson & Stuart R. Butzier.
  • Southwest Super Lawyers®, selected as a Southwest Rising Star, Appellate Practice, 2014-present

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Employment Law
Native American Law
Natural Resources and Energy Law
Water Law