Sarah O. Clifton is a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.
She joined ACLU SoCal in September 2018 to work on a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties issues, including freedom of speech, freedom of protest, and other rights protected by the First Amendment, as well as conditions of confinement and other rights affecting incarcerated individuals in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Her work is done through a combination of impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community engagement.
Prior to joining ACLU SoCal, she worked in a number of positions representing the public interest and advocating on behalf of society’s most vulnerable individuals, including as a staff attorney with Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, Inc. and as a prison monitor overseeing California State Prisons and Hospitals for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. From 2010-2016, she was a staff attorney for the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, Public Defender Division. Earlier in her career, she interned for the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. and the California Innocence Project, and was a summer law clerk for the Los Angeles County Public Defender.
She earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law where she was a Public Interest Law Foundation grant and award recipient, followed by her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from California Western School of Law, graduating on the Deans Honor List. Prior to law school she earned a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Sociology, Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Connecticut. She is admitted to practice law in state and federal courts of Massachusetts and California.