Some notes about Sara's background.

Sara Bronin is a Mexican-American architect, attorney, professor, and policymaker who works to create and preserve great places. 

Sara is one of the country’s leading experts in the areas of property law, land use, historic preservation, urban planning, and renewable energy.  She holds an endowed chair at UConn Law School.  Sara has held national positions in academic associations and currently advises the Sustainable Development Code and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and serves on the board of Latinos for Heritage Conservation.  She has served as a visiting professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, as well as at universities in Switzerland and Korea. 

Sara was educated at Yale Law School (as a Truman Scholar), the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and the University of Texas at Austin.  A highlight during her law school career was clerking for then-Second Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor (now on the U.S. Supreme Court).  A seventh-generation Texan, Sara is a native Houstonian.  She grew up working in her grandparents’ Mexican restaurant.  

CONSULTING:  As a consultant, Sara has negotiated hundreds of project documents with developers, owners, architects, construction managers, neighbors, investors, and public entities at all levels.  She has also advised a range of public and private clients and has served as an expert witness. 

SPEAKING:  Sara is comfortable speaking in a variety of academic, professional, and popular formats.  She has been invited to top law and architecture programs around the world.  And she has lectured at the national American Planning Association, American Institute of Architects, GreenBuild, and National Trust for Historic Preservation conferences, among others. 

MEDIA:  Sara is versatile with TV, radio, and print media and has been featured on CNN, CBC, Cheddar, and other networks, and she has been quoted in the New York TimesWashington PostUSA TodayHuffington Post, SalonLaw360, and other publications. 

PUBLICATIONS:  As an academic, Sara has published several books and treatises on zoning and historic preservation law, and she is helping to write the once-in-a-generation Restatement of Property Law.  She has also authored dozens of other publications, from law review articles to op/eds in the New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesThe Hill, Fox Business, and other publications. 

SERVICE:  Sara is most proud of leading nationally-recognized land use reforms in the City of Hartford.  She served as lead author of the city’s award-winning zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, inland wetland regulations, housing code, climate action plan, and city plan.  She has also held many other national, state, and local public and nonprofit leadership roles.  

For more details, please click on the drop-down menus below or click here to download her CV as a PDF. 



  • Honors: Harry S Truman Scholarship; Hamilton Fellowship (full tuition at Columbia); Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association Scholarship; Public Service Fellowship
  • Activities: Director, Community and Economic Development Clinic; Extern, then-Second Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor; Intern, Skadden (Tokyo) and Vinson & Elkins (Houston)
  • Transferred after first year from Columbia University School of Law


  • Honor: Rhodes Scholarship
  • Thesis: Living History:  Residential Historic Districts of Washington, DC
  • Activities: Co-Founder and Publisher, Oxonian Review of Books


  • Minor: Spanish
  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa; Alpha Rho Chi Medal in architecture; Distinguished College of Liberal Arts Graduate; 7 travel fellowships to Bosnia, Russia, Spain, and Turkey
  • Thesis: Making a Home in Texas Colonias (won Model Thesis Award)
  • Activities: Chair, Student Senate; Member, Faculty Council and Faculty Buildings Committee



  • Thomas F. Gallivan Endowed Chair in Real Property Law, 2016-present; Professor, 2013-2016; Associate Professor, 2008-2013; Gallivan Research Professor of Law, 2006-2008
    • First Latina awarded an endowed chair at the Law School
    • Teaches property, land use, historic preservation, and renewable energy law
    • Conceives and executes annual conferences on property, land use, or sustainability law
    • Supports fundraising by helping shape giving opportunities (including the Campus Center and the Campus Master Plan), liaising with donors, and speaking at events
    • Has collaborated with many UConn units: Business, Engineering, Fine Arts, Geography, Landscape Architecture, Marine Sciences, Psychology, Public Policy, and Sea Grant
  • Co-Founder and Faculty Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law, 2009-present; Co-Faculty Director/Steering Committee, 2009-2013
    • Received a $120,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant and a $200,000 National Disaster Resilience for interdisciplinary projects on sea level rise and climate change, collaborating with the UConn-State Connecticut Institute of Resilience and Climate Adaptation, the Center for Land Use Education and Research, and other UConn units
    • Helped establish the Certificate in Energy and Environmental Law (awarded to approximately 10% of graduating J.D.s) and LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Law
    • Helped establish a new interdisciplinary UConn degree: the Professional Masters in Energy and Environmental Management
  • Member, Law School Faculty Committees
    • Facilities Committee, Chair 2018-present, Chair 2012-2013, 2011-2012, 2008-2010 and Ad Hoc Campus Center Committee 2015-2017
    • Elected Committees
      • Personnel Advisory (Tenure/Promotion), 2014-2016
      • Dean Search, 2012-2013
      • Faculty Hiring, 2011-2012
    • Assessment/Planning Committees
      • Learning Assessment, 2019-present
      • ABA Self-Study, 2016-2017, 2009-2010
      • Academic Plan, Chair 2014, 2008-2009
    • Ad Hoc Committees
      • Development of an Urban Planning Degree (unofficial), 2019-present
      • Appointment of Connecticut Mutual Endowed Chair, Chair 2017
      • Reappointment of Helen England Endowed Chair, 2017
      • Communications, Chair 2015-2016
      • Hiring of Career Services Director, 2015
      • UConn Hartford Coalition Task Force, 2012-2013
    • Faculty, UConn Transportation, Technology, and Society Research Group, 2017-present
      • Evaluates policy and engineering issues related to autonomous and electric vehicles
      • Awarded $150,000, three-year UConn Academic Plan Grant, 2017
    • Affiliate, UConn Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, 2010-present
    • Affiliate, UConn Department of Public Policy, 2019-present
    • Affiliate & Founding Faculty Advisory Committee, UConn Sustainable Global Cities Initiative, 2019-present
    • Supporter of student initiatives
      • Faculty Advisor, Latino Law Students Association
      • Supervisor of 25 externships and student writing projects
      • Helper to various law journals and student organizations, including the Energy and Environmental Law Society


  • Elected Member, American Law Institute, 2015-present
  • American Association of Law Schools
    • State and Local Government Section, Chair 2015-2016, Executive Committee 2013-2015
    • Property Section, Executive Committee 2019-present and 2013-2015
    • Natural Resources and Energy Section, Executive Committee 2015-2018
  • Distinguished Energy Law Scholar in Residence, Vermont Law School, 2017


  • Visiting Professor, Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University Law School, Paris, 2019
  • UConn Korea LL.M. Program Professor, Hallym University of Graduate Studies, Seoul, 2019
  • Visiting Professor, University of St. Gallen Law School, Switzerland, 2016
  • Lecturer (one-time), University of Oxford (England), Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), Renmin University (Beijing), Queen Mary’s University (Edinburgh), and Queen’s University (Belfast)



  • Restatement (Fourth) of Property, with Henry E. Smith et al., 2015-present  
    • Regarded by judges and lawyers as the definitive guide to the common law
    • Drafted volume on Land Use (never before covered in a Restatement)
  • Rathkopf’s The Law of Zoning and Planning, with Dwight H. Merriam, 2014-present
  • Land Use Regulation, with Stewart Sterk and Eduardo Peñalver, 2020 (3d ed.), 2016 (2d ed.) 
  • Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell, with Ryan M. Rowberry,
    2017 (2d ed.), 2014 (1st ed.)
  • Historic Preservation Law, with J. Peter Byrne, 2021 (2d ed. forthcoming), 2012 (1st ed.)


  • Urban Development
    • The Law of Biking, Iowa Law Review, forthcoming 2021
    • State Responsibilities to Safeguard Heritage During Disaster, for The Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Law: Risk, Recovery, and Redevelopment, Susan Kuo et al., eds. (Cambridge University Press), forthcoming 2021
    • Revisiting National Preservation Standards, for Toward Sustainability and Equity: Envisioning Preservation Policy Reform, Erica Avrami, ed. (Columbia University Press), forthcoming 2021
    • Historic Preservation Law, for Environmental Aspects of Real Estate and Commercial Transactions: From Brownfields to Green Buildings 5th ed., Kevin R. Murray ed. (American Bar Association Press), forthcoming 2020
    • Comprehensive Rezonings, BYU Law Review, 2020
    • Zoning for Families, Indiana Law Journal, 2020
    • National Report – United States, Architectural Heritage, Sites, and Landscapes Seized by Urban Law, David Renders et al., eds. (Bruylant Press), 2019, translated into French
    • The Quiet Revolution Revived: Sustainable Design, Land Use Regulation, and the States, Minnesota Law Review, 2008, reprinted in Land Use & Environmental Law Review, Issues in Construction & Technology, and Environmental Law Reporter
    • Wrestling with MUDs to Pin Down the Truth about Special Districts, Fordham Law Review, 2007
    • Rehabilitating Rehab through State Building Codes, Yale Law Journal, 2006
    • Beyond Worship: The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 and Religious Institutions’ Auxiliary Uses, Yale Law & Policy Review, 2006, reprinted in the 2007 Planning & Zoning Handbook
    • “Gone Too Far”: Oregon’s Measure 37 and the Perils of Over-Regulating Land Use, Yale Law & Policy Review, 2005
  • Renewable Energy
    • What the Pandemic Can Teach Climate Attorneys, Stanford L. Rev. Online, 2020
    • Solar Rights in the United States, for Delivering Energy Policy in the EU and US: A Multi-Disciplinary Reader, Raphael Heffron and Gavin Little, eds. (Edinburgh University Press), 2016
    • Energy in the Ecopolis, Environmental Law Reporter, 2015
    • Community-Scale Renewable Energy, with Hannah J. Wiseman, San Diego Journal of Climate Change & Energy Law, 2013, reprinted in Joel Eisen et al., Energy, Economics, and the Environment
    • The Promise and Perils of Renewable Energy on Tribal Lands, for Tribes, Land, and the Environment,Sarah Krakoff and Ezra Rosser, eds. (Ashgate Publishing), 2012, reprinted in Tulane Environmental Law Journal
    • Building-Related Renewable Energy and 360 State Street, Vanderbilt Law Review, 2012
    • Solar Rights for Texas Property Owners, Texas Law Review See Also, 2011
    • Curbing Energy Sprawl with Microgrids, Connecticut Law Review, 2010
    • Modern Lights, University of Colorado Law Review, 2009
    • Solar Rights, Boston University Law Review, 2009, reprinted in the Renewable Energy Reader and the 2010 Planning and Zoning Handbook


  • Op/Eds
    • For Small Businesses to Survive Outdoors, Parking Laws Must Change, Fox Business, June 22, 2020
    • In Fight for Justice, Zoning Laws that Exclude Low-Income People Must be Changed, The Courier-Journal, June 9, 2020
    • Can City Life Stay More Al Fresco Post-Pandemic?, The Hill, May 5, 2020
    • Coronavirus is a Reminder to Value Parks and Open Spaces, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 2020
    • Connecticut Cities, Towns, Cutting Red Tape Amid COVID-19 Crisis, Connecticut Law Tribune, March 23, 2020
    • More Energy-Efficient Buildings Should be a Priority, Hartford Courant, March 17, 2020
    • Destroying Cultural Heritage Sites is a War Crime, Los Angeles. Times, January 5, 2020
    • Border Wall Presents a Paradox for Conservatives, Austin American-Statesman, November 17, 2019
    • Why Preservationists Must Be More Green to Protect Our Historic Places, The Hill, October 25, 2019
    • The Golden Girls Would Violate Zoning Laws, New York Times, July 28, 2019
    • A Recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling May Seem Like a Win for Those Fighting Government Seizure of Property, But Was it Really?, Hartford Courant, July 7, 2019
    • Stop Destructive Tree-Cutting Plan in Hartford, Hartford Courant, March 21, 2017 (with Andrew Minikowski)
  • Professional Publications/Magazines
    • Historic and Green in Connecticut, National Trust for Historic Preservation Leadership Forum, 2020
    • Rethinking Parking Minimums, Planning Magazine, 2018
    • Who Owns Lebanon’s Town Green?, Connecticut Explored, 2018
    • Rezoning the Post-Industrial City: Hartford, American Bar Association Property & Probate, 2017
    • Using Urban Agriculture to Grow Southern New England, Connecticut Planning Magazine, with Laurie Beyranevand et al., 2015
    • Peaceful Coexistence: Independent Microgrids are Coming. Will Franchised Utilities Fight Them or Foster Them?, with Paul McCary, Public Utilities Fortnightly, 2013 
    • New Haven’s Elm City Market: Coop Expands Access to Fresh Food, Communities & Banking, 2011
    • Re-Designing Education: Philadelphia’s Charter High School for Architecture and Design, The Next American City (now Next City), 2006


  • Co-Editor, Putting People in the AV Drivers’ Seat: People, Policy, & Law, book forthcoming 2021
  • Managing Editor, Next City, 2003-2006
    • Coordinated editorial process for a nationally-distributed magazine The New York Times called a subtle plan to change the world
    • Solicited/edited pieces on historic preservation, transit-oriented development, public health, disaster management, parks, immigration, climate change, and more
  • Senior Editor, Yale and Policy Review, 2004-2006
  • Publisher and Founder, Oxonian Review of Books, 2001-2003

For links to Sara’s publications, click here. 



  • Architecture & Planning: Yale School of Architecture, Cornell School of Architecture and Planning, Penn School of Architecture and Design, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, MIT, Tufts
  • Law: Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Georgetown, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, American, Fordham, Vanderbilt, Utah, Colorado, Maryland, Florida State, Houston, Arizona State, Vermont, Kentucky
  • National academic conferences, such as the American Association of Law Schools 


  • Architecture & Planning: International Downtowns Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, American Planning Association, American Institute of Architects, Congress for New Urbanism (New England), Municipal Art Society  
  • Law: International Association for Planning & Urban Law, International Municipal Lawyers’ Association, American Bar Association, American Law Institute
  • Sustainability: U.S. Green Building Council (Greenbuild), Environmental Law Institute, American Solar Energy Society, American Council of Renewable Energy, Farm Aid 

For a full list of speaking engagements, click here.   



  • Quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, Salon, Law360, Commercial Record, USA Streetsblog, Houston Chronicle, CityLab, WalletHub, and other national media
  • Quoted in all major Connecticut publications, including Hartford Courant, Hartford Business Journal, Connecticut Law Tribune, Connecticut Post, Connecticut Mirror, New Haven Independent, and Record Journal 
  • Op-eds as noted in “Publications” above in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Hill, Philadelphia InquirerAustin American-Statesman, among other places


  • TV interviews with various outlets, including CNN, Newsmax, CBC (Canada), Cheddar, television stations around the country (from Hunstville to Boston)
  • Radio interviews with Sirius XM, New England News Collaborative (Public Radio), and various local stations around the country 

For a fuller list of media engagements, click here. 


  • Testified on land use, historic preservation, energy, and environmental matters before the following Connecticut General Assembly Legislative Committees: Planning and Development; Energy and Technology; Environment; Finance, Revenue, and Bonding; and General Administration and Elections
  • Submitted comments to the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the State Public Utility Regulatory Authority on energy policies
  • Submitted comments to the U.S. Department of the Interior on proposed changes to the National Historic Preservation Act
  • Specific testimony includes:
    • Testimony in Favor of HB 5468, An Act Increasing the Aggregate Amount of Tax Credits for the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures, Connecticut General Assembly Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, March 14, 2020
    • Testimony in Favor of HB 5008, An Act Concerning the Establishment of High-Performance Green Building Standards for Voluntary Adoption by Municipalities, Connecticut General Assembly Energy and Technology Committee, February 28, 2020
    • Testimony in Opposition to Price Cap Proposed for Statewide Shared Clean Energy Facilities, Docket No. 19-07-01, Public Utility Regulatory Authority, February 28, 2020
    • Testimony in Opposition to Historic Preservation Changes, Senate Bill 1107, Connecticut General Assembly General Administration and Elections Committee, March 25, 2019
    • Testimony in Opposition to Historic Preservation Tax Credit Reductions in Governor’s Bill 877, Connecticut General Assembly Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, March 15, 2019
    • Testimony in Opposition to Changes to State Environmental Policy Act in House Bill 6552, Connecticut General Assembly Planning and Development Committee, February 13, 2019
    • Testimony in Support of Hydraulic Fracking Ban in Senate Bill 103, Connecticut General Assembly Environment Committee, February 23, 2018
    • Testimony on Connecticut Airport Authority Draft Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Evaluation for Obstruction Removal, Connecticut Airport Authority, February 7, 2017
    • Testimony in Support of Shared Solar in Senate Bill 334 and in Opposition to House Bill 5427, Connecticut General Assembly Energy and Technology Committee, March 10, 2016
    • Testimony in Opposition to Nonconforming Use provisions in Raised Bill 5486, Connecticut General Assembly Planning and Development Committee, March 4, 2016
    • Testimony in Support of Submetering in Governor’s Bill 6330, Connecticut General Assembly Energy and Technology Committee, March 7, 2013
    • Testimony in Support of Governor’s Nomination of Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Nominee the Honorable Carmen Espinosa, Connecticut General Assembly Judiciary Committee, February 1, 2013
    • Testimony in Support of Green Building Tax Credits in Senate Bill 1033, Connecticut General Assembly Planning and Development Committee, March 6, 2009
    • Testimony in Support of the Smart Growth Legislative Package, Connecticut General Assembly Planning and Development Committee, March 2, 2009
    • Testimony in Support of Green Building Tax Credits in House Bill 5798, Connecticut General Assembly Planning and Development Committee, March 7, 2008



  • Drafted, negotiated, and advised on hundreds of documents, contracts, settlements, and policies
  • Represented clients in four separate lawsuits in 2019 alone
  • Completed analyses for the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the State Historic Preservation Office
  • Gave expert assistance or testimony on preservation matters in Maryland, Minnesota, and Texas


  • Leads legal team quieting title and protecting in perpetuity the “unowned” town green of Lebanon – the second-largest town green in New England
  • Represents charitable trust related to Connecticut’s first governor and artist John Trumbull
  • Collaborates with Attorney General’s Office, Town government, and history organizations
  • Published a magazine article about the novel legal issues presented 


  • Oversaw team developing 360 State Street, a $186 million New Haven project – the first LEED®-ND Platinum building in the country and the largest apartment building in Connecticut
  • Coordinated federal, State, and City officials; a $7 billion pension fund and other funders; the construction manager; architects, engineers, and consultants; neighbors; and more
  • Helped build coalitions to successfully:
    • Change a state law to allow 360 State tenants to access renewable energy
    • Enact a state law to institute a first-time-ever green building tax credit

For more on Sara’s consulting work, click here.   



  • Chair, 2018-2020; Vice Chair, 2016-2018; Board Member, 2008-2010, 2013-present; Secretary, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation Revolving Loan Fund, 2014-present
  • Drafted and oversaw the adoption/implementation of Strategic Plan, with input of 300 people
  • Rewrote governing documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, all policies and procedures) and restructured Board committees
  • Hired new executive director and consultants to realize Strategic Plan
  • Drafted and designed new website:  
  • Initiated name and logo change
  • Oversaw annual budget ($1.2 million in FY19)
  • Stabilized, expanded, and standardized endowment investments
  • Supported comprehensive overhaul of gift procedures, donor research, and solicitation strategies to prepare for major gifts campaign


  • Chair, 2014-2020; Commissioner, 2013-2020
  • Drafted and oversaw the adoption/implementation of an award-winning form-based zoning code, personally conducting more than 75 stakeholder and community outreach sessions, 2014-2016
    • Richard Driehaus Award (Best Zoning Code) from Smart Growth America and the Form-Based Codes Institute, 2020 
    • StreetsblogUSA Hero of the Year Award (with UConn Professor Norman Garrick), 2017
    • Other awards: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy “City to Watch,” Congress for New Urbanism (New England), American Planning Association (Connecticut), Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Connecticut Main Street Center, Connecticut Economic Resource Center, and Capitol Region Council of Governments, CEDAS Best Practices 
  • Drafted and oversaw the adoption/implementation of first Climate Action Plan, 2016-2018
    • Identified grant opportunities and helped raise $5 million for implementation
    • Helped build implementation partnerships with approximately 100 entities
    • Received Silver Certification (highest rating) from SustainableCT, 2018
    • Drafted and designed new website:
  • Drafted and oversaw the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, 2019-2020
    • Structured, researched, and wrote the City Plan, adopted unanimously
    • Conducted 54 Plan-specific meetings with nearly 1,300 people
    • Developed a survey completed by nearly 900 people
  • Drafted and oversaw the adoption/implementation of subdivision and inland wetlands laws, 2014
  • Chaired over 110 public meetings, sometimes with media present (ongoing)
  • Drafted the first housing code overhaul for the City of Hartford in 40 years, 2019



  • Chair, 2014-2017; Board Member, 2012-2017
  • Led non-profit law firm, housed at UConn Law School and offering students a clinical experience, providing low-cost legal services to community organizations
  • Secured finances (approximately $600,000 budget) after 50% drop in State funding, by leading effort to clarify mission, accelerate invoicing, restructure staffing, and manage case intake
  • Established Board committees and governance structures

OTHER (highest position, total dates of affiliation shown)

  • Founder, Desegregate CT, 2020-present 
  • Member, Connecticut Bar Association COVID-19 Task Force, 2020-present
  • Board Member, Latinos in Heritage Conservation, 2020-present 
  • Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2019-present
  • Board Member, National Sustainable Development Code, 2018-present
  • Chair, City of Hartford Energy Improvement District Board, 2017-present
    • Awarded ACEEE “City to Watch” designation, 2019
  • President, Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, 2008-2012
    • Awarded Hispanic National Bar Association “Affiliate of the Year” Award, 2011
  • Chair, Board Programs Committee, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, 2013-2017
  • Co-Chair, Hartford Symphony Orchestra Bravo! Gala, 2015-2016
  • Gubernatorial Appointee, State of Connecticut School Buildings Advisory Council, 2012-2015
  • Vice Chair, City of Hartford Historic Properties Commission, 2007-2009
  • Secretary, City of Hartford Charter Revision Commission, 2008-09
  • Class Secretary, Rhodes Scholars Class of 2001, 2004-2014 

For more on Sara’s public and nonprofit service, click here.  




  • Licensed in the U.S. Supreme Court, Connecticut, and Texas
  • Honors: James W. Cooper Fellow, Connecticut Bar Foundation; Finalist, Connecticut Law Tribune Attorney of the Year, 2016


  • Licensed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and in Connecticut
  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED® Accredited Professional
  • Honors: AIA Connecticut Alice Washburn Award, 2015; Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation Award, 2013; Hartford Preservation Alliance Merit Award, 2013



  • Jack Shannahan Award for Public Service, Connecticut Main Street Center, 2020
  • Hartford Business Journal Power 50 (#10, with Luke Bronin), 2020
  • University of Texas College of Liberal Arts Pro Bene Meritis Award (highest award given), 2019
  • Sustainability Award, Keney Park Sustainability Project, 2019
  • Streetsblog USA Hero of the Year Award (with UConn Professor Norman Garrick), 2017