Sarah Melton
Staff Attorney

Sarah Elizabeth Melton joins AFRC after returning from practicing law abroad for almost seven years. During that time, Sarah focused her private practice on European and International Business Law, including complex commercial contracts, multi-jurisdictional legal questions, and international arbitration and State investments involving acquisitions, tax, and precious mineral mining and manufacturing.

Originally from Colorado, Sarah grew up skiing in the White River National Forest, rock-hounding and hiking in the Arapaho Forest, and camping in the San Isabel. Sarah graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D., 2008) from Lewis & Clark Law School focused on natural resources law, including Oil & Gas, Federal Indian, and Water Law. She served on a law review, participated in practice clinics, and was a Business Law Roundtable Scholar. She served as the student member on the law school Faculty Committee, and remains active in campus life by serving on the Alumni Board as Chair of the Governance Committee.

Sarah began her legal career as a Summer Associate in civil legal aid in the Four Corners region, and as a Judicial Law Clerk with the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Court. She was also a Summer Associate with the Alaska Attorney General’s Office, focused on business compliance and Alaska intervener actions in federal antitrust issues. Upon graduation, Sarah served as a judicial law clerk with the Anchorage Superior Court drafting opinions in civil appeals and criminal law, and making courtroom appearances in evidentiary matters and sentencing.

Sarah next worked as a federal staffer in Washington D.C., where she served under a then-Deputy Administrative Assistant with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Her experience with NOAA took her back to Alaska, where she worked in fisheries management and administrative rulemaking throughout the Arctic and North Pacific for the American public, small boat fishermen, coastal communities, indigenous groups, and private parties.

Her interests next turned to the economics of sustainably managed fisheries, and she took an in-house position with a financial institution serving the needs of small Alaskan communities. Her time there allowed her to attend and graduate from the Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS, 2016) based out of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business in Seattle. Her thesis at PCBS focused on the legal issues between competing, and sometimes conflicting, state and federal banking regulations for small businesses.

Before attending law school, Sarah graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A., 2003) focused on geology, economics, and public policy. Upon graduation, she worked in the regulatory compliance and litigation department of an oil and gas exploration company based out of Wyoming. She is currently completing her master’s thesis in artificial intelligence for her Master of Laws (LL.M., 2022) from the Universität Wien in Austria. When not working and studying, Sarah enjoys running, skiing, and spending her time outdoors in eastern Oregon with her two dogs—one, a rescue from Alaska; the other, from eastern Europe.