“When you’re an attorney at law, you’re also a counselor at law. We see clients at their lowest lows, so we help them not only manage their expectations, but also the emotions that come along with their legal issues.”
Canadian-born Partner Sarah Privette brings a unique background to SGP. Growing up in Canada and living in England gave her a rare insight into immigration law in the form of first-hand experience navigating the Immigration and Customs process. She also has an extensive background in the intersection of mental health, psychology, and the legal system. While in college, Sarah managed intake calls for a domestic violence hotline, pointing victims to resources and working closely with law enforcement officers to ensure their safety. Her experiences equipped her with more than just knowledge about the legal system: They have taught her how to manage the emotions that these processes inevitably involve.
When she graduated from law school and returned to the U.S., Sarah put her experience into practice as an attorney for Legal Aid and an advocate for the Battered Immigrant Project. Here, she honed both her immigration and family law knowledge, taking on immigrants’ domestic violence cases then subsequently helping them manage their immigration cases. She built upon this experience in private practice, where she focused on family law cases while building the firm’s immigration practice. She left the firm in 2014 to join her former colleagues Matthew Stauff and Jordan Gross to form SGP.
“I love coming to work,” she says. “I love our office, and I love how we support each other.” Sarah has leveraged this collaborative, collegial firm culture to serve her clients, ensuring that they all receive the full attention they deserve. Every day, Sarah draws upon her mental health background to not only help clients resolve their legal issues, but also manage their expectations and navigate the heavy emotions that family law cases surface. “When I meet new clients, I let them talk,” she says. “It’s very important to me that everyone feels they are being heard.” She also encourages her clients to look ahead to the future rather than making short-term decisions out of anger or spite. “Let’s consider what life will look like five years down the road,” she says, “so that we don’t end up in cases so litigious that no one wins.”
Sarah lives in Raleigh with her husband and three boys. Having played hockey in college, she enjoys getting outside and being active with her sons, especially going on long runs, and enjoys returning to her traveling roots by taking annual trips with her entire family.
Honors and Awards:
- Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2019
- Wake Women Attorneys Woman of the Year Award – Finalist