Erin Fitzgerald will bring her prosecutorial background to criminal law courses while Sara Ochs, a Legal Method & Communication Fellow at Elon Law from 2018-2020, returns to the legal writing faculty after three years teaching at the University of Louisville.
Two accomplished legal educators will join the Elon University School of Law community this fall as the downtown Greensboro law school expands course offerings in criminal law while bringing back a familiar face with experience teaching legal writing.
Assistant Professor Erin Fitzgerald is a former New Hampshire prosecutor and will teach and research on the topics of criminal law, evidence, and juvenile law.
Associate Professor Sara Ochs, who taught at Elon Law from 2018-2020 as a Legal Method & Communication Fellow, rejoins the legal writing faculty with scholarship interests in international criminal law.
“Professor Fitzgerald and Professor Ochs bring an abundance of practice experience and a commitment to experiential legal education that will enrich their teaching and benefit their students in preparation for their careers,” said Elon Law Interim Dean Alan Woodlief. “I am excited for Elon Law to welcome such energetic and already accomplished teachers and scholars to our dynamic faculty.”
About the New Professors
Assistant Professor Erin Fitzgerald joins the Elon Law faculty after serving for two years as a Faculty Fellow for New England Law | Boston where she taught criminal law, torts, insurance law, and incarceration and the law.
Immediately prior to her work in legal education, Fitzgerald built a career investigating and prosecuting violent crimes as an assistant attorney general and deputy chief of the homicide unit in the Criminal Justice Bureau of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.
Fitzgerald graduated in 2013 from New England Law | Boston where she served as an editor of the New England Law Review. She started her legal career clerking for the New Hampshire Superior Court and then with the Hon. Carol Ann Conboy of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, followed by work as an assistant county attorney where she prosecuted sexual assault and domestic violence cases before joining the Attorney General’s Office.
Her teaching and research interests include criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, and juvenile law, and she has authored articles on those topics, as well as taking part in panels and presentations for the New Hampshire bar, New England Law | Boston, and Plymouth State University.
Fitzgerald earned her Bachelor of Arts from Stonehill College where she studied psychology and criminal justice. Her service to the community includes serving on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, and teaching for the Law Division of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing supplemental support to law students from underrepresented communities.
“I am excited to join the Elon Law community. The school’s commitment to graduating practice-ready lawyers is clearly not just a fad or phase, but is embedded in its fabric,” Fitzgerald said. “As a former prosecutor, I know how important it is for new lawyers to be able to hit the ground running. I look forward to helping Elon Law students gain the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to succeed, not just in law school, but also in the real-world practice of law.”
It’s a homecoming of sorts for Associate Professor Sara Ochs, who returns this summer to where she started her career in legal education. Ochs taught from 2018-2020 in a two-year fellowship in Elon Law’s Legal Method & Communication program before joining the faculty at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.
While at Louisville, Ochs was selected for a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to fund six months of research on her current work in progress, “Confronting Legacies of Indigenous Injustice: A Scandinavian Approach to a Global Problem,” at the University of Gothenburg School of Global Studies in Sweden. Her scholarly interests in international criminal law and transitional justice have led to articles in nearly a dozen law reviews and journals.
Prior to her career in legal education, Ochs practiced as an associate attorney in the New Orleans office of Akerman LLP and Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP, and she served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana. She is a current member of the American Society of International Law, the ABA Section of International Law, and the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.
Ochs is a 2014 graduate of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She graduated second in her class after serving as an editorial board member of the Loyola Law Review, as a member of Loyola’s Willem C. Vis Moot International Commercial Arbitration Team, and as both a teaching and research assistant. The former collegiate cross country and track athlete graduated magna cum laude with a degree in international business from Loyola University Maryland.
She’s also a published author. Her debut novel, “The Dive,” will be published in the United States this summer by Bantam Books.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Elon Law and its unique experiential program. It is an honor to be welcomed back to the school where I began my legal teaching career, with its remarkable faculty and engaged, service-minded student community,” Ochs said. “As a passionate legal writing professor, I am very much looking forward to contributing to Elon’s first-year Legal Method & Communication curriculum, and as a scholar, I am excited to further my research in the fields of international criminal law and transitional justice.”