Sara Schnorr was appointed to the Commission by the Governor in April 2016.
She is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. She received her B.A. (cum laude) in German Literature and Language from Harvard in 1970 and studied as a Fulbright Fellow in Munich in 1970-71. Sara earned a M.A.T. at Wesleyan University in 1972 and went on to teach high school German and English in Kingston, MA in 1972-73 and North Haven, CT from1973-76. She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law i1979 where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Journal of International Law, winning the Hardy Cross Dillard Award for her Student Note “Trust-Busting with a German Accent: The Control of Merger and Acquisition Activity Under Increasingly Aggressive West German Law,” 19 Virginia Journal of International Law 595 (1979).
Directly from law school in 1979 the Sara joined Boston law firm Palmer & Dodge (due to several mergers, the firm is know known as Locke Lord LLP) and became partner in 1987. She currently is Of Counsel. Sara’s practice focuses on complex commercial real estate development, acquisition, leasing, financing and permitting, with specialties in the biotech, telecommunications, and affordable housing and community development industries. She is a former member of the firm’s hiring committee, and a current member of the Boston Office’s diversity, pro bono, and legal opinion review committees. In 2009 she transitioned as a transgender full time while a partner in her law firm.
Since 2008, Sara has been a peer-rated “Massachusetts Super Lawyer” and in 2012 was identified as one of the top women lawyers in Massachusetts. And for the past 25 years, Sara has been received a Martindale AV Preeminent® Rating. She has served as a member of the Founders’ Circle of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, SpeakOUT Boston, the American Bar Association, and the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association.
Sara lived in Dedham from 1979 till 1986 when she moved to Wellesley. Two years ago she downsized to Holliston, where she now lives with her daughter and grandson and her two dogs Willie and Molly.
Sara was a member of Wellesley’s 1988 Affordable Housing Study Committee, the town’s Advisory (Finance) Committee from 1991 to 1994 (Chair in 1993-94), and the town’s Community Preservation Committee from 2003 to 2004. She became the initial Chair of the Wellesley Housing Development Corporation in 2000, and during her tenure on the Housing Development Corporation, she was instrumental in the town’s adoption and implementation of an inclusionary zoning bylaw and the town saw its affordable housing increase from 4.5% to 6.2% of the town’s housing stock.