Sarah A. Altschuller

Counsel - Washington, D.C.

Sarah Altschuller has been a member of Foley Hoag’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practice since 2003. In this role, she advises multinational companies regarding the development and implementation of CSR strategies, policies, and procedures, as well as compliance with emerging legal and regulatory requirements. Sarah provides counsel regarding engagements with socially responsible investors, government policymakers, local communities, non-governmental organizations, and other key stakeholders. She also conducts site-level human rights and labor rights impact assessments, as well as due diligence efforts.

Sarah has been recognized by Chambers Global as a leading practitioner of business and human rights law. She is the primary editor and lead author of the firm's Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law blog.

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  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 2002
  • Williams College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1997

Representative Experience

  • Conducted an assessment of a technology company’s policies, processes, and procedures to protect freedom of expression and privacy rights and to implement the Principles of the Global Network Initiative (GNI), a multi-stakeholder group formed to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology sector.
  • Coordinated the drafting of Newmont Mining Corporation’s Community Relationships Review, a landmark assessment of the company’s relationships with community stakeholders.
  • Conducted an in-depth evaluation of an extractive sector company’s internal human rights impact assessment for an offshore drilling facility. Identified gaps in company’s internal review and made recommendations for the improvement of future assessment efforts.
  • Drafted an overarching strategy document to guide a major agricultural company’s approach to labor relations at all of its global operations.
  • Provided pro bono counsel to the United Nation's special representative on business and human rights, to assist him in his mandate of researching and providing guidance on current and emerging issues in CSR.
  • Participated in monitoring efforts to evaluate whether corporate commitments to respect the labor rights of employees and contractors, including security providers, are being implemented along the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (“BTC”) pipeline.
  • "A Business and Human Rights Checklist for In-House Counsel," (November 2016)
  • “Avoiding the Patchwork Problem: Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance Integration,” Financier Worldwide, Co-Author (with Gwendolyn Jaramillo) (April 2016)
  • “New Compliance Expectations for Companies: Managing Human Rights-Related Risks,” Risk & Compliance Magazine (April - June 2015)
  • “Government Contract Update Focuses on Human Rights: FAQ,” Interview, CSRWire (March 2015)
  • “An Attorney’s Perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Philanthropy” chapter in Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Impacts: New Paradigms and Expectations (American Bar Association, 2014)
  • "Corporate Social Responsibility," Bloomberg BNA Corporate Practice Series, Editor and Co-Author (2013)
  • “Expert Q&A on Trends in Corporate Social Responsibility,” Practical Law Corporate & Securities, Co-Author (with Gwendolyn Jaramillo) (September 2013)
  • “Human Rights Due Diligence: A New Trend in Federal and State Legislation,” California Business Law News (December 2012)
  • "Corporate Social Responsibility,” Corporate Legal Compliance Handbook (Wolters Kluwer Law and Business, 2012) 
  • “Board Oversight and Corporate Social Responsibility: Obligations and Considerations,” BNA Corporate Governance Report, Co-Author (with Gwendolyn Jaramillo, January 2012)
  • “CSR and the Role of the Board,” IR Magazine (November 2011)
  • “Trafficking in Supply Chains,” Inside Supply Management (October/November 2011)
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility and the Role of the Board,” Corporate Secretary (June 2011)
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility, International Legal Developments in Review: 2010,” The International Lawyer, Lead Editor and Co-Author (with Amy Lehr and Andrew Orsmond, Spring 2011)
  • “Making Corporate Social Responsibility Systemic,” Executive Counsel, Co-Author (with Gare Smith, February/March 2011)
  • “Legal Speak: What Are the Risks When Executives Don't Understand CSR?” In Good Company, (January 21, 2011)
  • “Business and Human Rights in the United States,” chapter in Global Business and Human Rights, Lead Editor and Co-Author (European Lawyer Reference, 2011)
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility - International Legal Developments in Review: 2009,” The International Lawyer, Lead Editor and Co-Author (with Amy Lehr and Suzanne Spears, 2010)
  • “Corporate Accountability and Human Rights in the Age of Global Water Scarcity,” Natural Resources & Environment, Co-Author (with Edgar Chen, Winter 2010)
  • “Distinctions With Differences: The Lawyer’s Role in Distinguishing CSR and Corporate Philanthropy,” International Law News (Winter 2010)
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility - International Legal Developments in Review: 2008,” The International Lawyer, Lead Editor and Co-Author (with Amy Lehr, 2009)
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility - International Legal Developments in Review: 2007,” The International Lawyer, Lead Editor and Co-Author (with Daniel Feldman and Lara Blecher, 2008)
  • “Proactive Management of Legal Risk,” CSR Journal (March 2008)
  • “The Bottom Line,” Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Co-Author (with Daniel Feldman, Spring 2007)
  • Rights and Challenges for Women: Human Rights in Bangladesh (published by Ain O Salish Kendra, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2003)

Foley Hoag Alerts & Updates


  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation 
  • Fellow, Truman National Security Project
  • Listed as Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Fulbright Fellow, Bangladesh (2002-2003)


  • Member, Advisory Council, ABA Center for Human Rights
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Board Member, ECPAT-USA (2012-present)
  • Co-Chair of the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, Section of International Law, American Bar Association (2010-2012)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Maryland Bar Association
  • “The U.S. Tariff Act: What Businesses Need to Know,” Panelist, United Way Business Leaders Forum to Combat Human Trafficking (September 5, 2017)
  • “The Evolving International Legal Landscape on Forced Labor: Will the Effect of the Laws Follow the Spirit?” and “How will NGOs and Companies Respond to Legal Developments within the International Forced Labor Agenda?” Panelist, Innovation Forum Event (June 27, 2017)
  • “Human Trafficking: Legal Risks and Compliance Challenges for In-House Counsel and their Advisors,” Hospitality Law Conference (April 26, 2017)
  • “Human Trafficking: Emerging Legal and Regulatory Trends,” NBCUniversal Corporate Supplier Social Responsibility Summit (December 7, 2016)
  • “The Policy Agenda within the U.S.: To What Extent is Modern Slavery Growing in the Legislative Agenda?” Modern Slavery and Forced Labor Forum, Innovation Forum Event (October 17, 2016)
  • “Corporate Responsibility for Federal Contractors,” Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Webinar (June 9, 2016) 
  • “Legal Developments Related to Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights,” U.S. Council for International Business, Corporate Social Responsibility and Labor & Employment Policy Committees Meeting (May 3, 2016)
  • “Human Trafficking: Practical Advice for In-house Counsel on Emerging Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Trends,” Bloomberg BNA Webinar (March 9, 2016)
  • “Legal Developments in Corporate Accountability in Courts,” U.S. Council for International Business, Corporate Social Responsibility Committee Meeting (September 28, 2015)
  • “Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights: Application & Relevance,” Panelist, ABA/IHRB Seminar on Human Rights Due Diligence in the Oil and Gas Sector (February 5, 2015)
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility: Implementation Frameworks and Emerging Legal and Regulatory Compliance Concerns,” Panelist, International Business Initiative, Philadelphia Bar Association (January 30, 2015)
  • “Legal and Regulatory Trends Relevant to the Corporate Responsibility Practitioner,” Presenter, Corporate Responsibility Association Webinar (January 28, 2015)
  • “Integrating Human Rights Compliance into Corporate Strategy & Operations: The Role of Lawyers,” Presenter, Practicing Law Institute Briefing (January 28, 2015)
  • "Principles in Practice – Recent Developments in Law and Legal Practice in the Field of Business and Human Rights," Panelist, U.N. Forum on Business and Human Rights (December 1, 2014)
  • “Update on Alien Tort Litigation,” U.S. Council for International Business, Corporate Social Responsibility and Labor & Employment Committee Meetings (October 21-22, 2014)
  • “Supply Chain Transparency to Build Brand Equity,” Panelist, SPLiCE Licensors Summit (June 16, 2014)
  • “I Like Your Shirt: Globalization, National Security & the Apparel Supply Chain,” Co-Presenter, Truman National Security Project Annual Conference (May 4, 2014)
  • “Promoting the Rule of Law in the Intersections of Business and Human Rights,” Panelist, ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting (April 3, 2014)
  • “Practical Issues Facing Early-Stage Tech Companies” and “Toward Accountability: Reflecting on ICT Industry Action to Protect User Rights,” Panelist, RightsCon (March 4, 2014)
  • “How is the Global Community Responding to the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” Panelist, American University Washington College of Law (February 6, 2014)
  • “Compliance with the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule: Challenges & Best Practices,” (with Bob Sweet), Webinar for the Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) (July 30, 2013 and December 3, 2013)
  • “Telcos and the Right to Remedy,” Access Report Launch, Georgetown University Law Center (June 24, 2013)
  • “The Attorney’s Role in Mitigating Human Trafficking,” 2013 Hospitality Law Conference (February 14, 2013)
  • “Managing Human Rights Issues in Complex Environments,” Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability in Mining Conference (December 4, 2012)
  • “Compliance Planning: Analyzing Analogous Regimes,” Harvard Law School Project on Law and Security, Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement Project Workshop (November 16, 2012)  
  • “Lessons From the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the ICoC,” Pan-Asia Regional Council Meeting, Overseas Security Advisory Council (October 12, 2012)
  • “Human Rights Due Diligence in Corporate Supply Chains: Best Practices and Emerging Trends,” NBCUniversal Corporate Supplier Social Responsibility Summit (October 9, 2012)
  • “Preparing for Compliance with the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule: Challenges Ahead!” West LegalEdCenter Webinar (October 2, 2012)
  • “Where is the Cloud? The Challenge of Geolocation in an Era of Cloud Computing,” Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Webinar (August 16, 2012)
  • “The Role of Business in Eradicating Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery: A Transparency Approach,” U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Briefing (July 19, 2012)
  • “Managing the Nationwide Impact of The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act: Reducing Legal and Reputational Risks through Training, Verification, Audit, and Disclosure Mechanisms,” American Conference Institute’s National Forum on Import Compliance & Enforcement (June 20, 2012) 
  • “UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights: What Lawyers Should Know,” Northeastern University School of Law (June 6, 2012)
  • “Protecting User Privacy  - How Companies Should Respond to Government Requests,” Rio de Janeiro Human Rights & Technology Conference (May 31, 2012)
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility – Best Practices and Important Trends,” Association of General Counsel Spring Meeting (May 4, 2012)
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Bar Admissions

  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court