Image of Sara DePasquale

Sara DePasquale

Professor of Public Law and Government

Sara DePasquale specializes in child welfare law in North Carolina. Her specific areas of expertise include juvenile abuse, neglect, dependency; termination of parental rights; adoptions of minors; juvenile emancipation; judicial waiver of parental consent for abortion; legitimation proceedings; and paternity issues. In December 2021, DePasquale was one of the first specialists in child welfare law certified by the North Carolina State Bar. She was named Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor for 2020-2022 and received the Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Teaching Excellence Award in 2023.

DePasquale teaches, advises, and writes for judicial officials, social services attorneys, parent attorneys, and other professionals. Her publications include Abuse, Neglect, Dependency, and Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings in North Carolina, which is an extensive practice manual; the book Fathers and Paternity: Applying the Law in North Carolina Child Welfare Cases (2016); and other publications, including book chapters and bulletins, published by the School of Government. She is a regular contributor to the School’s On the Civil Side blog and developed and maintains the Child Welfare Case Compendium. Her primer Stages of Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Cases in North Carolina: From Report to Final Disposition, which is updated as needed, earned the School’s Margaret Taylor Writing Award in 2016. 

Prior to joining the School of Government in 2013, she practiced for 17 years at Pine Tree Legal Assistance, the statewide civil legal services provider in Maine. She started at Pine Tree as a Skadden Fellow and spent her last nine years there as the directing attorney of the KIDS LEGAL project. She is a member of the North Carolina and Maine state bars. DePasquale received a B.A. with honors in history and sociology from Binghamton University, is a magna cum laude graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law, and also earned a dual degree with an M.S.W. in child welfare/family systems from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work.

Fields of Expertise
Abuse Neglect and Dependency (Children)
Child Welfare
Confidentiality (Social Services)
Guardianship (Children)
Human Trafficking
Immunizations (Children and Adolescents)
Judicial Waiver of Parental Consent
Legitimation of Minors
Social Services Law (Child Welfare and Foster Care)
Termination of Parental Rights
This list consists of courses, e-learning modules and webinars which are associated with this profile. Use the filter provided to aid in your search.
Results: {{}}
This list consists of books, book chapters, bulletins, and reports which are associated with this profile. Use the filter provided to aid in your search.
Results: {{node.publications.length}}
This list consists of blogs, blog posts, FAQ collections, legal summaries, listservs, microsites, pages and tools which are associated with this profile.
Results: {{node.resources.length}}