Sara Hellstedt Sara Hellstedt

Sara Hellstedt


Meet Sara, a veteran education lawyer and an experienced and impartial investigator in complex misconduct matters.

Sara Hellstedt

207-228-7124 direct
207 774-1200 main
207 774-1127 facsimile

100 Middle Street
PO Box 9729
Portland, ME 04104-5029


Here’s why you’ll enjoy working with her.

Sara is a seasoned education and employment law attorney with 15 years of experience practicing law. Since joining Bernstein Shur in 2016, Sara’s practice has focused on serving as an impartial, external investigator in complex and publicized misconduct matters throughout the country. As such, Sara is often asked to serve as an external investigator for misconduct complaints involving students, faculty, personnel, coaches, and athletes. Sara also serves as a neutral investigator and adjudicator for colleges and universities and k-12 institutions throughout the country. Given her pre-law school experience teaching in public and private schools in Maine, Sara understands the unique challenges educational institutions face when responding to reports of misconduct. Sara approached such matters with poise, impartiality, and discretion.

Sara is skilled at conducting virtual and in-person investigations and her written product is concise, well-reasoned, and defensible, earning her a national reputation in the field.  Sara is regularly called upon to investigate serious reports of sexual assault, harassment, discrimination, and abuse. Sara is experienced at conducting trauma-informed interviews of minors, including young children, is an expert in mandatory reporting laws, and is skilled at coordinating investigations alongside law enforcement agencies.

In addition to receiving extensive training on sexual misconduct investigations, Sara has conducted and overseen hundreds of misconduct investigations involving all manner of issues, including civil rights, discrimination, harassment, bullying, and sexual misconduct. Sara also provides consulting services and training on responding to harassment and misconduct and conducting thorough and impartial investigations to school administrators throughout New England.

But that’s not all. Sara is also very experienced in:

  • Defending employers in discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases before the Maine Human Rights Commission and Equal Opportunity Commission
  • Working with colleges, universities and public and private K-12 institutions on preventive training, policy development, compliance issues, and crisis management
  • Advising education clients, both private and public, on general employment matters
  • Providing guidance to education clients regarding special education and other civil rights matters
  • Drafting handbooks, policies, and procedures for businesses in accordance with employment laws and best practices.

In her former life, Sara was:

  • A labor relations manager at the University of Southern Maine
  • An associate at a local law firm
  • A Spanish teacher

When Sara isn’t working, she is…

Enjoying the great outdoors. Sara is an avid cyclist, skier, and runner.



JD, University of Maine School of Law, 2007, magna cum laude
BA, Middlebury College, 2000, cum laude

Admitted to practice

State of Maine
State of Vermont