Professor of Law
Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore’s teaching and scholarship interests center around constitutional criminal law, appellate and post-conviction practice and procedure, and experiential public service learning. She directs the law school’s unique Client Counseling program, and regularly teaches in summer or intersession programs in South Africa, The Netherlands, and Puerto Rico. After joining the Mercer faculty in 2006, she created The Habeas Project, which provides pro bono representation in Georgia post-conviction cases, particularly in pro se cases pending before the Supreme Court of Georgia. That clinic has briefed and argued over eighty cases—including issues of first impression—and has won full or partial relief for more than half of its clients.
A number of Professor Gerwig-Moore’s notable publications include Remedial Reading: Evaluating Federal Courts’ Application of the Prejudice Standard in Capital Sentences from “Weighing” and “Non-Weighing” States. U. Pa. J. Const. L. Online. (2017); On Competence: (Re)Considering Appropriate Legal Standards for Examining Sixth Amendment Claims Related to Criminal Defendants’ Mental Illness and Disability. 84 Tenn. Law Rev. 974 (2017); Fresh Ears, Fresh Eyes: Final Editing Through Reading Aloud, 63 Mercer L. Rev. 971(2012); Gideon’s Vuvuzela: Reconciling the Sixth Amendment’s Promises with the Doctrines of Forfeiture and Implicit Waiver of Counsel, 81 Miss. L.J. 439 (2011) and Saving Their Own Souls: How RLUIPA Failed to Deliver on its Promises, 4 Legislation and Policy Brief Vol 4. Iss. 1, Article 4. (2011). Her co-authored pieces include Cold Comfort Food: A Systematic Examination of the Rituals and Rights of the Last Meal, 2 Brit. J. Am. Legal Stud. 411 (2014) (with Sabrina Atkins and Andrew Davies), and Learning From Clergy Education: Externships Through the Lens of Formation, 19 Journal of Clinical Legal Education 83 (2012) (with Daisy H. Floyd and Tim Floyd). She is frequently consulted for news and policy reports on topics related to criminal law, mass incarceration, and capital punishment, and is a regular columnist for The Telegraph.
Beyond her teaching and scholarship, Professor Gerwig-Moore is leader in the Macon community (and was named “Best Community Leader” at the 2010 Eleventh Hour Readers’ Choice Awards). She served two terms on the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission—four years as its Chair. She was the founding Co-Chair of the College Hill Corridor Commission, an organization noted for its visible neighborhood revitalization and values of transparency and civic engagement. She remains active as a Board member for a number of local and statewide nonprofit organizations.
Before joining the Mercer faculty, Professor Gerwig-Moore was the Senior Appellate Supervising Attorney at the central office of the statewide public defender system (Georgia Public Defender Council). She received her BA, summa cum laude, from Mercer University; her JD from Emory Law School; and her Master of Theological Studies from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, where she studied with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Her honors and awards include the Candler School of Theology Distinguished Alumni Award (2017); the Shanara Gilbert Emerging Clinician Award from the AALS Clinical Legal Education Section (2013); the Robert J. Benham Award Community Service Award (2011); the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia “Commitment to Justice” Award (2006); the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Case of the Year Award (2006 and 2009); and Emory Law School’s Herman Dooyeweerd Prize in Law and Religion (2002). She has been named as one the Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40 (2016) and Macon Magazine’s Five Under 40 (2009).
She lives in Macon, Georgia with her two teenaged sons and their rescue pets.