Sarah A. L. Merriam moved to New Haven at an early age and is proud to call the Elm City her hometown. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1993. She began her legal education at the University of Connecticut School of Law, then transferred to Yale Law School after her first year and received a Juris Doctor from Yale in 2000. In May 2018, Judge Merriam received her LLM in Judicial Studies from Duke Law School.
Judge Merriam served as an Assistant Federal Defender in the District of Connecticut from 2007 through 2015, representing indigent criminal defendants and witnesses in federal court in all aspects of those cases, including appeals. Prior to becoming an Assistant Federal Defender, she served as an Associate at the law firm of Cowdery, Ecker & Murphy in Hartford; as a law clerk to Judge Thomas Meskill of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; and as a law clerk to Judge Alvin W. Thompson of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. She was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge on April 3, 2015.