Sarah J. Williams

Associate Professor of Law

An expert in securities regulation, Sarah J. Williams previously served as deputy director and associate director for the Division of Registration and Inspections, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), Washington, D.C. In these roles, she drafted rules, designed electronic systems and established compliance frameworks for public accounting firms subject to PCAOB oversight, and provided both written and oral guidance on PCAOB regulatory requirements. She also recommended regulatory actions to governing Board members and participated in administrative hearings against public accounting firms. She was selected to the PCAOB inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Council based on her demonstrated leadership, innovation and teamwork.

Professor Williams also served as associate general counsel for the National Association of Securities Dealers (now FINRA) and as staff attorney, branch chief and counsel to one of five commissioners at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C. She provided legal and policy advice and investigated potential violations of the federal securities laws. She started her career as an Associate Attorney at Arnold & Porter LLP, Washington, D.C., where she focused on securities, corporate law and pro bono matters. 

Professor Williams serves on the Board of Directors of the Attorney/Client Arbitration Board of the D.C. Bar. She also volunteers as an arbitrator of fee disputes involving members of the D.C. Bar. Professor Williams’s scholarship focuses on the regulation of gatekeepers under federal securities laws.

Select Publication by Professor Williams

The Alchemy of Effective Auditor Regulation,” 25 Lewis & Clark. L. Rev. 1089 (2022).

Sarah J. Williams


Phone  717-240-5295

CV  Curriculum Vitae


Prof. Williams’ News and Activity

Prof. Williams in the Media

Selected Works

Faculty Impact

J.D., New York University School of Law

B.A., Dartmouth College

Current Courses
Accounting for Lawyers

Federal Securities Regulation


Secured Transactions

Williams’ Publications

Regulatory Personhood: The Elixir for Redundancy between the SEC and the PCAOB, 97 ST. JOHN’S L. REV. (Forthcoming, Fall 2023)

The Alchemy of Effective Auditor Regulation,” 25 Lewis & Clark. L. Rev. 1089 (2022).


Williams’ Affiliations and Service to Community

Long-Term Stock Exchange
Board of Directors

D.C. Bar Attorney/Client Arbitration Board
Board of Directors

D.C. Bar Attorney/Client Arbitration Program
Volunteer Arbitrator

Bar Associations of New York and the District of Columbia
Inactive Member

Bar Association of Connecticut
Active Member

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Member, Harrisburg Alumnae Chapter

Girl Scouts of the USA
Lifetime Member

Williams’ Presentations and Panels

Regulatory Personhood, National Business Law Scholars Conference (Norman, OK, June 2022) (Presenter)

Wharton Financial Regulation Roundtable, Philadelphia, PA, May 2022) (Presenter)

Roundtable on Capitalism and the Rule of Law, Law and Economics Center at George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law (Destin, Florida, March 2 – March 6, 2022) (Panelist)

Williams’ Awards and Recognition

Phillip M. Scott Teaching Excellence Award
Recipient, 2021-2022