The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recognizes Sarah Peterson of Minneapolis, MN, with the 2021 Susan D. Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award, in recognition of her outstanding service, over a period of years, in advancing the mission, development, and value of AILA for its members and the public it serves.
One of the nomination letters highlighted the concept known as “servant leadership” and lauded Ms. Peterson’s embodiment thereof: “Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. A servant leader shares power, puts the needs of others first, and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. A servant leader exists to lead others through their service…Over the better part of the last decade, one would be hard pressed to name another member of AILA who has so tirelessly worked for the betterment of the membership with so much distinction.”
Sarah K. Peterson is the founder of SPS Immigration PLLC based in Minneapolis, MN. Her employment-based practice focuses on physicians, academia, start-ups, and high-tech companies.
Ms. Peterson actively participates in AILA efforts on both a local and national level. She currently serves as Chair of AILA’s Department of Labor (DOL) liaison committee since 2017 and has been an active Elected Director on the AILA Board of Governors since 2012. She previously served on AILA national Liaison committees with the California and Nebraska USCIS Service Centers, chaired and served as a member of AILA’s Healthcare Professionals Committee, and chaired the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of AILA.
Recognized in the 2020 and 2021 editions of The Best Lawyers in America, she has also been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in Minnesota 2020, as one of 40 Up and Comers in Employment Law by HRE/LawDragon for several years and since 2020 in LawDragon 500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers.
Ms. Peterson is listed in the International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers since 2014 including selection since 2018 as a ‘Thought Leader,’ and was one of Minnesota’s Lawyer’s Up and Coming Attorneys for 2010.
She is a three-time recipient of AILA’s Presidential Commendation for her service chairing AILA’s DOL committee. She was a contributing author to AILA’s Business Immigration Law & Procedure, second edition, frequently speaks with the press, and travels internationally to speak on employment-based immigration.
Ms. Peterson is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and holds a joint law degree and master’s in public policy from the University of Minnesota Law School and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.