Sara Lincoln is the co-founder of Lincoln Derr and serves at the helm of the firm leading all practice groups through active counsel, litigation, and advising. She is known for her tenacity in the courtroom and focuses her practice in the areas of complex business and medical malpractice litigation. Ms. Lincoln is a proud fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers– one of the greatest honors for trial lawyers practicing in North America.

I could see how they looked at me when I walked into a deposition or a courtroom more than 20 years ago, and I could tell what they were thinking: “Here comes the blonde; this should be easy.”

Little did they know that the blonde was actually enhanced, and they had no idea what brought me to this place. Opposing counsel, judges, witnesses, they all did it and I heard it every time: “It’s a lady lawyer. This won’t take long.”

Over the years the lawyers who have had the pleasure of opposing me have learned, but it took time. I could write a book about the efforts made along the way to try to beat me, to intimidate me (yes even using physical intimidation as a tactic). Instead, I just keep winning.

What they still don’t understand is that I started with virtually nothing and I prefer not to go back to that place. I will work harder, prepare more, and exhibit more grit than any lawyer, judge, or witness can throw back at me.

So, why pick me as your lawyer? Isn’t that why you are reading this? I don’t win every time, but when I lose I learn from every agonizing detail. I have been accused of treating my client’s money as if it was my own – as I recall the word “stingy” may have been involved. My clients refer to me as “fierce” (thank you, Jennifer Schenk). My opponents refer to me by names that cannot be repeated in decent company (and that I take as a compliment). I will take care of you, your company, your money, your reputation, whatever you need. My strength is that I figure that out, and I make sure to protect it with every ounce of my being.

704.496.4502 (Office)
866.393.6043 (Fax)
Erin E. Alfaro
Legal Assistant:
Kathy Devon


  • B.A., Wheaton College, 1990, cum laude
  • J.D., University of Akron School of Law, 1993, magna cum laude; University of Akron Law Review

Bar & Court Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1996
  • Ohio, 1993

Professional Associations


  • American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow, Inducted 2017
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • North Carolina Medical Society Joint Commission
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association- Civil Litigation Section
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American Bar Association- Litigation Section
  • American Health Lawyers
  • Justice William Bobbitt Inn of Court, Barrister

Leadership Roles

  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, President (2021-2022)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, North Carolina State Committee (2020-2024)
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, President-Elect (2020-2021)
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Executive Vice President (2019-2020)
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Secretary (2018-2019)
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Apex Sub-Committee (2018)
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Board of Directors (2014 – 2022)
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Charlotte- Member of Taskforce (2007- 2009)
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Diversity & Inclusion Committee (2016 – 2019)
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Nominating Committee (2014)

Community Involvement

  • The Learning Society of Queens (2013-present)
  • Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas, Board Member (2007- 2010)
  • Girls on the Run International, organizer and hostess for annual fundraiser (2004- 2006)
  • Beverly Woods Elementary School, parent volunteer (2002- present)
  • Chesterbrook Academy, parent volunteer (2001- 2006)
  • Charlotte United Futbol Club, Team Manager, CUFC Harris YMCA Girls U10 White (2007- 2008)

Awards & Achievements

  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (“NCADA”) Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy – 2022
  • Top 50 Women Attorneys, Charlotte Magazine 2019 – 2022
  • Best Lawyers in America©, 2015, 2021 Edition, Lawyer of the Year, North Carolina
  • Best Lawyers In America©, 2012-2023 Edition, Medical Malpractice – Defendants
  • Best Lawyers In America©, 2018-2023 Edition, Professional Malpractice – Defendants
  • Best Lawyers In America©, 2020-2023 Edition, Commercial Litigation
  • Best Lawyers In America©, 2021-2023 Edition, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Best Lawyers In America©, 2023 Edition, Litigation – Health Care
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow, Inducted 2017
  • Top 50 Women North Carolina Super Lawyers (2015 – 2022)
  • Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyers (2015)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers® (2007- 2022) (Selection criteria available at
  • NC Legal Elite – Litigation
  • Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women
  • Top 25 Charlotte North Carolina Super Lawyers (2015)
Let's Get Personal
Sara's Featured News & Podcasts
September 13, 2022
Post-COVID Trial Backlogs – No Joke
By Sara Lincoln

As trial lawyers, one of the first questions we get from our clients is, “how long will this take?” This is usually right after the “how much is this going to cost?” question. Neither question is easy to answer, but […]

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April 17, 2020
Remote Depositions in North Carolina During COVID-19
By Sara Lincoln

Depose Witnesses Remotely at your own Risk. On March 27, 2020 as Governor Roy Cooper’s Stay at Home Order went into effect, I was fielding requests from other North Carolina lawyers to move forward with depositions. The push was on to try […]

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February 20, 2020
Implicit Bias – Name It and Claim It
By Sara Lincoln

Lincoln Derr was recently recognized as one of the most diverse law firms in Charlotte. Our equity membership is 100% female, as are 80% of our attorneys. Granted, we are small, and as Benjamin Disraeli (and many others that have laid […]

Read More
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