Sara C. Bronin

Thomas F. Gallivan Chair in Real Property Law and Faculty Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law
Sara Bronin
Office: Hosmer 223


  • Renewable Energy
  • Historic Preservation
  • Sustainable Development
  • Architecture and Built Environment
  • Property and Land Use
  • Planning and Zoning

Sara C. Bronin (formerly Galvan) is a Mexican-American architect and attorney whose scholarly research focuses on property, land use, historic preservation, green building, and renewable energy law. As Gallivan Chair, she organizes annual public conferences and speaks frequently in the United States and internationally. She has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute, and she is the lead author of the land use volume of the forthcoming Fourth Restatement of Property. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she serves as faculty director for the Law School’s Center for Energy & Environmental Law. At UConn, she is an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Public Policy, the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative (where she serves on the Advisory Committee), and the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and she serves on the grant-funded Transportation, Technology, and Society Research Group.

Professor Bronin is a past chair of the State & Local Government Section of the American Association of Law Schools, and she has chaired several Law School committees (including the Facilities Committee and the Academic Plan Committee). While at UConn, she has also been selected to be a Distinguished Energy Law Scholar at Vermont Law School, a Visiting Professor at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University Law School and a Visiting Professor of Renewable Energy Law at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).

Professor Bronin received bachelor degrees in architecture and Plan II liberal arts honors from the University of Texas, a master’s degree from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and a law degree from Yale Law School. While in law school, she clerked for then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Professor Bronin serves as an expert witness and as a consultant to cities, state agencies, and private firms. Among other projects, she served as one of the lead attorneys and development strategists for the 360 State Street project, a mixed-use, transit-oriented, LEED Platinum project in New Haven. As chair of the City of Hartford's Planning & Zoning Commission, she oversaw award-winning changes to the zoning, subdivision, and inland wetlands regulations. As chair of the Hartford Climate Stewardship Council, she led a collaborative effort to draft and adopt the city’s first Climate Action Plan. Professor Bronin also recently chaired the city's Energy Improvement District Board and Preservation Connecticut (formerly the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation). She is a past president of the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, past chair of the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative, and past board member of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. She is a current James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. 

Professor Bronin received the AIA’s Alice Washburn Award and two preservation awards for her design and rehabilitation of her Civil War-era brownstone in downtown Hartford.

Sara BroninRestatement (Fourth) of Property, with Henry E. Smith et al.

Sara C. BroninComprehensive Rezonings, 3 BYU L. Rev. 101 (2020) 

Sara C. BroninZoning for Families, 95 Indiana L. J. 1 (2019)

Sara C. Bronin, Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell (2d ed. 2017, 1st ed.) (with Ryan M. Rowberry)

Sara C. Bronin, Land Use Regulation  (3d ed. 2020, 2d ed. 2016) (with Stewart Sterk, Eduardo Peñalver)

Sara C. BroninEnergy in the Ecopolis, 45 Envtl. L. Rep. 10514 (2015)

Sara C. Bronin, Rathkopf's the Law of Zoning & Planning (2014-present) (with Dwight H. Merriam)

Sara C. Bronin, Historic Preservation Law (2012) (with J. Peter Byrne)

Sara C. BroninCurbing Energy Sprawl with Microgrids, 43 Conn. L. Rev. 547 (2010

Sara C. BroninSolar Rights 89 B.U. L. Rev. 1217 (2009)
Recent Faculty Notes
Professor Sara Bronin to Speak at Webinar
Jun 18, 2020 -

Professor Sara Bronin will speak at the Form-Based Codes Institute of Smart Growth America webinar on their 2020 Driehaus Award for form-based zoning codes on June 23, 2020. Both Rancho Cucamonga, CA and Hartford, CT have won the award for their form-based zoning codes.

Professor Sara Bronin to Speak at American Bar Association Webinar
Jun 15, 2020 -

Professor Sara Bronin will speak at an upcoming American Bar Association webinar on June 30, 2020. The webinar is titled "Flattening the Curve" – COVID-19 and Climate Change, and speakers will describe the lessons COVID-19 has taught us about the need for an effective global response, as well as identify a variety of legal actions governments and the private sector must take to "flatten the curve" and keep the worst effects of climate change at bay.

Sara Bronin Named to ‘Power 50’ List
Apr 30, 2020 -

Professor Sara Bronin has been named to the first Power 50 list published by the Hartford Business Journal, identifying business and civic leaders whose influence has a significant impact on the Greater Hartford economy and community. Bronin, who chairs the Hartford Planning and Zoning Commission, shared the tenth spot on the list with her husband, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

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