Sophia F. Bernhardt joined Columbia Law School as a lecturer in law in 2016 and became director of the legal writing and moot court programs in 2021. Before joining Columbia Law School full-time, Bernhardt spent over a decade practicing law in the public sector. After graduating from law school in 2008, she worked as a criminal defense lawyer at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama. She went on to clerk for the Judge James L. Cott in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She then joined Brooklyn Defender Services, where she became a supervising attorney in the Family Defense Practice.
Bernhardt earned a B.A. from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern public interest scholar and an articles editor on the New York University Law Review.