Sarah Havlin qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and practiced as a professional legal advisor for 13 years. She is currently the Certification Officer of Northern Ireland, a quasi-judicial and regulatory role in the field of industrial relations.

She has also held a number of other positions in public office, judicial decision-making, formal arbitration proceedings and regulatory affairs. Sarah holds a professional qualification in Policy Development from Boston College and also in Regulation from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

She played a significant role in the review of local government in Northern Ireland, serving as an Assistant Local Government Boundaries Commissioner, Assistant District Electoral Areas Commissioner and as an independent Ministerial advisor on the terms and conditions of local government representatives under the new 11 Council Model of local government in Northern Ireland.