Professor Richard Sala was born and raised in Queens, NY. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1997 and served as an infantry Marine until 2007, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. His enlisted time included service with Marine Corps Ground Defense/Security Force, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and 6th Marines Regimental Headquarters, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During this time, he deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participating in operations in and around the former Yugoslavia, including Operation Dynamic Response in Kosovo.
In 2001, Professor Sala was selected for commissioned service through the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training program. In 2007, he graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs, a minor in Italian, and a certificate in Central and Eastern European History. After receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant, he completed The Basic School and Infantry Officer Course. He was awarded the Lieutenant Colonel Vic Taylor/Major General Edwin B. Wheeler Award for being the Distinguished Graduate of the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer’s Course (Class 2-08).
In 2008, Professor Sala reported to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as a platoon commander and company executive officer. Also, in 2008, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2010, Professor Sala was selected for service as Judge Advocate through the Excess Leave Program. He attended Vermont Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctorate (Cum Laude) and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy (Magna Cum Laude). He was also the recipient of the 2010 Maximilian W. Kempner Award, which Vermont Law presents to the student who best embodies civility, integrity, fair-mindedness, and public service.
After completing law school, Professor Sala reported to Legal Services Support Team, Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as Trial Counsel, Legal Team Echo, and Trial Counsel and Officer-in-Charge, Legal Team Delta.
In 2015, Professor Sala reported to 1st Battalion, 4th Marines Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as the Battalion Judge Advocate. During this time, Professor Sala deployed to Darwin, Australia, and served as counsel to the Commander of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, supporting bilateral and multilateral training with the Australian Defense Force and regional allies and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific.
Upon returning from Australia, Professor Sala joined the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 1st Marine Division, and served as Assistant Deputy Staff Judge Advocate to the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division.
In 2016, Professor Sala was selected to serve as an Assistant Professor and Marine Officer Instructor at the University of Rochester, where he earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School.
Upon retiring, Professor Sala joined the Civil Law Division of the New Hampshire Department of Justice and served as the Attorney for the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education.
In 2019, he joined Vermont Law School’s faculty as the Assistant Director of the Academic Success Program and an Assistant Professor of Law. In 2021, Professor Sala was appointed the Interim Director of the Academic Success Program. Professor Sala currently teaches Bar Exam Skills & Tactics, Legal Methods, National Security Law, Military Justice, and Constitutional Law. He is also the faculty advisor to The Vermont Law School chapter of The Federalist Society and Phi Alpha Delta. He is a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The State of New Hampshire, United States District Court District of New Hampshire, and United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces bars.
In 2021, New Hampshire Governor Christopher T. Sununu nominated Professor Sala to serve as a member of the New Hampshire State Board of Education. The New Hampshire Executive Council approved Professor Sala’s nomination in February 2021.