A proud "northerner" from the UK, Sarah Clayton earned her BA in New Media and her LLM in Cyberlaw from the University of Leeds. Her undergraduate thesis examined the IPTV regulatory landscape and her focus shifted to human rights, intellectual property, and access to knowledge during her LLM. While at university, she co-authored a book chapter: Social Media Marks: Adapting Traditional Rights Protection to the Evolving Communications Landscape, represented the UK at the United Nations-funded New Media Summer School: The Web of Tomorrow is Yours in Stockholm, and produced an article for a Finnish intellectual property magazine, IPR Info.

After graduation, she was a speaker on a panel at the United Nations' Internet Governance Forum (IGF), in Azerbaijan on the topic of teaching internet governance in developing countries. She spent 2013-2015 working in communications for a corporate domain name management and new gTLD consulting company, and alongside this, completed Harvard Law School's CopyrightX course and the University of Nicosia's Introduction to Digital Currencies course. Her current research examines the politics of decision making and innovation in the blockchain ecosystem, and she has studied topics including for example, the bitcoin blockchain scalability debate and how mechanisms of trust guide stakeholder perceptions and behaviour in the cryptocurrency community.