ALM Properties, Inc.
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2012-05-31 04:39:11 PM
Kristina Lawson, 34, partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
Lawson's land use expertise has landed her work advising major developers and nonprofits, as well as seats on several transportation agencies. She also serves as an elected member of the Walnut Creek City Council when she's not advising clients on water quality, air quality, hazardous materials and other regulatory matters. She is considered an expert on the California Environmental Quality Act, and has used her understanding of the ins and outs of environmental and land use law to help clients secure government permits and approvals for major residential, commercial and mixed-use projects throughout the state. Lawson serves on the board of the Transportation Partnership and Cooperation of Central Contra Costa and is an active participant in various regional organizations, such as the Bay Area Council and Contra Costa Council. She is the former president of the board of directors of East Bay Commercial Real Estate Women and is also a member of CREW San Francisco.
Word that best describes you?
Toughest moment in law school or as a lawyer?
During my second year of law school, my mother was in a near-fatal car accident and spent most of that fall semester in intensive care and rehabilitation. There were many tough moments that semester from caring for my family to trying to decide whether to defer my studies (my Dad urged me not to) to canceling the interviews I had scheduled through the OCI process and missing out on a summer law firm clerkship. I learned a great deal from those tough moments: Keep your priorities straight, and the rest will naturally fall into place.
Most interesting place you've traveled?
Dumbraveni, Romania (Erzsebetvaros, Hungary, until World War I). Dumbraveni is a small town almost lost in time where my brother, sisters and I spent time with our Dad learning about our ancestry. Our ancestors lived in the town between 1700 and the late 1800s.
What you'd do if you could take a year off?
Spend a year immersed in regional and national politics.