Rebecca L. Harms

Ms. Harms, an associate attorney in the firm's water and natural resources law practice, represents public and private sector clients. Ms. Harms was born and raised in Salinas, California, where her family has been for four generations. Her lifelong interest in agriculture and water stems from her family’s involvement in the agricultural industry and ownership of a cattle ranch on Pacheco Pass. Her practice focuses on regulatory compliance, water rights, water quality, administrative law and land-use matters.

Legal Experience

Ms. Harms performs in-depth legal research and analysis, regulatory compliance assistance and litigation-related support. Specific areas of experience include: 

  • Endangered Species Acts (Federal and State)
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits
  • California Water Rights

Prior to and during law school, Ms. Harms gained a wealth of practical experience, especially in the areas of water and natural resources law, through various internships and law clerk positions, including a summer associate position at Kronick where she worked with attorneys in the natural resources department. As a summer associate, Ms. Harms researched and drafted memoranda on a variety of legal issues, including groundwater ordinances, scope of administrative record, the role of watermasters in adjudicated basins, critical habitat designations under the ESA, and water rights as applied to desalination plants diverting seawater. Other examples of Ms. Harms’ experience include:

  • As an intern for the Alaska Department of Law, Office of Attorney General’s Natural Resources Section in Anchorage, she researched and drafted memoranda on the public trust doctrine, Endangered Species Act, and Native American law.
  • As an intern for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington D.C., she assisted the branch chief with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and represented NRCS at USDA’s annual Ag Outlook Forum.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Member, Sacramento MetroEDGE 

Publications

  • Author, “California Bill to Restructure Water Management Introduced in State Assembly,” California Water Law & Policy Reporter, April 2017
  • Author, “Wishtoyo Foundation Files Suit Against the State Water Resources Control Board's Recycled Water General Order,” California Water Law & Policy Reporter, August/September 2016
  • Author, “State Water Board to Consider Revisions to Drinking Water Fee Regulations,” California Water Law & Policy Reporter, July 2016
  • Author, “California Enacts Yet More Groundwater Legislation in 2015,” American Bar Association Water Resources Committee Newsletter, January 2016
  • Author, “Preserving the Common Law Public Trust Doctrine: Maintaining Flexibility in an Era of Increasing Statutes,” UC Davis School of Law Environs: Environmental Law and Policy Journal, January 2016

Academic Background

J.D. University of California, Davis School of Law, 2015

  • Environmental Certificate awarded upon graduation indicating completion of a concentrated course of study in environmental and natural resources law (2015)
  • Doremus Environmental Law Writing Prize awarded upon graduation to the student paper that makes the most significant scholarly contribution to environmental law (2015)
  • Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Natural Resources Law (2014)
  • Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Water Law (2014)
  • Editor-in-Chief of Environs: Environmental Law and Policy Journal (2013-2014)

B.A. Stanford University, 2011

  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology
    • Area of Concentration: The Ecology and Policy of Agriculture and Natural Resources Allocation
  • Minor in Political Science