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Born in Washington D.C., but raised right here in the heart of Riverside, is Barristers’ past president, Amanda Daams. Amanda currently resides and practices law in Riverside, the place she calls home. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of San Diego and continued her education at Norte Dame Law School. She enjoys the closeness of the Riverside legal community.
Amanda is part of the Environmental Law and Natural Resources practice group at Best Best & Krieger. The majority of her practice concerns issues stemming from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
In a nutshell, environmental law regulates human effects on the environment. As a practitioner of environmental law, Amanda’s work entails analyzing environmental impacts of projects and mitigating adverse effects to the fullest extent. Another important component is assuring that potential impacts to the environment and the subsequent effects are disclosed to the public and decision makers. The goal is to maintain balance between growth and development and preservation of the environment in its natural state.
Naturally, environmental law is essential in an ever-changing economy. Amanda was not initially drawn to the practice of environmental law, but had her sights on medical malpractice defense. Fortunately for our environment, while Amanda was in her second year of law school, she was exposed to land use law and CEQA as a summer associate and thoroughly enjoyed it. Her reward for choosing this practice area is the joy of seeing the projects she works on come into fruition
and benefit the community. Amanda works with an array of clients. She has noticed that most of her prior clients were private developers, whereas now, the majority of her clients are public agencies. Nonetheless, Amanda thrives when creating pragmatic solutions with her clients who are passionate about their ideas, their communities, and executing their projects in a manner that is safe to the environment.
When joining the Barristers as a new attorney in 2009, Amanda enjoyed networking with her peers, many with whom she maintains close relationships today. She claims that Barristers is vital to the exposure of young and new attorneys to the close-knit Riverside legal community. That being said, she believes that with the current tension between federal and state priorities regarding environmental law, Barristers should organize programs and MCLEs to educate young attorneys about the current laws and possible changes.
Amanda’s knowledge of environmental laws influences her thoughts and actions when making huge personal decisions. For example, she was more informed about what zoning and homeowners association requirements to review in detail prior to purchasing her home. Amanda, her husband, and their two young children have a safe home to sleep in and watch college football games after spending a long day at the zoo or other fun and educational activities.
We have our Second Annual Judicial Reception at Grier Pavilion, located at Riverside City Hall, on May 9, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Work-Life Balance on the Road to the Bench.” Admission is free for RCBA members and $20.00 for non-members. Space will be limited.
Finally, please stay informed about Barristers events by joining our mailing list at www.riversidebarristers.org or follow Riverside County Barristers Association on Facebook.
Shumika T.R. Sookdeo, managing attorney of Robinson Sookdeo Law, is a past president of the Richard T. Fields Bar Association, a commissioner on the California Commission on Access to Justice and a board member of John M. Langston Bar Association and the California Association of Black Lawyers.