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Webinar: Legal Career Paths During COVID-19: Private Practice Perspectives, Part 1

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July 15, 2020 @ 12:00 pm 1:15 pm

A Discussion Series Presented by the Environmental Law Section, California Lawyers Association

Across the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyday life, caused thousands of deaths, and unleased unprecedented economic stress not seen since the 2008 Great Recession. These economic conditions have had an impact on the legal profession. Private law firms and in-house divisions are instituting pay cuts and reducing staff; local, state, and federal agencies are facing severe budget deficits leading to furloughs and hiring freezes; and non-profit legal organizations are seeing dwindling contributions and grants.

For attorneys and recent law school graduates, this economic uncertainty will present serious challenges to securing and/or retaining employment or a practice. What effect will this pandemic have on the legal profession? How should practitioners and recent law school graduates prepare to avoid career setbacks? What are lessons learned from previous economic recessions?

In this fifth installment, join practitioners from the private sector for a discussion about how law firms are being affected by COVID-19 and what students and practitioners should do to navigate through these times.


  • Marco A. Gonzalez, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Coast Law Group, Escondido
  • Maya Mouawad, Associate, Best Best & Krieger, Riverside
  • Summer L. Nastich, Founder, Nastich Law, Berkeley
  • Justin A. Zucker, Associate, Reuben, Junius & Rose, San Francisco

Moderator: Holly A. Roberson, Shareholder, Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, Sacramento

Holly A. Roberson is a shareholder at Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard that represents public and private sector clients in the areas of natural resources and water law. Her practice focuses on environmental law and policy, CEQA, land use, water, climate change, and renewable energy. Prior to joining the firm, Holly seved as Land Use Counsel at the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). At OPR, she worked on tribal cultural resources and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the General Plan Guidelines, military land use compatibility planning, infill streamlining, utility scale solar siting, complex mediation, drought issues, and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

Marco Gonzalez is the founder and Managing Partner of Coast Law Group LLP (CLG), where he oversees the firm’s Environment & Land Use, Government Relations, and Election Law practice groups, and co-chairs CLG’s Action Sports group. Voted by Outside Magazine as the 8th Best Place to Work in the U.S. in 2014, CLG is a traditional full-service law firm providing civil litigation and corporate transactional services, while also achieving national distinction representing community groups and non-profit organizations in high profile environmental protection and civil rights matters.

Marco is also the founder and executive director of the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation, an environmental organization made up of surfers dedicated to the protection of coastal natural resources through aggressive advocacy and litigation.

Mr. Gonzalez is a frequent lecturer on environmental issues at law schools, conferences and continuing legal education programs. He received his B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, studied Conservation Biology at San Francisco State University, and received his J.D. from Northwestern School of Law and a Certificate in Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark College.

Maya Mouawad is an attorney with the Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group at Best Best & Krieger LLP. Her focus is on water rights, including Sustainable Groundwater Management Act-related matters. Maya is involved in the Las Posas groundwater basin adjudication. She previously served as assistant general counsel for the Palmdale Water District and as special counsel for the Carson Reclamation Authority. Maya held externships with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the California Appellate Court while attending Loyola Law School. She is based in the firm’s Riverside office.

Summer L. Nastich is a litigator, counselor, scientist, engineer, and arbitrator specializing in environmental, construction, and land use law, including any necessary litigation. Summer has a life-long passion for learning and problem solving. She received three undergraduate degrees (Oceanography, Biology, and Zoology) from Humboldt State University, a J.D. cum laude from Boston University, and then a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. Although at this point she clearly needed to stop going to school and go get a job, her thirst for gaining and applying knowledge never ebbed. And it led her to an exciting law practice that incorporates all of her book learning, the knowledge she gained working as an environmental consultant, and the knowledge and experience she’s assimilated over more than a decade of practicing law. Now Summer brings all of this knowledge and experience to bear to solve her clients’ challenges. When she’s not working, she reads voraciously, takes wilderness survival classes, trains in self-defense, goes mushroom hunting, pranks her kids and listens to podcasts.

Justin A. Zucker is a member of Reuben, Junius & Rose, LLP’s land use group. His practice emphasizes entitlements, due diligence, administrative compliance, and environmental law for development projects throughout the Bay Area. His land use and entitlement experience includes commercial, mixed-use, industrial, and residential projects as well as historic renovation and conversion projects. His expertise includes CEQA environmental review, zoning review and property-specific due diligence, accessory dwelling unit provisions, and entitlement approval.

Mr. Zucker’s clients range from individuals with single-family home projects to institutional developers proposing large mixed-use projects or high-rise residential projects. He has represented property owners, businesses, developers and non-profits at the Planning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Zoning Administrator, Board of Appeals, Port Commission, and various administrative bodies. He has also appeared before state and federal courts throughout California.

Mr. Zucker was previously Senior Counsel at Gordon & Rees Skully Mansukhani handling litigation defense, giving him broad depth and perspective into the transactional and entitlement hazards that lead to lawsuits and the importance of addressing all potential issues at the outset. In addition, Mr. Zucker interned for the Ohio EPA and the Bay Area AQMD, providing him with a wide-ranging administrative law and regulatory compliance foundation.

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


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