Mentorship Spotlight: Lawyers Who Do More Than Law

Mentee Linda Reid has successfully merged her lifelong love of the Great Lakes with her professional life as the owner of Water365, LLC, where she supports freshwater sustainability and climate resilience efforts through capability and capacity development, technical consulting, and coaching.  A lawyer and educator with an entrepreneurial spirit, Linda is an Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP), a National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) approved trainer, and an Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard Specialist Professional.  Through her experience in government, academia, and business (for- and non-profit), Linda has developed a unique perspective on developing partnerships to collaboratively prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and human communities.

Mentor Barrett Ristroph is a lawyer, planner, mediator, evaluator, and researcher based in Alaska and south Louisiana. She is the owner of Ristroph Law, Planning, and Research, which provides services at a reasonable cost to tribes, communities, and agencies related to natural resources, hazard mitigation, government, and climate change adaptation. Her Ph.D work considered how Alaska Native Villages are adapting to climate change and how laws and planning help or hinder. Originally from Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA, she has gained perspective from living and working in the Northern Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Hawaii, Arctic Alaska and Russia.  Through her work, she hopes to build bridges between communities in South Louisiana, Alaska, and the Pacific Islands that are struggling with climate change and the need for sustainable development and environmental justice.

Linda and Barrett have enjoyed comparing how each other’s legal training and experience has prepared them for their current adaptation work, which often includes research, planning, communicating with diverse stakeholders, and forming solutions that are acceptable to all parties. Although their work differs in certain ways, including the geographic areas where their clients are located, they have found a lot of synergies and they’re exploring ways to work together in the future. In the meantime, Barrett has given Linda some travel tips for her upcoming trip to Alaska!

Linda and Barrett share stories about the practicalities of running their own businesses, serving clients with limited resources and trying to remain profitable, while maintaining work-life balance. They also share tips about operational efficiencies and productivity. To de-stress, Linda enjoys cleaning and Barrett enjoys cooking. They’d make great roommates!