Anne J. Schneider, one of the foremost water law attorneys in California, was a founding partner in Ellison, Schneider, Harris and Donlan. Anne was a leading water attorney in California from 1977 to her passing in July, 2010. After graduating from the University of California, Davis King Hall School of Law, Anne joined the staff of Governor Jerry Brown’s “Commission to Review California Water Rights Law,” where she authored two reports still cited frequently today: “Groundwater Rights in California” and “Legal Aspects of Instream Water Uses in California.” She then joined Downey, Brand, Seymour and Rohwer and became its first female partner before forming Ellison & Schneider in 1990.
During this time, Anne represented a variety of water and environmental interests in California, ranging from Northern California water districts to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Metropolitan Water District. Anne was a voracious reader and shared a deep passion for both the scholarly and practical elements of natural resources policy and history with her many friends and colleagues. She loved the outdoors and was on the Board of Trustees for the Yosemite Association and involved in several local environmental organizations. She was also a world-class cyclist and the very proud mother of two young men: Charlie and Logan.
The annual Anne J. Schneider Lecture was inspired by Anne, who expressed to several of her close friends a sense that the natural resources arena needed creative thinking to guide solutions to the many vexing challenges facing California and the West. She quietly and individually challenged those she knew to think in novel and different ways about a new paradigm for sound natural resources and water policy in California. The goal of the Anne J. Schneider Fund Lecture Series is to encourage professional and personal commitment to water law and policy, and the conservation of our special landscapes, in memory of Anne Schneider’s lifelong devotion to these areas. The Lecture is held in her memory and features a prominent and accomplished leader who has focused on the intellectual advancement of natural resources law and policy in the Western United States.
In 2006, Anne received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Water Education Foundation. To learn more about Anne, read about her life and career at Aquapedia.
The 2019 Anne J. Schneider Lecture was held on April 3, 2019 at the Crocker Art Museum. This year's distinguished lecturer was former Governor and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, in conversation with Ellen Hanak, who gave a presentation titled, "Parting the Waters - Will It Take a Miracle?" A video of the lecture is here.
The Steering Committee for the Anne J. Schneider Fund is Art Baggett, Robert Donlan, Vicki Kretzinger Grabert, David Guy, Jennifer Harder, Jeff Kightlinger, Robert Maddow, Kevin O’Brien, and Richard Roos-Collins.