Laura Yaffe is a co-chair of the WBA’s Energy and Environmental Law Forum. In that capacity, she has had the opportunity to help establish and grow an active steering committee of a group of energy and environmental law and policy associations in the DC area. Laura notes, “It is great to meet with them quarterly and share resources and experiences that help each of our organizations develop effective planning and programming.”

Laura has lived in Montgomery County for about 18 years. She is married, with a son who is a high school Junior. Her undergraduate degree is in Biology and she focused on environmental and land use law in law school. Laura has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She did legislative and governmental affairs work for a professional trade association of home builders and has worked in advocacy, policy development, and planning. Her areas of professional interest include environmental, law and policy, clean energy and climate change, community planning and sustainability, green building and affordable housing, She is always looking for new opportunities to do what she loves.

When did you join the WBA?
I have been a member since around 2009.

What committees/forums have you been involved in?
I have been a chair or co-chair of the Energy and Environmental Law Forum since 2018.

Why did you join the Women’s Bar Association?
I attended a Stars of the Bar and had a wonderful experience meeting so many accomplished and interesting individuals involved in all aspects of law and policy. I had so many interesting conversations and found many who shared such valuable information on how their career paths developed and how they had used their training and experiences.

What benefits do you get from being a part of the WBA and why do you think others should join?
I have found it continuously inspiring and motivating to see women lawyers setting and achieving goals for themselves and learning from their experiences and challenges.  There is such a wealth of built-in knowledge and resources that you can tap into, as well as tremendous opportunities to develop your own skills by getting involved in WBA projects, committees, and activities.

How has being a parent enhanced your career?
Becoming a parent helps sharpen your focus in setting priorities and how best to utilize limited time, focus and energy to its best advantage. You also learn what things bring you energy, and how to work on eliminating the things that don’t.

Do you have a mentor/hero?
Yes, I have a friend and mentor in the WBA who drew me into active participation in WBA activities, encouraged my development in leadership roles, and has remained a sounding board, source of advice, and inspiration.

What is the best advice you have received?
Most mistakes are fixable and learning experiences. Don’t be embarrassed by your temporary setbacks.