March, 2018 – Molly Barker is an Associate Attorney at Veris Law Group in Seattle and took the time to tell us a little about herself, her career and involvement with NEBC.

What drew you to your company originally? Has your company changed significantly since you started working there? I was originally drawn to Veris because of the niche area of environmental law (cleanup work) that the firm specializes in. The firm has continued to grow this practice since I have joined.

What is your educational background? Northeastern University, B.A. majoring in History with a double minor in International Affairs and Environmental Studies, 2010; Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 2013

What are 3 words to describe your company?  talented, diligent, and personable

What do you find the most challenging at your company? Probably the more science-focused side of our work, which involves reviewing technical documents. I don’t have a technical background, so such work requires extra attention from me.

What is the favorite part about working for your company? Our clients and great consultants that we work with!

What has been your favorite project at your company? It is really hard to pick a favorite. I really enjoy the development projects where we are able to help our client recover costs to clean up contamination encountered at their property.

What is on your wish list for the next 5 years for your industry?  That a new technology will come out that allows us to time-stamp the release of hazardous substances.

Before working at your company, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?  While in law school, I worked at the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

How do you balance your career and family?  It is not easy, and you need to be intentional and thoughtful about it. It does help that Veris strongly promotes a work-life balance culture.

How has your company helped you in your career development? Through my work at Veris, I have been exposed to a large network of consultants in the industry and had an opportunity to learn about an area of environmental law that I previously was unfamiliar with.

What has your involvement been with NEBC? I am an Olympic Chapter Committee Member.

If you could switch your job with anyone else within your company whose job would you want?  Probably one of the managing partners, so I could learn about what is all involved with running ones’ own company.

What drew you to working in the environmental sector?  I grew up in Alaska, where climate change is most obvious. So, I wanted to be a part of an industry that worked toward remedying the damage we’ve done to our planet over the years.

What’s your favorite place to visit in the Northwest?  Mt. Baker or La Push, it is a tough call.

What are your interests outside of work?  I love dancing, snowboarding, back-country alpine ski touring, surfing, hiking, camping, traveling, cooking and practicing yoga.

In one word, describe yourself? Passionate

What’s one interest fact about you that most people don’t knows?  I really enjoy rhymes.

Companies you admire? And Why? (1) Google, for sourcing 100% of its energy from renewables, (2) U.S. Green Building Council, for its promotion of sustainability in building design, construction, and operation, and (3) Patagonia, for recycling soda bottles and other waste into clothing products they sell.

As a part of the industry what sort of trends do you see? More companies are taking action to voluntarily conduct cleanups or seek to obtain energy from renewable sources without government mandate.

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?  There are two from my Dad, which both have essentially the same meaning.

  1. If you don’t have an ingredient required for a recipe, make the recipe anyway.
  2. If you don’t do something because it is raining, then you will never do anything.

What advice do you have for prospective candidates who want to work at your company or in the industry? Get as much experience as you can. Volunteer and get engaged in your community. Get outside and meet people.