Professional Biography
Image of Barbara Schussman

Barbara J. Schussman Partner

San Francisco Office Managing Partner

  • San Francisco

    D +1.415.344.7168

    F +1.415.344.7368

    San Francisco

    505 Howard Street, Suite 1000

    San Francisco, CA 94105-3204




Barbara Schussman, a partner in the firm's Environment, Energy & Resources practice, focuses on securing federal, state and local agency approvals needed to develop a wide range of private and public projects, including industrial scale solar facilities, university campuses, hospitals, research and development facilities, water supply and storage projects, oil refineries, maritime port and airport expansions, and numerous industrial, commercial, housing and mixed use developments.  Barbara counsels clients regarding compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), legislative and quasi-adjudicatory approvals required under the California Planning and Zoning Law, and permits and approvals required by other land use and environmental regulations, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, federal and state Endangered Species Acts, California Coastal Act and the Subdivision Map Act.  She also is an experienced litigator, and has defended approvals and environmental permits in both the state and federal courts, including the California Supreme Court.

She is the author of the CEQA chapter of Curtin’s California Land Use and Planning Law. She also teaches and lectures on CEQA and NEPA compliance and litigation issues for a variety of organizations.

Barbara’s recent successes include:

  • CEQA and CEQA+ compliance and permitting for a public project to recycle agricultural and other sources of wastewater for groundwater injection and reuse as drinking water in Monterey County.
  • New zoning, conditional use permit, development agreement and CEQA compliance for Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital’s $5 billion hospital replacement and expansion project in Palo Alto.
  • Defense of CEQA and Clean Air Act challenges to Chevron’s Richmond Refinery modernization project.
  • County and BLM approvals for a 445-megawatt photovoltaic solar project in Riverside County, and defense of CEQA litigation filed by the Colorado River Indian Tribes.
  • Harbor Commission, Army Corps of Engineers and Coastal Act approvals and CEQA and NEPA compliance for two major marine terminal projects at the Port of Los Angeles.
  • Defense of Coastal Act, Clean Air Act and CEQA challenges to rulemaking actions by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
  • CEQA and NEPA compliance and approvals for expansion of a drinking water reservoir in Contra Costa County and new Delta water supply diversion intake.
  • Published appellate decision holding that an individual development project can be fully approved through the initiative process.

Professional Recognition

  • Named the Best Lawyers’ San Francisco "Litigation - Land Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year," 2018
  • Ranked by Chambers USA as "America's Leading Environment Lawyers" and "America's Leading Real Estate Lawyers," 2013 - present
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2010 - Present: Environmental Law Land Use & Zoning Law; Litigation - Land Use & Zoning
  • Listed in Super Lawyers, Northern California, 2004 - Present
  • Listed in Legal 500, as a  "Leading Lawyer, Environment: Transaction and Regulatory," 2011

Professional Leadership

  • Contra Costa County Bar Association

Related Employment

  • Bingham, San Francisco, CA, Partner





Bar and Court Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


  • UC Berkeley School of Law, (Boalt Hall), JD, Order of the Coif, 1989
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., magna cum laude, 1986


Best Lawyers Award Badge

2018 Chambers Logo  2017 Chambers Logo   2016 Chambers Logo
2015 Chambers Logo  2014 Chambers Logo

Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2013 logo 

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Land Use & Zoning Law; Litigation - Land Use & Zoning, 2010 - present

Image of a yellow hard hat and building plans California Land Use & Development Law Report
Legal Commentary on Planning and Development