Interviews with NABL Members from NABL News
Anne L. Barragar, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Portland, OR
Anne L. Barragar
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Tell us a little about yourself - your family, your hobbies, etc...
I am a native Oregonian. I grew up in Portland, and moved back here after college, law school and a brief stint in Washington, D.C. I live with my long-time domestic partner, Steve Reynolds. He is a retired lawyer, and is now in the real property management business. We enjoy making music (he is a pianist and a guitarist and I am a singer), riding our motor scooters, bicycling and other outdoor activities. No kids or pets, although two very neurotic cats belonging to one of our neighbors in our condo building have adopted us, and the other owners, as their people.
What first interested you in law?
Law is in some ways the family business. My father is a retired real estate lawyer, and many of my male relatives on my mother’s side of the family were lawyers. My first exposure to the law was a visit to my dad’s office when I was quite small – we went to the law library at his firm and did some legal research – I think the topic was the “first bite rule.” And then I worked with a bunch of lawyers during my two years in D.C. and thought their work seemed interesting.
What was the best career advice anyone ever gave you?
Associate with honest people who can be trusted to treat you fairly.
What has been your favorite moment of your career so far?
I don’t know that I have a favorite moment. After so long – 30 years – things tend to blur together. My favorite thing about the bond law practice is the civility, collegiality and (relative) lack of greed with which most practitioners and clients approach their work.
What advice would you give to the young associates and law students who are interested in a career in municipal finance?
For law students, take a municipal law course if your school offers one! Political subdivisions are very different animals from business entities, and you’ll be way ahead if you understand the differences.
As a member of BAW’s 2018 Steering Committee, can you tell us about your panel session, Tax Exempt Leasing?
As in past years, we are presenting two sessions. The first is a basics presentation. The second is an advanced session, and we have decided to focus this year on the vehicles by which tax-exempt leases are offered to the public – certificates of participation and lease revenue bonds. Our thinking is that tax law changes are likely to drive more lease deals into public markets, and a refresher on unique aspects of those financings would be timely.
What made you want to become involved with NABL, and how long have you been a member?
I don’t remember exactly when I joined. I think it was the early ‘90s, when I was a baby bond lawyer. I dropped my membership for a time while I was doing mostly corporate and M&A work, but then re-joined about 10 years ago when I started doing public finance work again.
How has your participation and membership in NABL been of value to you and your practice?
NABL is an outstanding organization – its members are so generous in sharing their experience and expertise. I try to attend the Bond Attorneys’ Workshop every year, and always learn lots of new things, both from attending panel sessions and talking to other lawyers.
From the questionnaire made famous by Bernard Pivot and James Lipton, “What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
“Retiree” and “full time volunteer” are sounding good right now. If it were 20 years ago I would have said “opera singer” or “ski instructor.”