Samuel D. Bacal-Graves

Associate

Sam Bacal-Graves helps public and private clients navigate complex land use and environmental issues.

He aids developers and agencies with a wide range of legal issues, utilizing his knowledge of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California’s housing laws, and other planning and environmental laws.

While attending law school at UC Davis, Sam served as a summer extern with the Sacramento Superior Court’s Legal Research Department. Sam also worked as a research assistant for Professor Christopher Elmendorf, researching issues related to California housing law and policy, and for the law school as an individual tutor for first-year law students.


Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
  • UC Davis Law School Bar Passage Essay Grader, 2022
  • UC Davis Law School Academic Success Program, Tutor, 2018-2020
  • UC Davis Business Law Journal, Editor

Honors & Rankings

  • Order of the Coif
  • Witkin Awards for Local Government Law and Contracts
  • Dean’s Merit Scholarship Recipient, King Hall School of Law
  • Dean’s Honors List, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Environmental Law Certificate, 2020
  • Public Service Certificate, 2020
  • Pro Bono Certificate, 2020
  • Assisting a municipality on CEQA compliance for electric utility regulatory changes.
  • Assisting a municipality in defending lawsuits filed under CEQA, the Subdivision Map Act, and the Planning and Zoning Law.
  • Assisted an affordable housing developer in making effective use of California’s housing laws to secure approval for a project in a hostile jurisdiction.
  • Advised a developer on entitlement and CEQA strategies for multiple large infill developments in Sacramento.
  • Assisted in compiling and tracking CEQA and housing legislation and cases.
  • Contributed to successful defense of a senior memory care facility in CEQA litigation filed by neighboring homeowners.

Announcements

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Blogs

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Before pursuing a career in law, Sam was a Director of Coffee and Director of Operations for a local coffee roaster and chain of cafes in Santa Cruz. He still has a love of food and cooking, and maintains a vegetable garden. He also enjoys cycling and spending time outdoors with his dog.


Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
  • UC Davis Law School Bar Passage Essay Grader, 2022
  • UC Davis Law School Academic Success Program, Tutor, 2018-2020
  • UC Davis Business Law Journal, Editor

Honors & Rankings

  • Order of the Coif
  • Witkin Awards for Local Government Law and Contracts
  • Dean’s Merit Scholarship Recipient, King Hall School of Law
  • Dean’s Honors List, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Environmental Law Certificate, 2020
  • Public Service Certificate, 2020
  • Pro Bono Certificate, 2020