Education and Honors

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2005
  • Bachelor of Architecture, The University of Texas, 2000

Admissions and Affiliations

State Bar of Texas

New York State Bar

Austin Bar Association - Environmental Section

State Bar Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section

Austin Young Lawyers Association

Texas Water Conservation Association

Association of Women in Energy

Paulina Williams

Senior Associate

98 San Jacinto Boulevard
Suite 1500
Austin, Texas 78701-4078
United States


Environmental regulatory law, litigation and compliance


Paulina Williams’ practice involves environmental litigation and regulatory compliance relating to air, water, waste and natural resources issues. Ms. Williams’ experience includes water rights, air and wastewater permitting and permit defense and defense of private citizen suits in federal court. Ms. Williams regularly advises clients on compliance matters and regulatory developments.

Following graduation from law school, Paulina practiced in New York, focusing on real estate and land use matters in the context of public-private partnerships involving state and federal environmental impact reviews.

Representative Engagements

Environmental Permitting

  • Representation of a river authority in a contested case hearing regarding amendment of a significant water right, ultimately reaching a settlement with seven protesting parties
  • Representation of power plant developers in contested case hearings regarding air permits
  • Development of water right strategies and applications for temporary permits to address drought exigencies for industrial facility operations
  • Prosecution of applications for production permits in groundwater conservation districts

Environmental Counseling and Transactions

  • Development of a water rights strategy for a major water authority, including permitting strategy, protesting other water right applications, and coordinating with experts regarding drought conditions and future planning
  • Counseling of various industrial facilities regarding state and federal air quality regulations, including air permitting requirements and various applicability analyses, in the context of internal audits and responses to notices of violation
  • Counseling various industrial facilities regarding wastewater, storm water discharge and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act compliance obligations
  • Representation of a utility in New Mexico greenhouse gas rulemaking proceedings and subsequent repeal proceedings
  • Drafting of water and reclaimed water supply contracts and water right conveyance documents for a variety of governmental and industrial clients
  • Due diligence related to E&P waste transport and disposal facilities
  • Preparation of rulemaking comments, including for EPA proposed actions, such as SIP disapprovals and the GHG NSPS, and for groundwater district rules

Environmental and Other Litigation

  • Defense of various air permits in Texas district court
  • Defense against a citizen suit under the federal Clean Air Act
  • Defense against a citizen suit brought in federal court under NEPA challenging federal agency approvals
  • Assistance with litigation strategy and settlement negotiations in an Attorney General DTPA investigation regarding a rate application

Pro bono

  • Negotiation of a settlement and return of security deposit in a landlord/tenant matter
  • Establishment of a mother’s guardianship over her disabled adult-child

Publications, Speeches and Presentations

  • “Sixth Circuit Pushes Back on EPA Oil and Gas Source Aggregation Under the Clean Air Act,” 3 Harv. Bus. L. Rev. Online 41 2013 (William Bumpers, co-author)
  • “Water and the Whoopers,” Texas Water Law Institute 2012, University of Texas School of Law CLE (Molly Cagle, co-author)
  • “11th Circuit Court of Appeals Weighs in on Army Corps’ Statutory Authority for Lake Lanier Operations,” TWCA Confluence Newsletter, Third Quarter 2011 (Molly Cagle, co-author)
  • “EPA New Effluent Guidelines for Construction and Development Point Source Category,” presentation at Current Issues in Storm Water Regulation Lorman Seminar, August 12, 2009