The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.
- Christopher Hitchens


John Barrett is an Of Counsel attorney who works in our Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment practice group from our Tucson office. With both litigation and transactional experience, John advises clients on a variety of administrative, real property and environmental matters, and works closely with clients interested in establishing conservation easements on their property. John also has extensive experience with non-profits and provides guidance on governance, grants and program development.

John was a commercial litigator in Tucson for several years before moving to Chicago in 2013, where he shifted his career to non-profit leadership. As someone who is enthusiastic about turning creative ideas into reality, John worked with one of Chicago’s largest social service agencies to develop an innovative and therapeutic photography program for distressed veterans. Returning to his roots in the West in 2016, John directed the land program at the Arizona Land and Water Trust for five years.  During that time, and working with an array of Federal and state agency partners, he facilitated the protection of over 16,000 acres of private, rural working lands in southeast Arizona. These unique experiences inform the advice John give clients who are looking for creative, cost-effective solutions.

Outside of work, John spends time with his wife and two teenage children. He is also a desert gardener, frequent hiker, avid record collector, and fully intends to get back on his mountain bike one of these days.


  • J.D., Vermont Law School
  • M.A., University of Arizona
  • B.S., Lewis & Clark College


We are the forward-thinking natural resources, energy and environmental law team that innovates to ensure industry and businesses successfully navigate the ever-changing regulatory climate.

Our real estate practice is one of the largest in the American West, including Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada with experience in all aspects of the real estate development process, from due diligence, acquisition and finance, through land use permitting and entitlements, to leasing and sale.

Our business and finance attorneys represent national, regional and local clients participating in significant transactions.


  • Named Top 50 pro bono attorney by Arizona Foundation for Legal Services, 2010
  • Pima County pro bono Attorney of the Month, August 2008


  • Interview, “You Just Never Know What Sort of Unexpected Career Twists and Turns Life Will Have in Store,” Fennemore Blog, January 12, 2023
  • Co-Presenter, “Enhancing Climate Resilience to Support National Defense,” Land Trust Alliance National Land Conservation Conference, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “Fort Huachuca and Water Conservation,” American Water Works Association webinar series on Watershed Protection and Military Installations, 2020
  • Presenter, “Opportunities and Challenges in Land and Water Conservation in Southeastern Arizona—A Land Trust’s Perspective,” Natural Resource Users Law and Policy Center annual meeting, 2020
  • Presenter, Natural Resources Conservation Service (Arizona) annual meeting, 2019. Co-Presenter, “Navigating Governmental Efforts Affecting Land Trusts,” Land Trust Alliance National Land Conservation Conference, 2018
  • Presenter, “Conservation Easements—Building a Common Understanding,” Fort Huachuca’s 21st Century Allied Forces community meeting, 2018
  • Guest speaker on agricultural-land conservation in several University of Arizona courses, including Sustainable Agriculture and Conservation in the Southwest, Introduction to Agricultural Policy for Modern Day Natural Resource Users, Rangeland Management and Planning, and the Natural Resource Use and Management Clinic at the James E. Rogers College of Law, 2018-2022.


  • Board of Directors, St. Philip’s in the Hills Preservation & Endowment Foundation, 2016–present
  • Board of Directors, Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2011-2013
  • Board of Directors, KXCI Community Radio, 2011-2013


  • Arizona