Environmental Attorney | Chattanooga
Kendra Mansur went into law school with a passion for helping low-income people with legal problems, particularly victims of domestic violence.
“I’d worked at a family crisis center where I saw evidence of the violence that was occurring in peoples’ homes nearly every day,” she remembers. “Many of the victims couldn’t afford the legal counsel they needed. I decided then to get a law degree and use it to help people.”
Three years later, Mansur graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Mass., a school known for its focus on public interest law and social justice. She spent the next 12 years working for Legal Aid law firms in Middle and East Tennessee helping low-income domestic violence victims and clients dealing with housing issues and other legal matters.
Another Way to Serve the Public Interest
Today, Mansur is a member of the Environment group within the Office of the General Counsel at TVA. She’s primarily responsible for legal oversight of TVA’s real property law transactions and is a critical member of the TVA teams involved in land management activities.
“I get involved in a wide variety of property actions,” she says, “for example, when TVA transfers or sells land, facilities or buildings, or when we acquire and maintain property for substations, transmission lines or other purposes. My job is to help ensure compliance with TVA policies and applicable laws and regulations.”
Mansur also serves as the lead attorney for TVA’s Regional Resource Stewardship Council, an avenue for Valley stakeholders to provide recommendations and advice to TVA on its stewardship activities.
“I see my job at TVA as another way to serve the public interest,” she says. “How we manage the reservoir system and the 293,000 acres of surrounding land has a tremendous impact on the 9 million people who live here. It affects our economic opportunities, the environment and our quality of life.
According to Mansur, the property actions she oversees are important in keeping public land available for public use, supporting local economic growth, complying with environmental laws and regulations, and delivering safe, low-cost power. “All of these are vitally important to Valley residents,” she says.
“At Legal Aid, when I closed a client’s file, I felt like I’d made a difference in someone’s life. It’s the same at the end of a project here at TVA. I feel like I’ve made a difference for the people of the Valley,” she says. “It’s an awesome privilege and opportunity to be able to use my legal skills for the public good.”
New Opportunities for Community Service
Mansur and her 15-year-old daughter, Maria Kasipovic’, moved from Knoxville to Chattanooga about a year ago, along with their two shelter dogs, Justice and Dasher.
“Maria found her niche quickly,” Mansur says proudly. “She’s a musical theater major at the Chattanooga High School for the Creative Arts and was selected recently to host a weekly show, ‘A Day in the Life of a Teenager,’ on Bidchat, an app offering live video streaming.”
For Mansur, relocating meant giving up some causes that were important to her, including a new opportunity on the board of the Family Justice Center, which serves domestic violence and sexual assault victims, and a seat on the Board of the East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.
“I’m taking some time to get to know our new community,” she says. “I want to find the right place to serve.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Do you know the signs of an abusive relationship? Do you know what to do if you think someone is being abused? If you aren’t sure, you can find plenty of info online. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website is a good place to start.
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Meet more TVA employees, and learn about some of the fascinating ways they serve the Tennessee Valley through their work in energy, environmental stewardship and economic development.
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