Interview with Sophie Akins – San Bernardino’s New Deputy County Counsel

In February of 2015, Sophie Akins was hired on as the new Deputy County Counsel for San Bernardino. Ms. Akins was previously a Partner at Best Best & Krieger (BBK) and head of their firm’s renewable energy group. She has over 13 years of experience in law and specializes in renewable energy. During her tenure at BBK, she worked in general public agency law, governance, procurement, public contracts, water agency law, and renewable energy.

  1. What prompted you to make the move to San Bernardino County?

It seemed like a natural progression for me. BBK is a great firm with a talented workforce and particular expertise representing California public agencies. I first started with BBK a little over 14 years ago as a Summer Associate; it was my first job coming out of law school. Over the years I gained experience working with a large variety of public agency clients, including school districts, water districts, cities, and counties. Taking the position at San Bernardino County gave me the opportunity to bring my practice in-house and focus on just one client.

  1. What do you look forward to about working for San Bernardino County?

I am very excited to work for San Bernardino County and am looking forward to assisting the county with the variety of challenges generated by an economy that is recovering not only during a severe drought but also during the implementation of numerous State regulations and policies meant to address climate change. There continues to be significant renewable energy opportunities here, both in terms of distributed generation and utility scale projects. I look forward to bringing my statewide expertise to the county on these matters.

  1. How do you think your past work experience will help you in your new role as Deputy County Counsel?

There are not many public agency attorneys that get to focus on renewable energy and utility issues for public agencies like I was able to at BBK. I was fortunate to be able to assist a broad range of public agencies with their renewable energy projects and utility issues, including rate cases before the California Public Utilities Commission. I feel that this background will provide me with a more holistic approach to my practice with the county.