Ada Montague Stepleton joined NARF in 2021 as an attorney with eight years of experience practicing land use and water law. Ada comes to NARF with a solid reputation in achieving collaborative outcomes and for exceptional diligence in the practice of law.
After graduating cum laude from Vassar with a BA in Urban Studies, Ada began her professional career as a land use planner in Bozeman, Montana. She earned a law degree from the University of Montana, where she was honored to receive the Margery Hunter Brown fellowship. Concurrent with her law degree, she earned an MS in Environmental Studies, focusing on watershed ecology, and a certificate in natural resources conflict resolution. She also served on the Public Lands and Resources Law Review.
Upon graduating, she focused her practice in water law while working for the boutique law firm of Franz & Driscoll, PLLP as a senior associate, where her practice consisted almost entirely of state based adjudication cases. She next worked for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) monitoring drought, serving as a water rights hearings examiner, acting as a state spokesperson in the Fort Belknap Water Right Compact, representing school trust lands, and gaining experience in federal court as amicus in various forestry related cases.