National Preservation Law Conference 2024

Thursday, September 12, 2024
8:30 AM—5:30 PM

D.C. Bar Association
901 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Or Online!

Join your colleagues in Washington, D.C. for an in-depth look into preservation law, highlighting the most recent and influential developments while providing you with the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate and champion key preservation issues.

The conference is a program of Preservation Leadership Forum and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).

Make connections!

This is your chance to network with your peers, making connections to support your work throughout the year. Breaks, lunches, and an evening reception are the perfect opportunity to build these strong relationships and networks.

We’ll also be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Betsy Merritt, Deputy General Counsel, at the National Trust during the conference and reception. Betsy’s continuing career achievements have greatly impacted the field of preservation, and we’re excited for more to come.

Professional development!

The National Preservation Law Conference 2024 allows you to enhance your leadership skills to more effectively save the places that matter in your community. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits will be available.

In-person rate includes coffee and snack breaks, lunch, and an evening reception.

Registration Rates

  • $250 Discounted Rate: For Preservation Leadership Forum, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and D.C. Bar members. Including government employees and students.
  • $495 Standard Rate
  • $250 Online Rate

Join Forum for member discounts! Forum members receive discounts on trainings and conferences. Take advantage of the significant discounts for PastForward and the National Preservation Law Conference. Membership starts at $195.


Stay tuned for more details and information about speakers.

Thursday, September 12, 2024

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Registration and Refreshments

9:00 AM – 9:10 AM

Welcome and Introduction

Speakers: Carol Quillen, CEO and President, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Thompson Mayes, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation

9:10 AM – 9:30 AM

Life after Chevron

This session will explore the impact of Loper Bright & Relentless Inc. cases on the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act.

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM

Historic Preservation and Affordable Housing and State Preemption Laws

Should historic districts be treated differently when there is little or no access to affordable housing? Are historic preservation exclusions written into housing policies and laws just another form of NIMBYism?

This discussion looks at exclusions or carve outs for special treatment of historic districts under state housing laws that are intended to streamline building housing in areas where there is a housing crisis.

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM


10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

Emerging Best Practices Section 106 Nationwide Program Alternatives

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and federal agencies are increasingly developing and implementing alternatives to the Section 106 process. Hear from the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and the National Trust about emerging best practices for program comments, programmatic agreements, and exemptions.

11:15 AM – 11:50 AM

Teaching Preservation Law

Examine common approaches, topics, and materials used to teach preservation law in 2024.

11:50 AM – 12:40 PM

Lunch (Provided)

12:40 PM – 12:50 PM

Introduction for Elizabeth Merritt

12:50 PM – 1:15 PM

The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat: 40 Years of Service as a Preservation Lawyer and Advocate

Elizabeth Merritt, Deputy General Counsel, National Trust recalls her 40 years of service to historic preservation and highlights an array of important historic preservation law issues and cases she was involved with.

1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Renewable Energy and Historic Preservation

This session will examine legal challenges to wind and solar projects as well as transmission line projects. In addition, panelists will provide an overview and use of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and discussion of renewable energy projects and their impacts on historic resources and landscapes.

2:00 PM – 2:15 PM


2:15 PM – 3:25 PM

Local Law Issues

During this session, panelists will review current trends and issues in local preservation law, religious properties, and due process.

3:25 PM – 4:00 PM

18 Years After Congressional Reforms: Preservation & Conservation Easements in 2024

Overview of trends in tax law cases on preservation easements and congressional scrutiny on easement syndication.

4:00 PM – 4:15 PM

Closing Remarks

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM

Closing Reception

Plan Your Trip to DC

  • D.C. Bar Association (901 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001) is within walking distance from the Union Station Metro Station on the Red Line and near several bus lines, as well as the DC Circulator.
  • Union Station is also the hub for Amtrak and Marc trains.
  • Capital Bikeshare is metro DC's bikeshare service. There are several stations within walking distance of the event space.
  • From DCA - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
    • Taxi: Approximately $20-$25.
    • Metro: Take the Blue Line Metro in the direction of Largo to Metro Center. Change to the Red Line in the direction of Glenmont. Take the Red Line to the Union Station Metro Station.
  • From IAD - Washington Dulles International Airport
    • Taxi: Approximately $50-$65
    • Metro: Take the Silver Line Metro in the direction of Largo to Metro Center. Change to the Red Line in the direction of Glenmont. Take the Red Line to the Union Station Metro Station.
  • From BWI - Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
    • Taxi: Approximately $75 – $100

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