William F. (Fritz) Paulus

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My upbringing in Oregon and an abiding connection to the land drew me to conservation and natural resource issues. Protection of our landscapes and wildlife, and providing outdoor recreational opportunities has always been my passion. My first notable conservation act was when my sister and I persuaded our parents to forgo removing a big Doug-fir that was in the path of a proposed driveway extension at our home. This same passion caused me in 2001 to change course from a promising criminal law career to land conservation acquisition.

Since then I have worked for Oregon’s largest regional government and a cutting-edge, state-wide nonprofit to acquire land and water rights to improve stream health, protect wildlife habitat, and provide people access to nature in Oregon. My deals range from big to small—properties of just a few acres to a thousand; donations and multi-million dollar purchases. I have negotiated a variety of real property and water right transactions: fee title purchases, conservation easements, land exchanges, trail easements, life estates, and in-stream flow agreements.

I now put this diverse and extensive experience to work for individuals, organizations, and government entities that need legal representation and advice in a variety of conservation, land-use, and real estate matters.

With all clients, my goal is to provide results-oriented legal services with a positive attorney-client relationship. I enjoy helping people solve their problems—one reason I went into the law—as well as the intellectual rigor and expertise of the profession.

I like to employ problem-solving techniques learned at the Harvard Negotiation Institute to advocate for clients using “interest-based” negotiation versus merely “positional bargaining.” This approach strives to produce favorable outcomes for a client by examining the underlying interests of the parties involved, understanding the alternatives of a negotiated agreement, exploring solutions for mutual gain before committing to any particular option, using clear and effective communication in the process, and basing a decision on standards of legitimacy that seem fair to the parties. This process also helps to build or maintain the desired relationship with the other party or parties.

The long and short of it is that I am committed to representing you to the best of my ability to achieve your goals and protect your financial and legal interests.


  • J.D., University of Oregon
  • B.A., Whitman College, Mathematics
  • South Salem High School

Professional Memberships

  • Oregon State Bar, member since 1991 (section memberships, 2018: Environmental and Natural Resources, Real Estate and Land Use, and Sustainable Future)
  • U.S. District Court (Oregon)
  • Land Trust Alliance
  • Multnomah Bar Association

Other Professional Experience

  • Metro Regional Government’s Natural Areas and Capital Program Performance Oversight Committee 
  • Author, Conservation Easements, Chapter 59 Oregon Real Estate Deskbook
  • Harvard Negotiation Institute, Tools for Preparing and Negotiating Effectively
  • Real Estate Negotiator, Metro Natural Areas Program
  • Executive Director, Oregon Water Trust
  • Board Member (President, 2000), Friends of Trees
  • Assistant Attorney General, Oregon Dept. of Justice, Trial Division
  • Staff Attorney, Multnomah Defenders Inc.
  • Judicial Clerk, Hon. Edwin E. Allen, Lane County Circuit Court