Ruiz, C. Cole

(512) 322-5887

Cole's practice focuses on counseling landowners and governmental and nonprofit client boards and management on natural resource-related legal and policy issues and governance, including statutory and regulatory compliance, water rights, water markets and security, water and land transactions, permitting, infrastructure finance, land use, water resource management and development, utility regulation, open government, contested cases, litigation and administrative proceedings, and governmental relations. As Chair of the University of Texas Environmental Science Institute’s Advisory Council, Cole’s practice focuses on the nexus of science, law, and public policy.

Prior to joining the firm, Cole cut his teeth in regional water planning at the San Antonio River Authority, while serving as Project Manager for the South Texas Regional Water Planning Group (Region L) and the Regional Water Alliance. While at the River Authority, Cole also helped steer the agency's Legislative Program, while developing strategic partnerships with local and state political subdivisions, elected officials, and staff. During his time at the River Authority, Cole was tapped as Program Leader, overseeing the implementation of various sustainability projects, which focused on low-impact develop and flood planning needs. Cole served as Legislative Intern for then, State Representative Doug Miller during the 83rd Legislative Session. Prior to that, Cole spent summers working on his grandfather's drilling rig, providing water well services across South Texas.

  • Admitted to State Bar of Texas (2019)
  • J.D., St. Mary's University School of Law (2018)
  • M.A. in International Relations, St. Mary's University (2018)
  • B.A. Double Major in Government and History, University of Texas (2011)
Cole represents and counsels landowners, water supply corporations, regional water authorities, groundwater conservation districts, and other political subdivisions of the state in administrative proceedings, regulatory and statutory compliance, resource management and development, and governmental relations. He especially enjoys tackling the complex and novel legal, economic, and political challenges his clients face, and has gained significant experience before administrative bodies, legislative committees, and governing boards.
  • Speaker and co-panelist, “Annexation Request, Aquifer Conservation Alliance,” concerning a groundwater conservation district’s duties upon receiving a landowner annexation petition, presented with co-panelists Keith Elliston, Vince Clause, and Kristen Fancher at the 21st Annual Bell County Water Symposium (2022)
  • Author and Speaker, “Texas Water Utility Regulation,” HalfMoon Education, Inc.’s “Texas Water Rights and Regulation” Conference (2022)
  • Author and Speaker, “Growing Pains: The Evolving Law and Regulations Governing Retail Public Utility Service in Texas Municipal ETJs during Times of Urban Sprawl,” UT Law CLE’s 26th Annual Land Use Conference (2022)
  • Guest lecturer on groundwater law at the Texas A&M School of Law Environmental & Natural Resources Systems Clinic (2022)
  • Guest speaker on environmental science and public policy career paths at the University of Texas, Jackson School of Geoscience (2021)
  • Moderator and co-panelist, “New Understandings of the Trinity Aquifer System,” presented with co-panelists Mike Keester, Vince Clause, and Dr. Joe Yelderman at the 20th Annual Bell County Water Symposium (2021)
  • Speaker, “A GCD Guide to Federal Courts,” co-panelist on “Legal Issue Panel,” at Texas Alliance of Groundwater Conservation Districts 2021 Texas Groundwater Summit
  • Speaker, “Regionalization: Texas’s Regulatory Framework for Public Water Systems,” presented at Association of Water Board Directors 2021 Annual Conference.
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section
    • Administrative Law Section
    • Legislative and Campaign Law Section
  • Austin Bar Association
    • Administrative Law Section
    • Environmental Law Section
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association
  • Member, Texas Water Conservation Association
  • Chair, University of Texas Environmental Science Institute Advisory Counsel
  • Member, Texas Alliance of Groundwater Conservation Districts
  • Admitted to the College of the State Bar of Texas (2022)
Hailing from Castroville, Texas, Cole is a history buff, who spends his time outside the firm among the hinterlands of rural Texas, running trails, camping, or enjoying one of Texas's many roadside burger joints. You may find him and his wife, Brittany, boarding a flight headed to the unknown, or cruising down IH-35 in a burnt orange Jeep, top down, to the subtle tunes of Guy Clark or Bob Dylan. While sports and reading are priority, he finds respite at local feederies or in his kitchen cooking global cuisine for friends and family, including his pup, Topanga, who's developed a fastidious preference for saffron risotto.

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