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Armstrong Trail, Pa. © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
With the assistance of pro bono counsel at the Pittsburgh law firm of K & L Gates,
RTC's legal program successfully defended the Armstrong Trail in Moody v. Allegheney Valley Land Trust, a case decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

More Information

If you would like to learn more about RTC's Legal Program, or if you wish to be a part of RTC's pro bono legal network, please contact RTC General Counsel Andrea Ferster at

RTC's Legal Program

Since its founding, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has been the nation's foremost—and in most cases, the only—legal advocate for rail-trails in the nonprofit sector. Through the services of RTC's general counsel, the RTC Legal Program provides a wide range of legal services to assist trail managers, trail advocates and their legal counsel on legal issues across the country.

Guided by RTC's Public Policy Litigation Policies and Procedures, the Legal Program identifies, monitors and participates in cases or legal proceedings that potentially affect the policy framework for rail-trail conversions in the courts and before administrative agencies. RTC's litigation program depends on a network of pro bono lawyers who assist RTC in drafting legal briefs and presenting arguments to the courts. RTC's Legal Program has participated in numerous landmark rail-trail cases, including the 1990 case, Preseault v. ICC, wherein the constitutionality of the federal Railbanking Law was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

RTC's Legal Program also provides legal support to protect and enhance the policy framework supporting rail-trails in Congress and state legislatures and before federal agencies. The Legal Program provides advice and assistance on legal issues concerning rail-trail acquisition, development and maintenance through training, technical assistance, conferences and workshops, and the development of written materials on legal issues relating to rail-trail conversions .

During the past year, RTC has received, with gratitude, pro bono service from the following law firms:

  • Jones Day – Cleveland, Ohio
  • Morrison & Foerster LLP – San Diego, Calif., and Washington, D.C.
  • K & L Gates – Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Charles Montange – Seattle, Wash.
  • Zuckert Scout & Rasenberger L.L.P. – Washington, D.C.

RTC General Counsel, Andrea Ferster

Andrea Ferster has served as RTC's general counsel since 1992. Ferster is one of the nation's foremost authorities on the legal issues relating to rail-trails. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1979, and her J.D. from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1984.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
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