Hillary Hoffmann teaches Constitutional Law, Natural Resources Law, and Native American law. Professor Hoffmann's scholarship addresses the systems governing natural resource use and allocation on public lands and tribal lands and the Constitutional tension arising from the sovereign status of indigenous nations operating in a federal system that continues to recognize federal power and authority over tribal lands. She has written and commented extensively on the administration and management of federal public lands and tribal lands, and her latest publications on these topics can be found in the L.A. Times, the Denver Law Review, and Law360. Recently, Professor Hoffmann has focused on the intersection between public land management and tribal cultural resource protection, and the particular threats faced by tribes attempting to defend their cultural heritage on federal and state lands. Listen to her interview for Public Radio International’s Living on Earth to hear more about how President Trump’s reduction of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah affected the tribal proponents of the Monument, or read her testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee on the impacts of oil and gas development (specifically, fracking) on tribal communities in Montana and North Dakota.
A native of northwest Colorado, Professor Hoffmann grew up on a small sheep ranch surrounded by the Routt National Forest, the Flattops Wilderness Area, and the Service Creek Wilderness Area. This environment fostered a life-long interest in public lands and natural resources policy, which remain the focal points of Professor Hoffmann’s teaching and scholarship. Before joining the faculty at Vermont Law School, Professor Hoffmann was in private practice in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she represented a variety of clients with recreation and conservation interests in federal public lands, including The Nature Conservancy, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, and the Grand Canyon Trust.
Professor Hoffmann received her BA in Spanish literature with High Honors from Middlebury College and her JD from the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. In law school, she was a William H. Leary Scholar, the Richard L. Dewsnup Fellow in Natural Resource Law, and a member of the Utah Law Review.
Tenth Circuit Issues Decision Regarding Claims to R.S. 2477 Rights of Way Over Federal Lands. Environmental Law Prof Blog, December 5, 2014.
Brief of Amici Curiae Natural Resources and Property Law Professors in Support of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Utah Supreme Court, October 9, 2015.
Brief of Amici Scholars of Statutory Interpretation and Native American Law in Support of Petitioners, in Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, et al. v. Borough of Jim Thorpe, et al., Supreme Court of the United States, July 2, 2015 (signatory).
Presenter, "Tribal Natural Resources Co-Management Agreements: Transitioning Natural Resource Management From a Jurisdictional Model to an Ecological Model," Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) Law and Governance Research Initiative and Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA) Workshop, McGill University Faculty of Law, Montreal, QC, October 18, 2017.
Awards & Accomplishments
Member, Sierra Club Litigation Committee Member (2014-present)
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2013-present)
Federal District Court for the District of Vermont (2006-present)
Vermont Supreme Court (2006-present)
Federal District Court for the District of Utah (2003-present)
Utah Supreme Court (2003-present)
American Bar Association