Ben Leoni is a land-use and environmental attorney with a decade of experience in public and private practice. Ben is a proud 2011 graduate of Vermont Law School and is thrilled to be joining the faculty at VLS. While a student at VLS, Ben served as a Head Notes Editor of the Vermont Law Review, a Legal Writing Deans fellow, a teaching assistant for Legal Writing II and Appellate Advocacy, and was the winner of the Vermont Law Review Note Competition as well as the first VLS recipient of the national Burton Award for Legal Writing.
After Law School, Ben was a litigator in Portland, Maine where he focused on property and easement litigation, zoning and environmental appeals, and Maine's unique coastal Public Trust Doctrine. Ben has handled several trials in state court, has authored dozens of Maine Supreme Court briefs and argued several times before the Maine Supreme Court. Upon moving to Colorado in 2018, Ben spent a year litigating civil trade secret theft and employment disputes in federal courts before joining the Solicitor's Office of the United States Department of the Interior in early 2020. At the Solicitor's Office, Ben advises federal agencies within the Department of the Interior on all aspects of public land and environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), The Wilderness Act, the Taylor Grazing Act, the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), and many others. Ben also represents agencies before administrative law judges and the Interior Board of Land Appeals. Please note that all opinions expressed in Ben's classes reflect Ben's personal opinions and in no way reflect the opinions or policy of the United States Department of the Interior.
Ben is an avid backcountry skier, trail runner, mountain biker, surfer and fisherman. Before and during law school, Ben was a competitive freeskier and appeared in five ski films. Between 2013 and 2015, he produced and featured in a backcountry skiing webseries called "Working for the Weekend." Ben now lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Lindsay Bourgoine, MELP '15.