B.S.ing with Ben Wilson

In this episode of B.S.: Beyond Stereotypes, Ben Wilson chats with Merle Vaughn about how and why he developed the Diverse Partners Network, how he became one of the few Black environmental lawyers in the Country and why it is so rewarding to be a law professor at Howard University.


Ben Wilson
, chairman of Beveridge & Diamond, has been lead counsel in numerous complex environmental litigation and regulatory matters for major consumer product corporations, retailers, oil and gas companies, municipalities, and developers. He served as the Court-Appointed Monitor for the Duke Energy coal ash spill remediation project and serves as Deputy Monitor for Emissions & Environmental in the Volkswagen AG emissions proceedings. He previously served as lead counsel at the largest chromium site in the United States. Ben also offers deep experience with environmental justice representations and is a recognized leader on diversity and inclusion issues in the legal profession.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, after graduating from Harvard Law School Ben worked at the Atlanta, Georgia, law firm of King & Spalding, focusing on litigation and tax matters. He joined the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1979. At the Justice Department, he gained substantial trial expertise in commercial litigation matters, appearing on behalf of the government in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of Claims, and district courts throughout the U.S. While at the Justice Department, Ben received Special Achievement Awards in recognition of his performance in 1981 and 1982.

Before joining B&D, he was an associate at Rose, Schmidt, Chapman, Duff, and Hasley in 1983. In 1985, he became a partner in the firm, focusing on civil litigation. Ben joined B&D in 1986.

Ben is Chair of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and serves on the boards of PG&E Corporation and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College, and the Board of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) where he currently serves as Secretary. For the past 30 years, he has been the Chairman of the Environmental, Energy, and Public Utilities Law Section of the National Bar Association.

Ben also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law at the Howard University School of Law and co-founded the Howard Energy and Environmental Law Society. He has been a guest lecturer at the law schools of leading universities, including American University, Catholic University, George Washington University, Harvard University, Tulane University, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, and the Washington University in St. Louis. In 2018, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education featured Ben in the “Black Scholars Matter” series, celebrating Black academicians and their work.

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