About Ben's Work
Ben is currently pursuing a joint JD-MS degree at Stanford Law School and Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. An aspiring movement lawyer, Ben is focused on advancing environmental justice, alleviating poverty, and defending workers’ rights in communities burdened by the fossil fuel industry. Ben comes from a background in community organizing and state politics and has worked extensively with communities advocating for a more just and inclusive energy system across the southern United States and in California. He hopes to use traditional legal tools to hold polluters to account while facilitating a just transition by implementing locally driven solutions.
Ben holds a B.A. in History from Middlebury College. Before starting graduate school, he spent a year abroad as a Watson Foundation Fellow and worked on immigrant justice and voter protection issues in Arizona and Georgia. More recently, as a student attorney in Stanford’s Environmental Law Clinic, Ben represented a coalition of environmental justice organizations in a lawsuit challenging an oil refinery in a disadvantaged Bay Area community, writing the legal briefs and arguing the case in court. He provides research and technical support for a number of other just transition initiatives, including rural electric co-ops in Appalachia seeking to secure federal funding for energy efficiency programs; civil rights organizations in Jackson, Mississippi, combatting disinvestment and the city’s water crisis; and communities in California’s Central Valley seeking to hold their local governments accountable for racial discrimination in the provision of public works and municipal services.
Passionate about advancing community-driven visions of an equitable and resilient future, Ben is excited to continue this work in the Switzer community.