Professor Hillary Hoffmann's areas of expertise include natural resources law, public lands law, and the laws relating to indigenous peoples of the United States. Her scholarship analyzes the systems governing natural resource uses on federal and tribal lands and explores the conflicts that arise from energy development, mining, livestock grazing, and other extractive uses. Recently, she has focused on the impacts of the federal government's energy development policy on tribal and federal lands.
Professor Hoffmann has written and commented extensively on issues related to federal public lands and tribal lands. Her latest publications can be found in the L.A. Times, the Denver Law Review, and the Oregon Law Review. Her interview for Public Radio International’s Living on Earth explains how President Trump’s reduction of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah will affect natural and cultural resources within the former Monument boundaries, and her testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee describes the impacts of oil and gas development (specifically, fracking) on tribal communities in Montana and North Dakota.
Prior to joining the faculty at Vermont Law School, Professor Hoffmann practiced in the litigation group at Fabian & Clendenin, P.C. in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her practice included commercial contract disputes, general commercial litigation, administrative appeals, federal Indian law (ICWA), and natural resources law. She represented a wide variety of clients in state and federal court, and before the Department of Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. 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. Professor Hoffmann is licensed in Utah and Vermont and is admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A Third Way: Decolonizing the Law of Indigenous Cultural Protection (Cambridge Univ. Press, forthcoming 2020) (co-authored with Monte Mills, Assoc. Professor and Director, Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic, Alexander J. Blewett III School of Law, University of Montana).
Speaking Regional Truth to Washington Power Over Federal Public Lands, Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (forthcoming 2019).
"Trump's America First Energy Plan Puts Industry First, Environment Last", VJEL Top 10 Environmental Watchlist (co-authored with student Marisa Heiling, '20).
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 Federal Indian Law Professors in Support of Petitioner, Herrera v. Wyoming, United States Supreme Court (Sept. 18, 2018) (signatory).
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).
“Using Tribal Ecological Knowledge to Manage the Bears Ears National Monument,” Engaging Economies of Change, Canadian Society for Ecological Economics, 12th Biennial Conference, Waterloo, ONT (May 24, 2019).
"Ecological Law and Tribal Governance in the Bears Ears National Monument," Economics for the Anthropocene Webinar on Ecological Law and Governance, co-hosted by Vermont Law School and McGill University Faculty of Law (February 26, 2019).
"Tribal Natural Resource Co-Management Agreements: the Bears Ears National Monument," Indian Law and Policy in the Era of Trump, Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples Panel, American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA (Jan. 3, 2019).
FLPMA Mineral Withdrawal Revocations Under the Trump Administration, 9th Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School (Sept. 22, 2018).
Interview, "Oil and Gas Drilling Could Endanger U.S. Archaeological Sites," All Things Considered, National Public Radio (Aug. 19, 2018).
"FLPMA Mineral Withdrawals Under the Trump Administration," 64th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, Natural Resources Law Teachers' Workshop, Victoria, B.C. (July 22, 2018).
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
Awards, Honors or Grants
Dean’s Teaching and Service Award (2018/2019)
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