Lawyer Benjamin F. Wilson was born on June 29, 1951 in Bloomington, Indiana to Anna and Harrison B. Wilson, Jr. He graduated from the Jackson State College Laboratory School in Jackson, Mississippi in 1965, and the Wilbraham Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts in 1969. Wilson earned his B.A. degree in history in 1973 from Dartmouth College, and his J.D. degree with honors in 1976 from Harvard Law School.
Wilson began his career as an associate at the Atlanta, Georgia law firm King & Spalding in 1976. He then joined the civil division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1979 where he handled commercial litigation matters. Wilson was later hired by Rose, Schmidt, Chapman, Duff, and Hasley in 1982 as an associate where he focused on civil litigation and was promoted to partner in 1983. Wilson subsequently joined Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. in November of 1986 where he served as lead counsel in numerous complex environmental litigation and regulatory matters for major consumer product corporations, retailers, oil and gas companies, municipalities, as well as developers. He was named managing partner of the firm in 2008 and chairman of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. in 2017. Wilson also served as an adjunct professor of environmental law at the Howard University School of Law where he also co-founded the Howard Energy and Environmental Law Society.
Wilson has served on many boards throughout his career, including as chair of the Environmental Law Institute, on the board of directors of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, the board of trustees of Dartmouth College, as secretary on the board of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and as chairman of the Environmental, Energy, and Public Utilities Law section of the National Bar Association from 1987 to 1998.
Wilson has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession in 2014, the Washington Bar Association’s Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit in 2016, and the Presidential Award from the National Bar Association in 2019.
Benjamin F. Wilson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 24, 2020.