Steve Leonard is one of the leading environmental lawyers and litigators in Boston.


He began his practice as a legal services lawyer and public defender, where he acquired courtroom skills that have proved valuable throughout his career.


At the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Steve first specialized in environmental law. His public career culminated in seven years as Chief of the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Division, where he was responsible for all of Massachusetts’ environmental litigation in the federal and state courts. ese cases required close consultation with other public officials, including the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Governor’s Legal Counsel. In addition to supervising a staff of 10 Assistant Attorneys General, Steve handled major cases himself, including all of the successful federal court litigation challenging offshore oil drilling on the Georges Bank fishing grounds.


Following his government service, Steve was a partner at two major Boston law firms, where he continued his environmental and litigation practice and broadened it to include work on major real estate and corporate transactions. Steve’s clients in private practice have included major multi-national corporations, real estate developers, public authorities and government agencies, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and individuals.


Steve has now brought his practice to Cronin & Leonard, where he continues to represent a variety of public and private clients in both litigation and transactional work.


Steve’s recent matters include trial and appellate litigation successfully defending the MBTA’s siting of accessibility improvements in historically sensitive locations in Boston; defense of a citizen suit alleging that operation of a quarry and asphalt manufacturing facility violates the federal Clean Water Act; representation of an industrial laundry in

administrative proceedings brought by EPA under the federal Clean Air Act; administrative hearings and subsequent judicial proceedings resulting in the issuance of a wetlands permit for a major subsidized housing project; negotiating agreements with EPA and Massachusetts DEP permitting one of the country’s largest shopping center owner to build a

new center on a former federal Superfund site; working with another of the nation’s largest shopping center owners on DEP’s proposed adoption of stringent new stormwater regulations; and representation of the City of Boston in litigation over a new runway at Logan International Airport.


Steve has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and has been listed for many years in The Best Lawyers in America; Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; and Practical Law Company’s Cross-border Environment multi-jurisdictional Guide.


Steve is very active in civic and bar association activities. He is a past Chair of the Boston Bar Association Environmental Law Section and of its Environmental Litigation and Public Policy Committees. He has taught continuing legal education courses and panels at the American Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. He regularly serves on advisory panels, most recently the DEP Regulatory Reform Working Group.


Steve is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Celebriy Series of Boston. He is immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.


Steve has brought his professional experience into academic settings, for many years teaching at two Boston-area law schools, Northeastern (Trial Practice and Environmental Law) and Harvard (Federal Litigation).


Steve attended the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School.