After practicing law in the 1980s, Lavinia worked for 20 years promoting sustainable transportation for the City of Portland. Most recently she has served as Operating Manager for construction of a net zero cohousing project built to Passive House standards where she and her husband now live with 5 other families. Lavinia is married to Richard Benner. Between them, they have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. She attended Smith College and received her law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland.