Dean Jefferson receives national award for commitment to diversity

Jefferson and Ricky Armand JD’12, Associate, Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, PLLC. Photo provided.

By Susan Warner, Forum Contributor

Shirley A. Jefferson, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity and Associate Professor of Law at Vermont Law School, was honored at the 15th Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference on Nov. 9 with the Legal Education Access and Diversity Champion Award.

Jefferson was lauded by the awards committee for her “outstanding commitment and service in helping aspiring Black lawyers better understand what it takes to be successful applicants, law students, and lawyers.”

Jefferson, who joined the law school administration in 1999, also serves on the faculty and teaches Race and the Law.

Prior to joining VLS, Jefferson served as general counsel for the United Black Fund, Inc., associate counsel in the law office of Wilhelmina J. Rolark, and a legislative assistant on the Committee on Judiciary to Council Member Wilhelmina J. Rolark.

“I am honored to be recognized with this award and even more honored to work with, and provide guidance to, so many aspiring lawyers,” Jefferson said.

“And I am proud of the mission-driven work done at Vermont Law School and by our alumni. We are committed to developing a strong, diverse community of students who are prepared to take on the challenges of our global society.”

In addition to Jefferson’s award, the National Black Pre-Law Conference recognized VLS with the Outstanding Law School Diversity Outreach Award for “demonstrating a sustained commitment to reaching out to Black prospective applicants through participation in the Law Fair 15 years in a row.” VLS was the only educational institution recognized with two awards this year.

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