Get to Know: the Student Bar Association

Even though the VLS community is spread far and wide, we want to introduce you to people within our community so you can get to know them better.

In this second installment of the series, we want to introduce the Student Bar Association executive board.

Heather A. Francis, President

Heather is a 2L joint degree student earning a J.D./MFALP at Vermont Law School. She is from New Jersey, where she grew up and attended undergrad. She received a bachelor’s degree in international justice with two minors in environmental justice and nutrition and food science from Montclair State University. In undergrad, Heather successfully campaigned for a plant-based section on-campus, started an animal rights group, and worked on a divestment campaign. She also served as the school’s Student Government Executive Treasurer. Heather interned at the City of Newark’s Sustainability office, where she worked on a greenhouse gas inventory, a stewardship map, and worked with community members to discuss sustainability. This experience inspired Heather to attend law school—specifically to attend Vermont Law School to focus on environmental law, environmental justice, and food and agricultural law.

At VLS, Heather is Social Justice Mission Scholar, a T.A. for Civil Procedure, and a staff editor for law review. Aside from school, Heather loves to hike, cook new recipes, and try new restaurants (a pre-COVID-19 activity). Heather is currently listening to Billy Joel’s album, An Innocent Man, on repeat.

Nicole Adelman, Vice President of Student Affairs and Operations

Hey Swans!
My name is Nicole Adelman, but many of you know me as Nikki. I am a 2L in the joint J.D./MARJ program. I was born in Brooklyn, NY, raised in NJ, and moved back to Brooklyn after undergrad. Although law school was always the goal, I took a mini detour and pursued an M.A. in mental health counseling. My time in the program ultimately led me back to law school. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer—a prosecutor, to be exact. I want to work with children, women, and victims/survivors of sexual assault.

In my free time I usually cuddle with other people’s dogs, binge watch TV shows that I consider soap operas, hike, hang out with friends, and get out of my friend’s way while they bake. I’m always open to making new friends who have pets and can cook and bake better than I can. 😁

Ricardo Edwards, Vice President of Student Activities

Rico is a 2L Juris Doctorate candidate at Vermont Law School and a graduate of its M.A. in Restorative Justice program. He is seeking opportunities to apply his diverse policy, analytic, and data skillsets within the areas of environmental, civil rights, and/or criminal law.

James Mulhall, Treasurer

James is a New England native and a 2L JD student at Vermont Law School. James attended Fairfield University and graduated in 2018 with honors. James holds a Bachelor’s degree in History with a concentration on Eastern Europe. At Vermont Law School, James was part of the inaugural class for the Master of Arts in Restorative Justice and finished the degree requirements in the summer of 2019. Before attending VLS, James coached youth sports such as rowing, baseball, running, and soccer. James also spent the past two summers working for the Town of Hartford as a park steward and helped maintain the beauty of the Upper Valley area. In his free time, James is either out for a run, a walk, a hike, or enjoying a Vermont craft beer.

Serena White, Secretary

Hello Swans!

My name is Serena White, and I am a 2L here at Vermont Law school. I am currently a student clinician in the Environmental Justice Clinic, SBA Secretary, and a TA for Civil procedure. I am from Tampa, Florida and decided to return home for this whirlwind of a Fall semester. If, by some miracle, I have free time and I don’t feel pressure to work, I love watching documentary-style cooking shows (i.e. SALT FAT ACID HEAT), I love to paint, tea taste, and I LOVE discovering good underground musical artists. I hope you all are staying safe and are finding ways to create boundaries and stay organized. Even though we are all spread out, the VLS community is always in my thoughts and prayers. I hope to see you soon! Even if it’s virtually.

Blake Weinard, Parliamentarian

Blake is a 2L/AJD, and she has her Masters of Environmental Law and Policy with Distinction from VLS. She moved to Vermont from Florida after she graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Sustainability Studies from the University of Florida. While earning her MELP at VLS, Blake realized her passion for the law and how she can use it to fight against injustice and corruption while advocating for equality and social change.

Blake has been a Senator for the Environmental Law Society since she came to VLS. She helped bring back the Forum and was its Lifestyle Editor for a year. She works at Barrister’s Book Shop, where she can satiate her need for caffeine and love of books.

On top of being Parliamentarian for SBA, she is currently writing her AWR on racial issues in immigration laws and their enforcement in America. After graduating in 2021, Blake hopes to work in the fields of immigration and health care helping those marginalized by our current laws and policies. When she is not in class or studying, you can find Blake enjoying the outdoors, with her nose in a book, or jamming to her extensive record collection.

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