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Inaugural Williams Fellowship Awarded to Vermont Law Student for Human Rights Work

May 30, 2014

Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Media Relations, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593,

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., May 30, 2014—A Vermont Law School student has been awarded a fellowship to support her work with the Vermont Human Rights Commission this summer.

Wendy Hoffman ’15 is the inaugural recipient of the Jonathan J. Williams Memorial Fellowship, established to celebrate the life and legacy of Jonathan J. Williams ’87, a Vermont Law School alumnus who passed away in 2001. The award, a $4,000 stipend, supports Hoffman’s internship with the Vermont Human Rights Commission for the summer of 2014. The commission’s mission is to promote full civil and human rights in the state, and to protect people from unlawful discrimination.

Williams, who served on the Vermont Law School alumni board for several years, is remembered by Vermont Law School friends and colleagues for his dedication to bringing justice to underserved communities and helping those in need. “Jonathan crowded into his all-too-short career a profound and bewilderingly diverse legacy of service to those most vulnerable and most subject to injustice, both in our local community and our global society,” said Assistant Professor of Law Alex Banks ’87, staff attorney at Vermont Law School’s South Royalton Legal Clinic. Banks graduated from VLS with Williams and also worked with him at Northwestern Legal Services in Pennsylvania.

“In creating this fellowship, we are doing more than simply awarding a cash stipend,” Banks said. “It is our hope that the beacon of Jonathan’s life work and his spirit will inspire Wendy and future recipients to follow his lead in service—to address fundamental injustices and build bridges between culturally diverse communities.”

Vermont Law School offers several public interest fellowships in addition to the Jonathan J. Williams Memorial Fellowship. For more information, visit, email, or call 802-831-1239.


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two Master’s Degrees (Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and Master of Energy Regulation and Law), and three post-JD degrees—LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, and LLM in Environmental Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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