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Scholarship Recipient Recognized for Work Against Violence

January 21, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —

CONTACT:
Peter Glenshaw, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
Office: 802-831-1318, cell: 603-738-8487, home: 603-795-4764, pglenshaw@vermontlaw.edu

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., Jan. 22, 2014—Vermont Law School student Christopher Smith, '14, a staunch advocate for victims of violence, has been selected as the third recipient of the Erin Woolley Memorial Scholarship.

The annual award was established by the Class of 2010, which raised a record-breaking $83,000—more than doubling the previous VLS record for class gift funds—in the name of classmate Erin Woolley of Bangor, Maine. Woolley died in 2010, at age 26, from Hodgkin's lymphoma, and was awarded a JD degree posthumously that same year.

The $2,500 scholarship is awarded to a second- or third-year student who has overcome personal adversity; is ranked in the middle of the class; and has demonstrated commitment to domestic or international women’s or children’s issues, or is a champion for economic and social justice. Award recipients are selected by a committee comprised of the dean of students, the director of financial aid, the dean, and a representative of the Class of 2010 or the Student Bar Association.

"Christopher was selected because of his commitment to reducing and preventing sexual and domestic violence," said Professor Shirley Jefferson, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity. “He has worked tirelessly to educate the Vermont Law School community on the importance of supporting and volunteering at domestic violence agencies, and he has done extensive research and worked diligently to raise awareness about violence directed against transgender individuals.

“Through his work with the Vermont Law School ‘Take Back the Night’ Task Force, Christopher supported and organized events seeking to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse, and all other forms of sexual violence,” Jefferson said. “He exhibits all the attributes that the Class of 2010 envisioned when creating the Erin Woolley Scholarship.”

In addition to his work with “Take Back the Night,” Smith assistant-directed last year’s “V-Day” campaign production of “The Vagina Monologues,” part of a global movement to end violence against women and girls. A former regional chairman for the National LGBT Bar Association’s Law Student Congress, he is currently a Dean’s Fellow, teacher’s assistant for Constitutional Law, production editor for the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, and president of the Student Bar Association. He actively participates in VLS Alliance and serves as the Federalist Society secretary.

Smith earned a Bachelor’s from Suffolk University in 2011, majoring in Politics, Law & the Courts and History of Women & Gender. His honors thesis was titled “Patriotic Masculinity: Gender Performance of Hegemonic Masculinity in America’s WWII Military.” Since coming to VLS, he has interned for the Enterprise Corporate Finance Group for Prudential Financial, Inc. and clerked for Vermont’s Commissioner of Financial Regulation. His paper on conflict-mineral supply-chain disclosure is slated for publication in the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law.

Smith graduates with a JD from Vermont Law School in May 2014. After graduation, he plans to practice finance law and hopes to bring his commitment to gender equity into the corporate arena.

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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 www.vermontlaw.edu, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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