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Congratulations to the Award Winners

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June 1, 2021 

On Friday, May 14, the staff and faculty gathered virtually to recognize several members of the Class of 2020 and 2021 for outstanding service, stewardship, and leadership, and to confer upon them the following awards:

2021 Graduation

Diversity Award: April Urbanowski and Jameson Davis 

In recognition for inspiring multi-cultural awareness in the Vermont Law School community. 

April plans to take the Washington DC bar and work in environmental justice policy and advocacy. She’s looking forward to spending more time at the community garden, radio station, and playing with her dog.   

Jameson plans to litigate against environmental injustices facing vulnerable low-income and communities of color. By way of Title VI and environmental laws, he hopes to continue to demand equal enforcement for the protection of communities disproportionately burdened from toxic byproducts. He wishes to assist in the advancement of environmental justice through education, advocacy, and knowledge of the law. 

Clinical Legal Education Association Winner: Andrew Cliburn 

Awarded for excellence in clinical fieldwork based on the high quality of representation provided to clients and for exceptionally thoughtful, self-reflective participation in an accompanying seminar, as nominated by the clinical faculty of Vermont Law School. 

Andrew’s post-law school plans include a two-year clerkship for the Honorable Justice Carroll of the Vermont Supreme Court (a VLS grad herself!) 

Ballenger/Green Paper Competition Winner: Arielle Veronica King and Mariana Lizbeth Muñoz

Vermont Law Review established the Ballenger/Green Memorial Paper to provide Vermont Law School students with a forum to explore issues of human diversity in the law through legal scholarship. The competition recognizes and remembers Chandra Ballenger ’02 and Orlando Green ’01. Chandra and Orlando were exemplary VLS students who passed away abruptly during their law school careers. All Vermont Law School students may participate in the competition. The papers must address issues of human diversity and the law, such as race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, environmental justice, and international human rights, among others. 

Arielle is sitting for the Maryland bar this summer and just accepted a position as the Environmental Justice Staff Attorney at the Environmental Law Institute. She is also a finalist in the Miss Maryland USA pageant and will compete for the title in late July.   

Mariana will be clerking for the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division Two Commissioners in Tacoma, WA. 

Jonathon B. Chase Paper Competition Winner: Christopher Brady Eaves 

Vermont Law Review established the Chase Paper Writing Competition to recognize excellence in writing. The competition is named for the late Jonathon B. Chase, who was the third dean of Vermont Law School. Only third-year law students, excluding Vermont Law Review members, may participate in the competition. 

John Delemarre Award Winner: Michael Crouse 

Awarded for outstanding service to the Vermont Law School community in the enrichment and stewardship of the law school physical environment. 

Michael is taking the Washington D.C. Bar this summer. He is looking to work for the federal government, such as with FERC or the Department of Energy. Eventually, he hopes to work with low-income communities making alternative energy more affordable and accessible. 

National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award: Marissa Pizaña 

Presented to the outstanding law student in the graduating class of participating ABA-approved law schools who demonstrated academic achievement, exhibited motivation, tenacity, and enthusiasm; contributed to the advancement of women in society; promoted issues and concerns of women in the legal profession, and earned the respect of the dean and law faculty. Marisa’s goal is to be a litigator/appellate attorney and eventually work in the international human rights realm. 

Shirley Jefferson Perseverance Award: Carla Jean Usher 

Awarded for demonstrating extraordinary tenacity and perseverance in the face of adversity. Carla will begin a clerkship in September with Delaware Superior Court Judge Diane Streett. 

Marc Mihaly Environmental Leadership Award: Jameson Christopher Davis and Gillian Cowley 

Awarded for demonstrating leadership in the field of environmental law. 

Next year, Gillian will complete her master’s degree at Yale School of the Environment where she is concentrating on people, equity, and the environment. She will also work with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy on reform of the international trade regime to align with progressive climate policy. 

Jameson plans to litigate against environmental injustices facing vulnerable low-income and communities of color. By way of Title VI and environmental laws, he hopes to continue to demand equal enforcement for the protection of communities disproportionately burdened from toxic byproducts. He wishes to assist in the advancement of environmental justice through education, advocacy, and knowledge of the law. 

President's Leadership Award: Matthew Brooks and Lauren Rosenberg 

In appreciation for outstanding loyalty and devotion to the Vermont Law School community. 

Matthew will be clerking for the Connecticut Superior Court in New Haven, CT. After that, he hopes to pursue a career in litigation. 

Lauren is relocating to the DC/Baltimore area to work for a State’s Attorney Office. She hopes to implement the restorative justice practices she learned at VLS as a prosecutor there over the next few years. 

American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE) Scholarship and Leadership Award: Lauren Wustenberg 

This award is given to the student who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership, the qualities embodied by the American Law Institute. 

Lauren plans to work on addressing legal issues in food and agricultural supply chain governance to better support farmers’ and producers’ livelihoods while addressing environmental concerns from agricultural practices. 

International Academy of Trial Lawyers Student Advocacy Award: Sara Gaylon 

Given for distinguished achievement in the art and science of advocacy. Sara will be staying in Vermont while studying for the Vermont Bar Exam. 

2021 Class Gift: 

The Class of 2021 establishes the Dean Shirley Jefferson Gallery to be located in the Chase Connector. This gift will honor a tireless warrior for justice and a devoted educator who is often called “the heart and soul of Vermont Law School.” The Chase Connector is frequently used for art installations. This gift will support the installation of better lighting and display cases to protect from temperature and humidity fluctuations. The Class of 2021 contributes $4546 to this end.