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Honorary Degree Recipients

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Professor Parenteau

Vermont Law School 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient Professor Patrick Parenteau Vermont Law School’s very own Professor Parenteau is this year's environmental honorary degree recipient and speaker. Professor Parenteau is retiring from Vermont Law School after 30 incredible years, and we are so pleased to honor his extraordinary contributions to the field of environmental law and Vermont Law School with this honorary degree.

Currently professor of law and senior counsel at the Environmental Advocacy Clinic, Professor Parenteau previously served as director of the Environmental Law Center for six years. In 2004, he founded the VLS Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, a model for environmental law clinics nationwide. After starting his career in legal aid, Professor Parenteau continued his commitment to public interest work through his eight years at the National Wildlife Federation, where he was vice president for conservation. Professor Parenteau went on to hold several high-level positions as a public official, including special counsel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and regional counsel to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1.

Professor Parenteau is widely recognized as an expert in all things environmental law, but especially for climate change, water pollution, and wildlife protection. His presence in the media is unmatched, being interviewed on what seems like a daily basis by the New York Times, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post to name just a few. He has written many book chapters and law review articles, but especially opinion pieces, which have appeared regularly in law journals, national newspapers, and other publications throughout his career. Professor Parenteau holds a BS from Regis University, a JD from Creighton University, and an LLM in Environmental Law from the George Washington University. This fall, Professor Parenteau will start his second term as a Fulbright Scholar at University College Cork in Ireland. Join us at 3:30 pm on Friday, May 20 for Professor Parenteau's address titled, "The First Generation of Environmental Advocacy, and Lessons for the Next."


Professor Gale Burford

Vermont Law School 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient Professor Gale Burford Vermont Law School is pleased to award honorary degree recipient Professor Gale Burford, a distinguished visiting scholar of Restorative Justice at Vermont Law School, and Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Vermont.

At UVM, Professor Burford served as department chair and as director of the University-State Child Welfare Training Partnership. He facilitated the beginnings of the Vermont Community Justice Consortium starting in 2001 through to its formalization. While at UVM, he carried out a multi-year study of the state’s efforts to implement family engagement approaches in its work with children and families.

Professor Burford has extensive experience in public service as a foster and group home parent, caseworker, and social work practitioner, trainer, supervisor, manager, and senior administrator in services for children, young people, and their families. He also maintained a private practice of individual, group, and family counseling for 25 years. He holds a BA from St. Martin’s University, Washington, a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington, and a PhD from the University of Stirling, Scotland, in Sociology and Social Policy. The development of VLS's Restorative Justice program is directly attributable to the work of Professor Burford, and we are grateful for his vision and collaboration.



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