Alexander W. Banks

Biography

Professor Alex Banks was one of four full-time staff attorneys who supervised the South Royalton Legal Clinic's student-clinicians. He specialized in clinical legal education, the representation of victims of domestic violence, and the representation of children.

He received his BA degree in history from Bates College in 1983 and his JD degree from Vermont Law School in 1987. After graduation, he served as staff attorney from 1987 to 1991 and managing attorney from 1991 to 1995 for Northwestern Legal Services in Farrell, Pennsylvania. He represented hundreds of low-income clients in a broad range of cases and forums and contributed to a series of community initiatives, including low-income housing alternatives, community center expansion, and the creation of a homeless shelter. In 1993, he served as lead counsel in Meyers vs. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court changed the evidentiary standard in administrative proceedings and redefined willful misconduct for purposes of unemployment compensation. Professor Banks drafted and implemented one of Pennsylvania's first countywide, mandatory pro bono plans, requiring members of the county bar to provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals.

Professor Banks joined Vermont Law School's faculty in 1995. He served on several county and state boards and committees organized to confront domestic violence and judicial reform. In 2005, he received a certificate of appreciation for his contributions to Vermont's Family Courts. In 2000, he received an appreciation award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy and Awareness from the Vermont Center for Crime Victims Services. Alex received numerous awards and certificates of appreciation for his contributions to the Guardian ad Litem program and the Vermont Judiciary.

Publications

Articles

​Alexander Banks & James C. May, Lawyering for Children in High-Conflict Cases, Vt. B. J. 51 (Winter 2007).

Presentations

​Convened panel for VBA training on special challenges of representin​g children (2005).​ ​
U.S. Supreme Court in Review, Program Chair, annual continuing legal education conference sponsored by Vermont Law School and Vermont Bar Association, 1997.​
​Presentations and training on Social Security, housing, and family law to members of the Pennsylvania bar, 1991-95.​
​Conducted numerous statewide trainings for Guardians ad Litem.
Ethics and Ethical Issues, training session for Vermont Legal Aid staff.
​Numerous domestic violence presentations and training provided for the benefit of a wide range of audiences, including court staff and the Vermont Bar Association throughout the state. ​

Awards & Accomplishments

Awards, Honors or Grants

​Received Certificate of Appreciation from the Vermont Supreme Court for service to Vermont Family Courts (2005).​
​Received Award of Appreciation for Outstanding Advocacy and Awareness by the Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, April 2000.​

Other Accomplishments or Activities

​Lead counsel in Meyers vs. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. Pennsylvania Supreme Court changed the evidentiary standard in administrative proceedings and redefined willful misconduct for purposes of unemployment compensation, 1993.
​Appellee’s Counsel in Raynes v. Rogers, – A.2d –, 2008 WL1758712 (Vt. 2008).​

Affiliations

​Member, Guardian ad Litem Oversight Committee.

​Member, Board of Directors, Mercer County Literacy Council, 1992-95.

​Adviser, Southwest Gardens Economic Development Corp., Farrell, PA, 1987-95.

​Chair, Northwestern Legal Services Housing Law Task Force, Farrell, PA, 1993-95.

​Member, Advisory Board and Board of Directors, Mercer County Children and Youth Services, 1993-95.

​Member, Windsor County Domestic Violence Task Force.

​Member, Bench-bar Committee, Mercer County Bar Association, 1991-95.

​Participant, Mercer County Industrial Development Authority, 1992-95.

Service Work

​Faculty Adviser, VLS chapter of Habitat for Humanity, since 1995.​
​Project Director, Children First! Legal Advocacy Project; provides representation to children in difficult family law cases.
​Drafted and administered Mercer County pro bono plan, Mercer County, PA, 1993-95.​