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Shirley A. Jefferson JD'86

Inaugural recipient of the newly unveiled Dean Shirley Jefferson Distinguished Service Award, which was established by the VLGSAA Board

Shirley Jefferson HeadshotShirley Jefferson joined Vermont Law School in 1999, initially serving as an admissions counselor and the director of alumni affairs. Dean Jefferson is now the associate dean for student affairs and diversity and an associate professor, teaching classes such as Race and the Law. Serving as the school’s senior student affairs officer, she reports to the president and dean on fostering and advancing a strategic and integrated approach to student matters. Dean Jefferson is also responsible for advising and mentoring the Student Bar Association and 50 other student organizations as they develop leadership abilities and practice life skills, self-governance, and organizational management.

As the dean for diversity, she is a member of the senior leadership team, creating a unique environment for manifesting a commitment to cultural diversity, promoting law school-wide diversity goals and initiatives, and highlighting the value of diversity throughout the school as it relates to the school’s diversity plan.

Prior to joining VLS, Dean Jefferson served as general counsel for the United Black Fund, Inc., associate counsel in the law office of Wilhelmina J. Rolark, and a legislative assistant on the Committee on Judiciary to Council Member Wilhelmina J. Rolark. While attending VLS, Dean Jefferson received the Alumni Association Award and was a Debevoise Family Scholarship recipient. She also founded the Minority Student Group at VLS.