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Jackie Gardina Receives Tenure at Vermont Law School

May 21, 2010

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- The Vermont Law School Board of Trustees today granted tenure to Professor Jackie Gardina.

Gardina, who joined the VLS faculty in 2003, specializes in four main areas: civil procedure; administrative law; bankruptcy, with an emphasis on environmental obligations in bankruptcy; and sexual orientation and gender identity issues. She received a master's degree in social work from Boston University and worked as an outpatient clinical social worker before graduating from Boston College Law School. After that, she clerked for Chief Judge William Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and then for the Honorable Levin Campbell of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. She also was an associate at the Boston firm of Choate, Hall, and Stewart, where she practiced commercial litigation.

Over the past year, Gardina's teaching included a summer course in Environmental Obligations in Bankruptcy at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii. At VLS, she taught Civil Procedure I & II and Administrative Law. She incorporated current events and human rights issues throughout her classes, adding cases and problem sets that addressed race, gender, sexual orientation and other marginalized groups. Among the issues she had students discuss was the "don't ask, don't tell" law, which prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. armed forces. VLS is one of only two law schools in the nation that bar military recruiters from campus because of "don't ask, don't tell." She also served as a mentor to several young faculty members and, along with another professor, proposed to overhaul how the Civil Procedures course is taught, so that students are exposed to negotiation, arbitration and other dispute-resolution processes and not just the litigation model that is currently used.

Gardina's service to VLS over the past year included counseling students, serving on various committees, advising the Alliance student group and coordinating with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to hold a trial at VLS. She was a faculty co-recipient of the Phenomenal Woman Award given by the Women's Law Group. Also, the family of the late Kollette "Cookie" Meyer, who established the Cookie Scholarship after she died in a propane plant explosion, credited Gardina for helping to organize VLS students to research multiple causes of action that could be brought against Meyer's former employer.
In terms of service to the larger community, Gardina served on the American Association of Law Schools' government relations committee, specifically to engage the AALS in efforts to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law, and on the AALS Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Section Executive Committee. She also was a board member of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Board and the Society of American Law Teachers.

Gardina's scholarship over the past year included a Vermont Law Review article titled "The Tipping Point: Legal Epidemics, Constitutional Doctrine, and the Defense of Marriage Act." Among her works in progress is an article titled "Federal Preemption: A Roadmap for the Application of Tribal Law in State Courts," which contends state courts are not necessarily free to apply state law when the state court is exercising concurrent adjudicative jurisdiction with tribal courts. She continues to research the treatment of environmental obligations in the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcies. She spoke on a number of panels, made several presentations and helped to coordinate a conference with the University of Vermont titled "The Law and Politics of Marriage Equality: Vermont, the Nation, and the World."

Gardina also completed a number of media interviews on the "don't ask, don't tell" law and other issues with The Chronicle of Higher Education, the National Law Journal and other news outlets.

John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations

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