​​​Social Justice Mission Scholars are dedicated to advocating for equal opportunity and civic engagement at the intersection of public service and social change.

Mission Scholarships support students who come to Vermont Law School with a cause, and who want to use the power of the law to make a difference in their communities and the world. Social Justice Mission Scholars are selected based on their previous experiences in social justice and an interest in public l service and social justice projects in the future. They are an active force on the VLS campus, partnering with student groups such as BLSA, ALS and SPEAK to host events and contribute to local community projects. Since their creation in 2015, the Social Justice Mission Scholars have organized or participated in numerous events around campus and the community:


  • Hosted and moderated a Vermont gubernatorial debate with the top candidates from each party;
  • Created and awarded the first VLS Social Justice Scholars Alumni Award to honor a VLS alumnus who has demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to causes of social justice;
  • Partnered with the Animal Law Society to host a speaking event with Steve Wise, President of the Nonhuman Rights Project, to speak about his decades-long work fighting for the rights of animals through the legal system;
  • Hosted a dinner with VLS Professor Reed Loder to discuss her research and scholarly work on the reintroduction of wolves into the Northeast United States;
  • Led a group of VLS students, in partnership with the Animal Law Society, on a volunteer day at the VINE Animal Sanctuary in Springfield, VT to help maintain the grounds for over one hundred rescued farm animals.​​

2015 Events

  • hosted Zephyr Teachout for a conference on her recent book, Corruption in America;
  • co-sponsored the IBUTWA High Tea with BLSA and Women's Law group to support victims of domestic violence in the Congo, and have developed a project, "Soap to Soap," using sales of locally made Vermont soaps to support the IBUTWA soap-making project in Congo; and,
  • co-sponsored a public debate with the VLS SPEAK organization on the Supreme Court's discussion on marriage equality with VLS Professors Greg Johnson, Peter Teachout, and Jackie Gardina.

Scholar Bios​​

Jessica Bullock—Jessica returned to her home state of Vermont to pursue a legal degree at Vermont Law School. Prior to attending VLS, Jessica spent two years teaching third grade at Mount Royal Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., through the Teach For America program. Jessica hopes to use her time at VLS to concentrate on juvenile, criminal, and education law and policy in Vermont. During her first year at VLS, Jessica founded the Vermont Law School SPEAK organization (awarded the SBA Student Group Pro Bono Award)​, a group dedicated to promoting debate, public speaking, education, and advocacy at VLS and throughout Vermont. Next year, Jessica will continue her work promoting debate through the SPEAK Prison Debate Initiative as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. This summer Jessica will work as an intern for Rutland County State's Attorney Rose Kennedy and serve as a summer law clerk with the Vermont Supreme Court in the chambers of Justice Marilyn Skoglund. ​

Rasheta Butler—Rasheta grew up in Chicago,IL. and attended Northern Illinois University. Rasheta received two Bachelor's degrees, one in Political Science with and emphasis in public law and the other in Sociology. Rasheta went on to obtain her M.S.W. at Aurora University. While obtaining her Master in Social Work Rasheta worked full-time as a Teen Parent Specialist for the Department of Child and Family Services of Illinois. Then after, relocated to North Caroline to work in Wilderness Therapy at T.R.A.I.L.S Carolina working with adolescents. Rasheta came to law school with the desire to gain a deeper understanding of the law. Rasheta want to better advocate for her clients, specifically concerning juvenile justice and child custody issues. Rasheta will be spending the summer working at the Defender General Central office in Montpelier, VT.

Andrea "Danny" Folds—Danny is a Georgia native searching for people's sources of meaning. She specifically works at the intersection of faith and social justice, and helps communities with different ideologies understand each other's perspectives and missions. During and after her studies in sustainable development and theology, Danny worked with a wide range of intersectional NGOs. She has focused on issues of LGBTQ rights in Central America, labor rights in Nashville and Atlanta, and Quaker education in Costa Rica. Currently, Danny is working toward her JD in hopes of strengthening the voice of faith communities in environmental policy, and bridging the seeming gap between the distinct but interdependent ideologies of religion and environmental justice.

Tucker Jones—Tucker's interest in social justice and community issues began when he resettled a refugee family and studied the local school system as an undergraduate at Franklin and Marshall College. After college he moved to Burlington, Vt., where he helped Vermonters with poor credit secure affordable housing as a financial literacy counselor. He entered VLS in the fall of 2014 as a JD student, and will be spending the summer of 2015 with the Criminal Unit of the Vermont Attorney General's office. ​

Will Lowrey JD'17—Will arrived at Vermont Law School after a lengthy career in the corporate world managing projects and business processes in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. In parallel to his prior career, Will spent the last 12 years leading or volunteering with numerous animal welfare and animal rights organizations. His primary areas of focus included advocacy/rescue of pit bulls, community outreach for dogs in low-income neighborhoods, animal fighting awareness, and response and sheltering of animals impacted by disasters. Will has also spent time working with Native Americans on various reservations and disadvantaged teens in foster care. Will originally obtained his degree in criminal justice from Virginia Commonwealth University and is interested in prosecuting animal crimes or lobbying for stronger legislation to protect animals.​

Nico Lustig JD/MFALP'19—Before starting at Vermont Law School in August 2016, Nico worked as the Food Business Development Specialist at the Franklin County Community Development Corporation, FCCDC, in Western Massachusetts. In this role, she helped many New England farmers and start-up entrepreneurs develop and grow sustainable food businesses. She participated as a working group leader for the State of Massachusetts’ Local Food Action Plan; Co-chaired the Franklin County Food Council; and coordinated the New England Food Processors Community of Practice through the Farm to Institution New England (FINE) network. For 12 years before working for the FCCDC, Nico managed two regional Natural Foods Cooperative Markets—The Blue Hill Food Co-op in Maine and The Franklin Community Co-operative in Western Massachusetts.

Sara C. McClurg JD'18—Prior to coming to Vermont Law School, Sara worked for and volunteered with various nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Sara worked for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organization based in Manhattan. She has also volunteered with animal rescue organizations and shelters, working with the community on animal-related issues. Sara is interested in both criminal law and environmental law, and is pursuing a career in the legal field working toward social justice.

Zoe Newman—Zoe is enrolled in VLS’s Accelerated Juris Doctor (AJD) program. Prior to law school, she spent several years working in public policy for the Vermont Secretary of State. Zoe is committed to the democratic process and inspiring young women to become engaged in the political process; she serves as the legislative chairwoman for VT Girls State, running a mock legislative program for high school-age girls from around the state. In the past, she has volunteered for Outright Vermont and Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program and has a specific interest in transgender and immigration law. This summer, Zoe will be working in the South Royalton Legal Clinic.

Rachel Oest—​Before attending Vermont Law School, Rachel dedicated a year to disaster and humanitarian relief through AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps and worked alongside the Center for Health, Environment and Justice to promote healthy communities. Rachel plans to use her legal education to advocate for communities facing environmental injustice.

Andrew Rome JD'17Before coming to Vermont Law School, Andrew spent seven years working in two large mental health facilities that provide school based services for populations of children with Emotional Behavioral Disorder, and with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Andrew is interested in pursuing criminal law, education, disability, and employment law. This summer Andrew will be a summer law clerk with the Vermont Supreme Court, in the chambers of Justice Dooley.

Laura Savall JD'18—Laura Savall is committed to social justice initiatives within the Vermont Community. She has developed a court safety manual which allows victims of domestic violence equal access to justice on Relief From Abuse docket days in Vermont family courts. Currently, Laura is working at the VLS Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic advocating for the protection and preservation of Vermont natural resources for all Vermonters. This summer she will intern with VNRC and will further help Vermonters to protect and preserve their natural resources. She hopes to continue advocating for social justice missions after graduating.

Sarah Seese JD'17—Sarah grew up in West Virginia and attended West Virginia University, receiving a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in geography and Spanish. Sarah spent her four years of undergrad working with a Nicaraguan coffee cooperative, helping to fundraise and facilitate food sovereignty and sustainability projects for the farm. Sarah came to law school with the desire to learn to advocate for the underprivileged, specifically concerning access to education. Sarah will be spending the summer working in the Civil Rights Unit of the Vermont Attorney General's Office.


"Tucker, Sarah, Jessica and Andrew are our first Social Justice Mission Scholars. They are an amazing group, contributing in many ways to the life of VLS and to the community. It has been a privilege to meet with them over dinners and breakfasts to talk about ideas and help develop the projects they have identified."​​​​​