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Former Dean of Vermont Law School Dies at 68

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The Vermont Law School announced this week that former president and dean Geoffrey Benson Shields passed away at the age of 68 on August 2 in Guilford, according to a press release from the school found in the Brattleboro Reformer.

Vermont Law School Board of Trustees Chairman Edward C. Mattes, said the following in the release:

“Our hearts are heavy as we share the news of Dean Shields’ passing. Our former dean and president brought sweeping change to Vermont Law School, and he was a thoughtful and engaged member of the VLS community even after his retirement in 2012. He and Genie have been beloved members of the VLS family for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shields family.”

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Shields helped to establish the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment, the Center for Agriculture and Food System, an accelerated JD program, a U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law and the Land Use Clinic.

Shields also helped spearhead the construction of the Center for Legal Services and the school’s fitness center.

When Shields retired in 2012, he said, “I have loved this job. The opportunity to lead an institution with a mission of public citizenship, public service and environmental advocacy has been exhilarating. The quality and values of our trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni have lifted me every day since I started here.”

Shields became the seventh dean of the law school in August of 2004. He previously worked as a partner at Gardner, Carton & Douglas in Chicago. The firm is now Drinker, Biddle & Reath.

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