Office of the General Counsel
Office PersonnelOur office is comprised of four attorneys and two staff members.
Francine Bazluke, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Francine Bazluke joined the UVM Office of the General Counsel in 1985 and has served as general counsel since 1994. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and Juris Doctor from The National Law Center at George Washington University. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable Albert W. Coffrin, U.S. District Court, District of Vermont, and her experience before joining the UVM Office of the General Counsel also includes service as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., and in private practice at the Burlington, Vermont, law firm of Paul, Frank + Collins P.C. Ms. Bazluke is a past president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and has authored various professional publications, given conference presentations regarding legal issues in higher education, and taught graduate students enrolled in the UVM Higher Education Student Affairs program.
Thomas Mercurio, Deputy General Counsel
Thomas D. Mercurio joined the UVM General Counsel’s Office in 1988 and currently serves as Deputy General Counsel. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctor from Boston College. Before coming to UVM, Mr. Mercurio was a law clerk for the New Hampshire Supreme Court and an instructor at Vermont Law School. He was also a staff attorney with Vermont Legal Aid, Inc., and served as legal counsel to the Vermont Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education. Mr. Mercurio has taught courses in education law, higher education law, and special education law.
Lucy Singer, Senior Associate Counsel
Lucy A. Singer joined the UVM General Counsel’s Office in 2005 and current serves as Senior Associate Counsel. She holds a bachelor's degree from Southwest Missouri State University; a graduate degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; and a Juris Doctor degree from St. Louis University School of Law. After completing a federal clerkship with the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Ms. Singer was in private practice in St. Louis, Missouri, where her practice focused on education law for K-12 public school districts and private institutions and representation of institutions of higher education in Missouri and Illinois. In 1999, Ms. Singer became Associate General Counsel for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she provided legal advice and service to the University.
Jennifer Papillo, Assistant General Counsel
Jennifer L. Papillo, a native Vermonter, joined the UVM Office of the General Counsel in August 2010 in the position of Assistant General Counsel. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Elon University, a Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law, as well as a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, with a focus on tax exempt organizations and estate planning. Before coming to UVM, Ms. Papillo served as a law clerk for the American Cancer Society, Inc.’s Office of Corporation Counsel in Washington, DC. Additionally, while obtaining her law degree, Ms. Papillo served as a research assistant to Professor Peter F. Lake in the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law, and a summer law clerk at UVM’s Office of the General Counsel.
Dencie L. Mitchell
Before coming to UVM, Dencie worked in the medical office/billing setting for eighteen years and then spent fourteen years working in local government, six of those years as a Town Clerk & Treasurer. She served as President to both the Chittenden/Grand Isle County Municipal Clerk & Treasurer’s Association and the Vermont Municipal Clerk & Treasurer’s Association. She came to UVM in March 2011, first as a temporary staff employee in the Office of the Provost and then in the President’s Office. She joined the UVM General Counsel’s Office in July 2012 as Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel. She is a Notary Public commissioned by the State of Vermont.
Marian K. Grant
Marian Grant has a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University. Before coming to UVM, she was an administrative assistant in the Superintendent's Office at the Burlington School District for 15 years. In 1997, Marian joined the UVM Office of the General Counsel staff. Marian is a notary public commissioned by the State of Vermont.
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