University of Vermont

Office of the General Counsel

Office Personnel

Sharon Reich PaulsenSharon Reich Paulsen, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Sharon Reich Paulsen earned her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Stanford Law School, where she was Note Editor on the Stanford Law Review.  After clerking for the Honorable Harlington Wood Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, she went to the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where she served as a trial attorney primarily engaged in constitutional litigation.  She later joined the Business Litigation Department of Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels) in Minneapolis, where she handled a wide range of business and employment disputes until she entered academia at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she served as Associate Dean.  At Minnesota, Ms. Paulsen revamped the legal writing program and the trial practice program, created a new moot court program, a new civil litigation concentration, a Master of Science in Patent Law program, and a summer mock trial institute.  She advised the dean on innovation, strategic planning, and experiential learning.  Teaching responsibilities included Conflict of Laws, Trial Practice, Judicial Externship, and a variety of litigation-related courses.  She has written texts on pretrial case development and discovery, deposition practice, and appellate advocacy.  Ms. Paulsen has taught in Sweden and China, and has traveled several times during the past four years to Uzbekistan to run training sessions for lawyers and law students on the hallmarks of an adversarial legal system, trial techniques, criminal procedure and the rights of the accused, and fundamentals of legal ethics.  Other service activities include appointment by the Minnesota Supreme Court to two three-year terms on the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, where she also served as a hearing panel chair and on the Board’s Opinion Committee.  In January 2016, she became Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the President at the University of Vermont, and in August 2017 was appointed Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel.  Her vita and bio are available at:  http://www.uvm.edu/president/?Page=legalaffairs.html

John J. Collins, Senior Associate General Counsel
John J. Collins joined the UVM General Counsel’s Office in October 2016 and currently serves as Senior Associate General Counsel. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rutgers University and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where he was a member of the Loyola Law Review. Mr. Collins has been practicing law in the State of Vermont since 1983, advising a broad clientele, including the University of Vermont and other Vermont Colleges. Mr. Collins chaired the State of Vermont District #4, Act 250 Commission for several years and has been a highly active volunteer member of several not-for-profit boards and committees. He served as chair of the Vermont Heart Association Board of Directors and as a member of the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors. Mr. Collins has taught law related courses at the college level and is a nationally certified snowboard instructor.

Jennifer Papillo, Associate General Counsel
Jennifer L. Papillo, a native Vermonter, joined the Office of the General Counsel in August 2010 in the position of Assistant General Counsel. She was promoted to Associate General Counsel in August of 2015. 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, and a research assistant to Peter F. Lake in the writing of Beyond Discipline: Managing the Modern Higher Education Environment (Hierophant Enterprises, Inc., 2009). Ms. Papillo also worked with Mr. Lake in planning and executing the National Conference on Law and Higher Education in 2008, 2009 and 2010, jointly sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law and NASPA.

Administrative Staff

Mary Vachon, Executive Assistant to the Office of the General Counsel

All materials provided on this website, including the contents of linked pages, are provided for general informational purposes only. While we seek to provide links to current and authoritative information, neither UVM nor this office guarantees the accuracy of information accessible online; therefore, this information must not be relied upon as substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney. Please contact a UVM Office of the General Counsel attorney to obtain current legal advice specifically responsive to your questions.

Last modified November 06 2017 12:08 PM