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April 26, 2016

Vermont Consumer Rights Attorney Grace Pazdan Receives National Award

Grace Pazdan Consumer Rights AttorneyGrace B. Pazdan, a consumer rights attorney at Vermont Legal Aid, has been awarded the prestigious Henry J. Sommer Scholarship for the 2016 National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) Annual Convention to be held in San Francisco May 19-22, 2016.

Based in Vermont Legal Aid’s Montpelier office, Pazdan defends clients throughout Vermont against foreclosure and advocates for consumer rights.

According to NACBA, she was selected to receive the coveted award from a large field of accomplished consumer bankruptcy attorneys in recognition of her “achievements and dedication to serving low-income, elderly and disabled consumers facing foreclosure and debt collection.”

Pazdan graduated summa cum laude from American University Washington College of Law in 2006. While in law school, she received an Equal Justice Foundation Summer Fellowship, the 2005 Choice USA Generation Award, the Legal Rights Award and the Montgomery County Women’s Bar Foundation Scholarship. She served as President of the Woman’s Law Association and was Co-Director of Law Students for Choice.

In 2008, she was selected to serve as the first Vermont Poverty Law Fellow. During the two-year fellowship, which was based at Vermont Legal Aid, she drafted and advocated for legislation that resulted in Vermont enacting a mediation program for homeowners facing foreclosure.

“Vermont Legal Aid is very fortunate to be able to attract smart, talented attorneys like Grace who graduate from top law schools and are passionate about helping the most vulnerable people in Vermont with legal problems that threaten their rights, their home, their job, or their health,” said Vermont Legal Aid’s Executive Director, Eric Avildsen. “This award not only provides Grace the opportunity and resources to elevate her practice, it also provides independent validation of the high quality of representation our clients receive.”

NACBA is a national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy. The scholarship, which is awarded annually, was created in recognition of the contributions to NACBA by President Emeritus Henry J. Sommer.

Vermont Legal Aid is a statewide, non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal information, advice and representation and works to promote fairness and justice in the civil legal system. Vermont Legal Aid partners with Legal Services Law Line of Vermont to maintain a website ( that provides information and resources to help Vermonters resolve common civil legal problems.

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