Professor Vachon receives ABA Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer Award

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News Article

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School of Law


The legal nonprofit community today named the 2015 recipients of the annual Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer Awards. The Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, recognizes accomplished and civic-minded nonprofit lawyers in the categories of Academic, Attorney, In-House Counsel, and Young Attorney. Professor Vachon was chosen for the Outstanding Academic Award for distinguished academic achievement in the nonprofit sector.

Professor Vachon is dedicated to using her legal knowledge to help others by helping nonprofits. She provides pro bono legal services to Partners for a Greater Voice and serves as the organization’s director. Vachon presented at an international conference on hearing health held by the Coalition for Global Hearing Health. Her presentation offered general guidance for nonprofits seeking fundraising opportunities and collaboration with for-profits. Other nonprofits benefit from Vachon pro bono efforts, including Help Women Heal, Inc., a 501(c)(3) that seeks to improve the health of women in Afghanistan by funding the medical and health-related education of Afghan women and Sweet Paws Rescue, a nonprofit rescuing and homing abandoned dogs.

Meanwhile, she has begun another stage of her career, teaching business law classes at the University of North Dakota School of Law. Professor Vachon teaches subjects related to the formation and running of businesses. Her students also learn about nonprofit law. Vachon speaks regularly about the nonprofit work she has done as a practicing lawyer and has even brought a local, nonprofit client into her classroom over the duration of a semester, and students under her direction provided legal research on subjects needed by the nonprofit, which is unique in legal education. Professor Vachon also teaches students about the value of pro bono service. In addition, she has contributed to the research of law related to nonprofits and disadvantaged groups.

Professor Vachon's published works include: Scratch My Back, and I’ll Scratch Yours: Scratching the Surface of the Duty of Care in Cross Sector Collaborations – Are For Profits Obligated to Ensure the Sustainability of their Partner Nonprofits? , Playing in the Sandbox: Moral Development and the Duty of Care in Collaborations between For-Profit and Nonprofit Corporate Persons , Blurring. Not Fading. Looking at the Duties of Care and Loyalty as Nonprofits Move Into Commercialism , and Burma Just Around the Corner: When U.S. Corporations Employ Refugees . Her research aims to add value not just to the academic dialogue but also to serve practitioners’ needs.