On Friday, Governor Phil Scott swore in new Vermont Superior Court Justice Jennifer Barrett after appointing her to the position on August 30. Barrett is the 12th Vermont Superior Court Justice that Scott has appointed during his time as Governor and is the 6th woman.
Scott says her experience is what set her apart. Barrett has served as Orleans County’s State’s Attorney since 2015, after serving as Deputy State’s Attorney in Bennington County. During her career, she tried over 50 cases to verdict before Vermont juries.
Scott says that knowledge of the state is why he chose her. “She recognizes the resource challenges and unique hardships our rural counties suffers from like a lack of transportation, unemployment, childcare and substance misuse.”
Barrett worked under Bennington County State Attorney Erica Marthage for a number of years. When Marthage reflected back on that time, she said one trait of Barrett’s that was unmatched was her work ethic. “She tried an enormous number of cases and really earned the respect of all of her colleagues.”
Barrett has been a staunch advocate for women’s rights, resources for domestic abuse victims and a number of other issues in Vermont. Marthage says that Barrett set a great example for other women. “She never let her gender or her age get in the way of doing her job.”
The new Justice said she has had a goal of diversifying her staff in Orleans County. “Ladies, you can be a judge,” said Barrett. “But always remember, we lift others around us as we rise.”
Farzana Leva, who is currently in the Deputy State’s Attorney position that Barrett once held says her boss succeeded in the pursuit of that goal. “Jennifer was successful in creating the most diverse State’s Attorney Office in Vermont”.
12 of Vermont’s 34 trial judges are now women, but Scott says there is still work to do in that department.
Now, Justice Barrett says she plans to continue to be a role model for women during her time in Vermont’s Superior Court.