Charity R. Clark
Vermont Attorney General
Charity R. Clark was sworn in as Attorney General of Vermont on January 5, 2023, and is the first woman to be elected to this position. Since then, she has made protecting Vermonters a trademark of her administration, suing Monsanto for PCB contamination of Vermont’s waterways and schools and bringing a case against Meta for Instagram’s harm to young users’ mental health. She also successfully advocated for the recommendations of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission, housed in the Attorney General’s Office, and continues her work to bring focus on the issue of sexual and domestic violence. A passionate defender of reproductive rights, Attorney General Clark joined a challenge to a ban on the abortion drug mifepristone, allowing Vermonters to retain access to this safe and effective abortion medication.
Attorney General Clark’s career in the Attorney General’s Office began in 2014 as an Assistant Attorney General in the Public Protection Division. Later, she was appointed Chief of Staff, serving in the role from 2018 to 2022. During her tenure as Chief of Staff, and the first person to ever hold this position, she oversaw the Office’s expungement clinics, training countless attorneys to assist Vermonters seeking to expunge or seal their criminal records. She also championed the effort to achieve status as a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer and create a dedicated space for breastfeeding employees and visitors to the office, an effort that she would bring to fruition during her first few months as Attorney General.
Attorney General Clark was born and raised in southern Vermont and grew up working in her family’s grocery store in Londonderry, Clark’s IGA. She is a graduate of Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester, the University of Vermont, and Boston College Law School. Before she entered law school, Attorney General Clark was a policy analyst at the Vermont Governor’s Office under Governor Howard Dean. In 2005, she began her legal career as an associate at a law firm in Burlington, Vermont, and later in New York City. Attorney General Clark is an avid skier and hiker, completing the Long Trail in 2021. She is chair of the board of her town library and serves as a justice of the peace.
The Attorney General’s Office is comprised of approximately 151 positions, including 93 Assistant Attorneys General, representing six divisions – Administration, Environmental and Public Protection (EPP), General Counsel and Administrative Law (GCAL), Civil, Criminal, and Human Services. Additionally, the Attorney General’s Office administers the statewide Court Diversion programs, including the Youth Substance Awareness Safety Program and Driver License Suspension (DLS) Diversion, and Pretrial Services programs. These programs are provided by 12 community-based restorative justice programs with approximately 40 employees in total.
More information on the Office’s divisions is available here.
A Vermont where the public interest and the natural environment are protected by a just and effective state government.
To use our authority and expertise as the State of Vermont’s independent law office to represent state government, protect the public interest and the environment, and enforce the law with equal right and justice to all.
Duties & Responsibilities by Statue
Election and Term
The Attorney General is elected every two years at the same time and manner as other Vermont statewide elected officials.3 V.S.A. §151.
Scope of Authority
The Attorney General may represent the state in all civil and criminal matters as at common law and as allowed by statute. The Attorney General shall also have the same authority throughout the state as a state's attorney. 3 V.S.A. § 152.
The Attorney General shall have the general supervision of criminal prosecutions, shall consult with and advise the State’s Attorneys in matters relating to the duties of their office, and shall assist them by attending the grand jury in the examination of any cause or in the preparation of indictments and informations when, in his or her judgment, the interests of the State require it. 3 V.S.A. § 153.
Appearance for State
The Attorney General shall appear for the State in the preparation and trial of all prosecutions for homicide and civil or criminal causes in which the State is a party or is interested when, in his or her judgment, the interests of the State so require. The Attorney General shall represent members of the General Assembly in all civil causes arising from or relating to the performance of legislative duties. 3 V.S.A. § 157.
Opinions; State Matters and Actions
The Attorney General shall advise the elective and appointive State officers on questions of law relating to their official duties and shall furnish a written opinion on such matters, when so requested. He or she shall have general supervision of matters and actions in favor of the State and of those instituted by or against State officers wherein interests of the State are involved and may settle such matters and actions as the interests of the State require. 3 V.S.A. § 159.
More information on Attorney General Opinions is available here.