Vance recently returned to private law practice where she specializes in complex situations and challenging compliance matters that call for legal expertise, the ability to unite people and perspectives around common goals, and a proven record negotiating politics and navigating sensitive issues at all levels. With a background that includes private practice, higher education administration, and consulting, Sheilah D. Vance brings a varied and unique skill set to help postsecondary institutions with everything from Title IX compliance to general risk management issues.
Vance previously was the Chief of Staff and Deputy to the President at Cheyney University, a role that involved working directly with the University President, assisting him in developing, implementing, and assessing programs that meet the university’s strategic goals across all divisional areas. These included Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, Student Affairs, and University Advancement and External Relations. In addition, Vance was also responsible for leading the university’s civil rights compliance efforts as the university’s Title IX Coordinator and Social Equity Officer.
Vance has a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Communications, magna cum laude, from Howard University. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. Vance was employed full-time at Villanova University School of Law (VLS) from 1998 – 2006, first as a Visiting Legal Writing Instructor for two years before becoming Director and then Assistant Dean for Academic Support. She currently is an Adjunct Professor at VLS, teaching the upper-level Education Law Seminar, which she has done since 2000.
Vance has published and presented extensively in the areas of public and legal education, including at conferences at Oxford University in England, the National Bar Association, the American Association of Law Schools, the Education Law Association, the Law School Admissions Council, and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
Her other experience in education includes working as Special Assistant to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Project Manager for the American Cities Foundation Best Practices in Urban Education Project, Hearing Officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and Editor of Higher Education Publications for the National Education Association.
In 2006, Vance received the 2006 Woman of Distinction Award from the Barristers Association of Philadelphia, the local affiliate of the National Bar Association, for “exemplary service to the community through the practice of law” and “impressive personal accomplishments as an African American attorney.”
She was Press Secretary to former Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey during his successful 1986 campaign, and she has worked as a consultant for the Democratic National Committee and numerous political candidates.
Vance has also worked as Assistant Counsel for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Associate in the firm of Atkinson & Archie, and Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Congresswoman Cardiss Collins.
She is a member of numerous civic and professional organizations, including the Board of Directors of Teach for America, Greater Philadelphia Region, and the Advisory Board of the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). Vance currently serves as Chair of the Education Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association.