A native and resident of Burlington, Vermont, Attorney General William H. Sorrell graduated from the University of Notre Dame (AB, magna cum laude, 1970) and Cornell Law School (JD, 1974). Bill served as Chittenden County Deputy State’s Attorney from 1975-1977; Chittenden County State’s Attorney, 1977-78 and 1989-1992; engaged in private law practice at McNeil, Murray & Sorrell, 1978-1989; and served as Vermont’s Secretary of Administration, 1992-1997. As State’s Attorney, he personally successfully prosecuted several significant matters, including the first case allowing the admissibility of DNA evidence in a Vermont State Court and a ten-year-old homicide in which the victim’s body had never been found. In May of 1997 Governor Howard Dean appointed General Sorrell to fill the unexpired term of former Attorney General Jeffrey Amestoy, who had been named Vermont’s Chief Justice. Bill has been re-elected to full terms in November 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Bill served as the President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) from June of 2004 to June of 2005. Prior to his presidential year, he served as the chair of the NAAG Tobacco Committee and co-chair of its Consumer Protection Committee. In June of 2003 he was chosen by his fellow attorneys general to receive NAAG’s Kelley-Wyman Award, given annually to the “Outstanding Attorney General” who has done the most to further the goals of the nation’s attorneys general. In 2008 the American Legacy Foundation endowed in his name an annual lecture on Tobacco Issues. In 2009, the Vermont Medical Society recognized Bill as it’s “Citizen of the Year” and for 2010, the National Humane Society recognized him for Humane Law Enforcement. Bill is Chair of the NAAG Mission Foundation Board; was formerly Chair of the Board of the American Legacy Foundation; has served on Vermont’s Judicial Nominating Board; as president of United Cerebral Palsy of Vermont; secretary of the Vermont Coalition of the Handicapped; and on the board of the Winooski Valley Park District.