Sharon Worthing Vaino, JD

Sharon Vaino

Title: Attorney
Location: New York, New York, United States

Sharon Worthing Vaino, JD, attorney at law, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in tax law, benefits, and compensation.

Ms. Vaino’s path toward a career in law began as a student at Barnard College. Interested in soliciting donations for her church, she started spending time in the Columbia Law Library, researching tax advantages for making charitable contributions. She recalls feeling strongly that “that was where she belonged,” and after graduating from Barnard College, cum laude, in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts, she continued her studies at the Fordham University School of Law. Ms. Vaino completed her Juris Doctor and was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia in 1978, with New York bar admission following shortly after in 1979.  In 1982, she was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ms. Vaino became an associate of Milbank LLP in 1978, and continued to practice with the firm until 1985, when she briefly served as associate counsel for Time Inc. She entered the insurance sector in 1986 as counsel for The Home Insurance Company, rising to become senior counsel and thereafter senior legal officer over her nearly ten-year tenure. Ms. Vaino joined MetLife Inc. in 1995, staying with the company until 2004 as assistant tax counsel and then assistant general counsel. Between 2004 and 2009, Ms. Vaino brought her considerable experience to Seward & Kissel LLP, where she specialized in employee benefits and compensation, including 401(k) plans and ERISA law rules. Currently, Ms. Vaino offers her services as a volunteer adviser for community and nonprofit organizations.

She has been extensively published in professional publications and chaired the committee which brought to online publication the multivolume work by Rev. Dean M. Kelley, The Law of Church and State in America (2008).  She was co-director of the Project on Church and State Abroad, sponsored by the Lilly Endowment, which resulted in the publication of The Uneasy Alliance: Religion, Refugee Work, and U.S. Foreign Policy, by J. Bruce Nichols (1988). In addition, Ms. Vaino has been a member of the Committee on Religious Liberty of the Freedom Forum Institute, Religious Freedom Center in Washington, D.C., since 1978, and has sat on the editorial council of the Journal of Church and State since 1981. Ms. Vaino is a member of the Board of Trustees and Legal Committee of the American Farm School, and is passionate about genealogy, holding a variety of leadership roles in both The Colonial Dames of America and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. She is an active member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York City Bar Association.

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