Vermont Law School was established in 1972 and held its first classes in the summer of 1973 with 113 students in what was then known as the old South Royalton Schoolhouse (and today is Debevoise Hall). In December 1973, VLS was certified by the Vermont Board of Education as an institution of higher learning. Provisional ABA approval came in February 1975. Full approval by the ABA came in 1978, and the law school was accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in 1980. VLS became a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1981. The aim of VLS is to educate students in a diverse community that fosters personal growth and that enables them to attain outstanding professional skills and high ethical values with which to serve as lawyers and environmental and other professionals in an increasingly technological and interdependent global society.
LL.M. In Environmental Law
Vermont Law School offers LL.M. candidates over 50 courses in environmental law and policy—the widest range of courses offered by any law school in the world—giving students the opportunity to design a curriculum that matches their personal objectives. In addition, students can specialize in such areas as climate change, land use, natural resources, or water resources. Students in the LL.M. in Environmental Law program participate in a special LL.M. seminar focusing on advanced research topics in environmental law.
This is a skills-based course focused on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the corresponding sections of the Vermont and New Hampshire Constitutions. This course gives students the opportunity to develop insight into the theoretical underpinnings of constitutional criminal law and procedure while at the same time learning the practical application of theory to practice.
This is a simulation-based introduction to consumer bankruptcy. Students interview prospective bankruptcy clients, prepare bankruptcy schedules, learn about the role of the bankruptcy trustee, determine the appropriate bankruptcy chapter for each client; discern whether any litigation may arise within the bankruptcy case; and argue motions on behalf of their clients.
The Law School’s proximity to Vermont’s capital city, Montpelier, allows JD, LL.M. and MELP students to work under the supervision of attorneys who support the work of the Vermont General Assembly. Under the supervision of the Legislative Counsel Michele Childs, who serves in the office of the Vermont Legislative Council, students work on Bills, Amendments, and related research projects; they observe floor debates, attend committee hearings, and participate in hearings as needed by the committees.
This 6-credit clinic is offered each spring in Montpelier. Students are required to be in attendance at the General Assembly in Montpelier for at least two days each week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. The course runs concurrently with the session of the General Assembly. Students must complete the pre-requisite Legislation course, offered each fall, in order to enroll in this course in the spring.
The Julien and Virginia Cornell Library at Vermont Law is a rich resource for students and faculty. Overlooking the White River, the 35,000-square-foot library houses huge collections and provides a variety of study spaces across four floors, including a highly specialized Environmental Law collection and the Environmental Reading Room in the library’s loft. The Librarians teach Introduction to Legal Research to incoming students. Students interested in further developing their research skills can enroll in specialized Advanced Legal Research courses and can apply to work as Library Faculty Research Assistants.
Vermont Law School
164 Chelsea St, PO Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068