Vermont Law School is a private, non-profit law school located in South Royalton, Vt. Founded in 1973, its stated mission 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,” according to the school’s website. The school focuses on environmental and international law, and offers dual degree programs with universities in England, France, Spain, and in the United States. It also offers graduate-level programs at its main campus and online.
Vermont Law school offers graduate-level degrees that focus on environmental and international law. The Juris Doctor (JD) program is a post-bachelor’s program that “focuses on legal doctrine and analysis, emphasizes the broader social context of the law, and provides education in the skills and values needed for effective law practice,” according to the school’s website. The first year of the curriculum is designed to teach students the fundamentals of law, while the second and third years allow them to choose an area of specialization. Students who graduate from this program are eligible to gain entrance into the American Bar Association, which will allow them to practice law.
Another option for budding law students is the Master of Environmental Law and Policy program (MELP), which requires students take classes such as advanced land use, agricultural policy and the environment, and land conservation law. According to Vermont Law School, the MELP program “prepares students to manage environmental organizations, lobby on behalf of environmental causes, organize effective public interest campaigns, and serve as advisors to high-level government decision makers.” Students who were planning on getting a JD and an MELP can take courses for both in the school’s dual degree program.
Finally, the Master of Laws (LLM) program is suited for students who want to practice environmental law, or those who want to work in public policy, research, or teaching. LLM students can specialize in certain concentrations within the program, such as law and ecology, pollution prevention and abatement, international environmental law, and ethics and environmental justice. The MELP and LLM programs are available through the school’s online programs.
Vermont Law School has been accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, of the American Bar Association, since 1975. It has also held accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1980.
The admissions requirements differ based on the program. For example, in the MELP program, an applicant’s academic record is one of the most important admissions criteria. The school considers grade point average (GPA), quality of the institution, difficulty of the curriculum, performance compared to other students, and grade trend from freshman to senior year. The amount of time between when the applicant earns their undergraduate degree and when they apply to Vermont Law School is considered as well. Standardized test scores are optional in the MELP program. Meanwhile, the JD program emphasizes the undergraduate academic record as well as LSAT scores. Although the requirements differ from program to program, students generally need to submit transcripts and letters of recommendation. Proof of work experience is also recommended.
Vermont Law School
164 Chelsea Street, PO Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068