The Experiential Advocacy Program at Vermont Law School allows second- and third-year JD students to learn by solving problems—just as practicing lawyers do on a daily basis. Meshing substantive law with professional training, the hands-on program is designed to help enterprising students achieve their ambitions, whether working for themselves or in the public, nonprofit, or private sectors.
Using problems and simulations as tools of teaching, the program encourages creativity, collaboration and self-reliance while providing a safe and effective setting for participants to experiment with legal solutions. Through small classes taught by real-world practitioners, students learn the skills needed to frame and address problems from different perspectives, design and implement a wide range of strategies, and evaluate the impact of their advocacy.
Students leave the program with the skills and knowledge to engage the law as a powerful tool of creative advocacy. An Experiential Advocacy Program Certificate is awarded to students who have successfully completed all four semesters of the program, in addition to their JD.
In 2007, the American Bar Association awarded the forerunner to the Experiential Advocacy Program, the General Practice Program at Vermont Law School, with the prestigious E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award, in recognition of projects that contribute to the understanding of professionalism among lawyers.
*Pictured above, students enrolled in the Experiential Advocacy Program at Vermont Law School participate in Town Meeting 2015 in South Royalton, Vt. Town Meeting is a 200-year-old annual Vermont tradition in which citizens come together to discuss the business of their towns on the first Tuesday in March.