Knowing about the law is an important part of preparing to enter the legal profession. However, it is not sufficient preparation to know a body of substantive law. Sound professional preparation requires context and interaction. It requires firsthand involvement in what lawyers do and how expertise is built. That is the focus of the clinics and externships at VLS. Explore the experiential courses that we offer. They are designed to provide a wide array of opportunities for professional development.
Vermont Law School offers two types of opportunities to engage in clinical practice: its in-house clinics and courses we refer to as external clinics, which combine aspects of both clinical and externship courses. The in-house clinics operate as public interest law offices within the law school; the external clinics combine on-campus teaching with experiences in closely connected placements in the Vermont community.
Our extensive programs provide students a range of opportunities to obtain practical experience in a wide variety of legal and judicial settings part time or full time. Our goal is to provide opportunities for students to develop lawyering skills, learn substantive law, and engage in critical reflection about the legal profession, their legal career, and their priorities and values as lawyers and individuals through supervised field experiences and a contemporaneous seminar.
Our externships place VLS students in a variety of legal settings—from private firms and corporations to the judiciary, government agencies, and nonprofits—where they develop research, writing, and practical skills under the direction of an attorney-mentor.
Many other people could not express enough how awesome it was that my law school offered a program like this. Valuable, smart, rewarding…there are not enough words for me to describe the amazing experience I had for the last five months.”
—Jessica Bush ’04 Senior Deputy Public Defender, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania