Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic
Faculty and Staff
Douglas A. Ruley is the director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. Professor Ruley has litigated multiple environmental cases over the past two decades. He began his career with a federal court clerkship, followed by five years as a litigation associate at Tharrington & Smith in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1993 he became a staff attorney for Earthjustice in Juneau, Alaska, and brought cases to protect Alaska's great rainforests and to conserve the marine resources of the Bering Sea. He returned to North Carolina in 1999 to open the Asheville office of the Southern Environmental Law Center, where he litigated cases involving the forests and biodiversity of the Appalachians, air and water pollution, and transportation and land use.
In 2010 Professor Ruley was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Slovenia, where he taught climate change law and appellate advocacy at the law school of University of Ljubljana. He returned to the United States in 2011, became certified as a specialist in appellate law, and began a practice focused on appellate representation and climate consulting. He became the director of the ENRLC in April 2012.
Professor Ruley graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1987 and earned his bachelor's degree with highest honors in economics and chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983. More...
Laura Murphy is Associate Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. She currently focuses on a variety of Clean Water Act work, and agriculture issues. She has previously worked as a contract attorney with Conservation Law Foundation (Vermont) and as a project associate with Conservation Law Foundation Ventures.
Professor Murphy received her BA in drama and religion from Vassar College, generali cum laude, and her JD from Pace University School of Law, summa cum laude, Certificate in Environmental Law. She is admitted to the Vermont Bar. More...
Patrick Parenteau is the former director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and continues to work with the clinic on special projects and cases. He brings years of experience and accomplishment to the clinic after having served in capacities including Vermont Law School professor, adjunct professor at George Washington University, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, and Dartmouth College, international lecturer, special counsel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) selected Professor Parenteau to receive its prestigious National Conservation Achievement Award in the Legal/Legislative category for 2006. NWF’s awards program honors “individuals and organizations whose achievements in wildlife and natural resource conservation deserve national recognition.”
Professor Parenteau received his BS in business administration from Regis College, his JD from Creighton University, and his LLM from Georgetown University. More...
Ken Rumelt is a Staff Attorney in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, assisting with cases, teaching, and supervision of student clinicians. Professor Rumelt brings several years of environmental litigation experience having worked as a contract attorney with firms in St. Louis, Missouri and Denver, Colorado on toxic tort claims. Before law school, Professor Rumelt spent two years as in intern with the EPA National Hazardous Waste and Superfund Ombudsman in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the VLS Faculty, he served as a Clinic Fellow with the ENRLC while he was also enrolled in the LLM in Environmental Law program at Vermont Law School.
Professor Rumelt earned a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado and a JD from St. Louis University School of Law. He received his LLM degree, magna cum laude, from the Environmental LLM program at Vermont Law School in 2012. He is admitted to practice in Vermont. More...
Sheryl Dickey is working as a consulting attorney with the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. In this role, she litigates environmental cases and supervises student clinicians. She currently focuses on issues related to water quality.
Ms. Dickey brings several years of experience in the area of civil litigation, having been an associate with the New York office of the international firm White & Case LLP. Prior to joining the VLS faculty, Ms. Dickey served as a Clinic Fellow with the ENRLC while she was also enrolled in the LLM in Environmental Law program at Vermont Law School.
Professor Dickey earned an AB in Government from Smith College and her JD degree, magna cum laude, from the Washington College of Law, American University, in 2002. Ms. Dickey received her LLM degree, summa cum laude, from the Environmental LLM program at Vermont Law School in 2010. She is admitted to practice law in Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. More...
Monica LitzelmanLitigation Paralegal and Office Manager
Monica Litzelman serves as the clinic litigation paralegal and office manager. She has over 20 years of experience in the legal field. Her previous employment includes Diamond & Robinson PC, the Supreme Court of Vermont, Vermont Criminal Information Center, Vermont Center for Justice Research, and Martin & Associates PC. Ms. Litzelman received her BA in criminal justice from King's College, summa cum laude, Certificate of Paralegal Studies from Woodbury College, and Master of Environmental Law and Policy, cum laude, from Vermont Law School.
Christopher AhlersClinic LLM Fellow
Christopher Ahlers is an Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic fellow. He serves as a staff attorney in the clinic, managing projects in collaboration and partnership with the Toxics Action Center. Mr. Ahlers also assists in teaching and supervising student clinicians. He brings to the clinic over sixteen years of experience as an attorney, including work in environmental due diligence investigations, environmental auditing, enforcement actions, CERCLA litigation, and brownfields redevelopment. He is teaching a course in Air Pollution Law and Policy at Vermont Law School in the spring of 2013.
Mr. Ahlers earned a BA in Government from Cornell University (Phi Beta Kappa) and a JD from Boston College Law School. As part of his two-year fellowship, he is enrolled in the LLM in Environmental Law program at VLS. He is a member of the New York and Vermont bars. He is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish, Latin, and Ancient Greek.