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All FacultyChris AdamoChristopher AhlersRobert AndersonSamara AndersonMary Jane AngeloSusan B. ApelChristie AsbeeBillie Munro AudiaTracy BachBetsy BakerAlexander W. BanksRobin BaroneMargaret Martin BarryDon BaurGlenn BergerLaurie BeyranevandMichael BlummSeth BlumsackKaren BorgstromPeter BradfordChris BrooksGary BrooksRichard O. BrooksDavid CahillMatthew CarluzzoJared CarterElizabeth CatlinMatt ChapmanMichele ChildsChristine N. CiminiLiz Ryan ColeJonathan CoppessCathy A. CostantinoPaula DanielsBrian DunkielN. Bruce DuthuMichael DworkinStephen DycusCaroline EarleJohn D. EcheverriaArthur C. EdersheimTim EichenbergJeanne EicksSusan ElyJennifer Emens-ButlerWilliam S. Eubanks IIJohn EversStephanie FarriorCatherine FeeneyPaul S. FerberDavid B. FirestoneKevin FoyClay FrancisRobert GagnonJavier Garcia-Lomas GagoJackie GardinaKatherine GarveyClara GimenezCatherine J. GjessingOliver R. GoodenoughKevin GriffinDavid HallNeil HamiltonCheryl HannaAndrew HansonJoel HarringtonPhilip HarterBarry HillRandolph HillHillary HoffmannMartina F. S. HofmannMichael HoganLayla HughesEric JansonJessica JayShirley JeffersonGreg JohnsonBenjamin R. JonesKevin JonesRoss JonesMark JordanMartha L. JudyLaurie KadochKenneth R. KreilingDonald M. KreisElizabeth KruskaGil KujovichSiu Tip LamMark LathamThomas LautzenheiserBenoit Le BarsSteven LetendreMatthew LevineCynthia LewisYanmei LinReed Elizabeth LoderL. Randolph LowryCatherine MacKenzieBrian MarsicovetereMichele Martinez CampbellJames C. MayRandall MayhewBeth McCormackThomas McHenryPhilip N. MeyerMarc MihalyJanet E. MilneSarah MooneyJoseph E. Mullaney IIILaura Bucher MurphyKarina NaborsSean NolonSheldon NovickLarry NovinsCathryn C. NunlistMarcos OrellanaPatrick A. ParenteauCraig M. PeaseRobert PercivalCurtis PewWalter PolemanBrian PortoDonald PowersRebecca PurdomLinda PurdyJamie RennerDaniel P. RichardsonCaleb RickAnabel RideauLaurie RistinoHilary Catherine RobinsonJudith RoysterJ.B. RuhlDouglas RuleyKenneth RumeltChristine RyanRobert SandAnna SaxmanMelissa ScanlanYvonne ScannellElizabeth SchmidtTimothy SearchingerLinda SheehanDinah SheltonRoman SidortsovStefanie SidortsovaLinda O. SmiddyMartha SmyrskiAdrienne SolerBenjamin K. SovacoolJames Gustave SpethPamela J. StephensHolly Geneva StoutMichael SuttonLea SwansonPhilip TabasJennifer S. TaubPeter R. TeachoutJack TuholskeMarianne TyrrellPamela VesilindJoan VogelJacqueline WeaverSteven WeissmanJessica WestJeffry WhiteStephanie J. WillbanksDavid WirthSteven WiseJane WoldowL. Kinvin WrothCarl A. YirkaDeborah YoungMaryann ZavezHuiyu Zhao
Course Name
Category
Faculty

Accounting and Business Fundamentals

Business

An introduction to accounting and basic business principles for attorneys, including reading annual reports and financial statements, researching the financial structure of corporations and non-profits, and exploring relevant issues such as socially responsible investing.

Administrative Law

Environmental

Provides students with a working knowledge of the general principles of administrative law;  implementation of legislative policy through administrative agencies, including the role of administrative agencies in the governmental process, rulemaking, adjudication, and judicial review of agency actions.

Advanced Appellate Advocacy

Writing

Refines and strenghthens the written and oral advocacy skils acquired in Appellate Advocacy, and prepares students to represent VLS in extramural moot court competitions.  Successful participants will become members of competing teams and/or members of VLS's Moot Court Advisory Board.

Advanced Civil Procedure

Public

This is a rule drafting course.  Students, working the Reporter to the Vermont Supreme Court's Advisory Committees on procedural rules, will draft proposed amendments to sets of Vermont Rules , with explanatory notes. Students will participate in the judicial rulemaking process by orally presenting their drafts to the appropriate Advisory Committee, which will ultimately propose a restyled set of Rules to the Court.

Advanced Criminal Law Seminar

Criminal

This seminar undertakes an intensive and comprehensive examination of the constitutional, legal, procedural, and public policy issues surrounding a topic in criminal law. Specific topic varies from year to year and is detailed in the class description

Advanced Dispute Resolution Writing Seminar

Alternative Dispute Resolution

This seminar provides an opportunity to explore emerging issues in dispute resolution through research and writing. The goal is to produce a publishable quality article.

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Advanced Energy Writing Seminar

Environmental

This seminar provides students an opportunity to produce a significant written paper based on sophisticated research and thinking about a key area in energy policy and law. Seminar topics include proposals for reducing the economic and environmental costs of meeting energy needs. Efforts to reduce costs through more efficient delivery and end-use are assessed, with specific attention to the statutory, regulatory, and contractual techniques for creating sound incentives.

Advanced Environmental Legal Research

EnvironmentalWriting

Provides in-depth exposure to the most useful, efficient strategies and resources for environmental law research, including highly specialized information databases, advanced administrative law research, legislative history, and environmental news/updating services.

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Advanced International Research

Advanced Legal Analysis

Writing

Skills-development course designed to provide students with the analytical, test-taking, writing, and study skills that are critical to students' success on the bar exam and in the practice of law.  The course consists of an intensive substantive and analytical review of major multistate bar exam subjects and of numerous writing and practice assignments.

Advanced Legal Research Seminar

Writing

This seminar focuses on statutory law including legislative history, administrative law, municipal law, and case law as well as secondary sources not covered in the introductory research course. The seminar will review specialized resources for topics such as international law, tax law, and interdisciplinary research. 

Advanced Skills for Practice Seminar

Writing

Prepares students for legal research in various work settings by teaching advanced "practice oriented" skills as well as exposing students to new resources they are likely to encounter after graduating.  While the course gives students a chance to explore highly specialized databases on Lexis and WestlawNext, the course focuses on cost effective alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw such as FastCase, CaseMaker, BloombergLaw and others.

Agricultural Biotechnology and the Law

Environmental

This seminar provides students with a multidisciplinary working knowledge of innovations in agricultural biotechnology, of the legal institutions involved in its development and use, and of the theoretical underpinnings and normative influences that shape the debate about agricultural biotechnology.

Air Pollution Law and Policy

Environmental

An exploration of the major programs and regulatory strategies embodied in the Clean Air Act that are used to address conventional air pollution, toxic air pollution, and greenhouse gas pollution. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution

This course presents the theory and practice of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration that constitute the foundation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) through lecture and simulations.  Examines the different theories and approaches to ADR, as well as the wide range of issues that arise in the selection and application of these dispute resolution techniques.

American Legal History: The Search for National Identity

History

A historical approach to questions about American identity that have arisen regularly in the history of the Constitution.  Are we a single people, or an uneasy gathering of different cultural groups? One republic, or a confederation? What are American values? Is a secular government appropriate, or should the American constitution reflect the spirituality of its people? The laws concerning citizenship and human rights are a record of answers given at different times.

America's Energy Crisis

Environmental

This course addresses the fundamental crisis in which growing energy demands are threatening the buffering capacity of our global atmosphere, while also producing the greatest emissions of most primary pollutants, and the struggle to identify and create the legal elements necessary to promote and ensure solutions.

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Animal Law

Environmental

This course will illustrate how animal lawyers are advancing the U.S. legal system in the interest of protecting all animals. Although our laws view animals as personal property, these lawyers and policymakers craft legal and policy arguments, and act on innovative litigation strategies, to keep the law evolving.

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Animal Rights Jurisprudence

Environmental

A discussion of legal rights for nonhuman animals, the sources and characteristics of fundamental rights, why nonhuman animals are presently denied them, why all humans are presently entitled to them, whether they should be available for nonhumans under the common law and, and what strategies are available for obtaining them.

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Animals and the Law

Environmental


This course considers the tensions inherent in trying to serve the needs of humans and animals, plus constitutional limitations of justifiability, due process, and First Amendment guarantees. Students  become familiar with litigation tools commonly used in animal law practice.

Antitrust Law

Business

This course is a basic introduction to federal antitrust law.  It will explore basic concepts in competition theory.  Specific topics will include cartels, monopolization, price-fixing, exclusive dealing rules, vertical restraints, and mergers.

Appellate Advocacy

Required JD

An exercise in appellate brief writing and oral argument using a case pending before the United States Supreme Court.  Classes focus on the appellate process, complex research and analysis, preparation of briefs, critical writing skills, and oral argument.

Applied Human Rights Seminar

International Law

An advanced international human rights law course in which students engage in research on cutting-edge issues in human rights law and policy for non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations under the supervision of the professor. 

Bankruptcy and Environmental Law

Business

Explores the interface of environmental laws and federal bankruptcy statutes, as well as the tension between the goals of bankruptcy and the goals of environmental law, in particular CERCLA. Topics covered include the rights and obligations of debtors and creditors under the Bankruptcy Code, the discharge of environmental debts in bankruptcy, and the abandonment of contaminated property by the bankruptcy trustee.

Business Taxation

Business

Survey of income tax issues of corporations, partnerships, S Corporations, limited liability companies, and their owners arising out of the business entity's formation, operation and liquidation. 

Capital Punishment Seminar

Criminal

This seminar examines capital punishment as a legal process, using interdisciplinary materials and theory, litigation documents including briefs and recordings of oral arguments, and appellate opinions.  The seminar also employs written narratives, movies, and popular cultural images and artifacts to explore this subject matter. 

CERCLA Law and Policy

Environmental
Matt Chapman

Examines CERCLA's broad liability and cost recovery provisions, emergency response and cleanup requirements that extend beyond the usual Superfund sites.  Brownfields, natural resources damages, community involvement, recent Supreme Court decisions and statutory amendments will also be addressed.  The course will examine how parties escape or limit  liability through due diligence, defenses,  pollution prevention, settlement, and cost allocation.

CERCLA Liability and Cleanup

Environmental
This course explores how strict, joint and several liability works in the context of hazardous site cleanup. Related issues such as settlement, divisibility, apportionment, contribution, and allocation of liability will be addressed. Brownfields liability and how the law may promote private cleanup will be examined.

 

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Civil Procedure I

Required JD

Covers the procedural rules governing civil actions in the state and federal courts, from commencement through appeal, including jurisdiction over parties, joinder of parties and claims, contents of pleadings, pretrial motions and discovery, conduct of trial, post-trial motions, res judicata, collateral estoppel, and conflicts between the state and federal judicial systems.

Civil Rights Seminar

Diversity

Using PBS video series "Eyes on the Prize" and companion readings, this course examines the civil rights movement that began in the years before Brown v. Board of Education and continued throughout the 1950's and 1960's.  Provides social, cultural, and historical perspectives on the civil rights movement and the legal developments that grew out of that movement.

Climate Change Litigation

Environmental

This course reviews the various statutory and common law claims being tried in climate litigation, the kinds of remedies sought, and the jurisdictional and evidentiary obstacles that must be overcome.

Climate Change: The Power of Taxes

Environmental

This seminar explores the ways in which tax systems can effect change in the energy consumption behavior of business, industry, and consumers.  The seminar addresses issues of theory, policy, politics, and law and --while focusing on climate change-- provides students with a framework for understanding how and when to use tax measures to address other environmental problems.

Commercial Law/Payment Systems

Business
Randall Mayhew

Survey of the law relating to payment systems, with a major focus on the checking system and Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code and applicable federal regulations. Topics include the laws and rules relating to electronic funds transfers, credit cards, debit cards, notes, letters of credit and similar payment devices. Also included are discussions of suretyship law and various credit enhancement devices. 

Comparative Environmental Law Research Seminar

Environmental

A research and writing seminar that provides a framework and faculty supervision for students to engage in comparative environmental law research. While the seminar is designed primarily to support VLS students participating in the US-China joint student research projects and will focus generally on China, the seminar is sufficiently broad to accommodate students interested in researching the environmental law systems of other countries.

 

Comparative Law: Comparative Legal Systems

International Law

Explores how different countries within the Western Legal Tradition understand sources of law, the relationship between codes and cases, and constitutional design, including questions of federalism, judicial review and balance of powers.  The course will study selected aspects of legal systems, focusing on France and Germany, with some discussion of "mixed" common/civil law jurisdictions (e.g. Louisiana, South Africa), as well as some aspects of the European Union.

Comparative U.S.-China Environmental Law

International LawEnvironmental

An overview of the tremendous environmental challenges for the 1.3 billion people in China and the efforts to address them through law and regulation. After an introduction to the political and legal system and cultural background of the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, we will survey the basic regulatory schemes managing air quality, water resources and quality, natural resources, environmental impact assessments, and pending legislation concerning waste management and energy conservation. If there is sufficient interest, we may offer an additional, optional, one-credit session in China immediately following the class, to let students experience firsthand the environmental conditions and lectures and meetings with leading Chinese environmental scholars and activists.

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Conflict of Laws

International LawJurisprudence

Considers the principles used to resolve legal problems when the conflicting laws of two or more jurisdictions might reasonably be applied. The course initially focuses upon the different rules and methodologies used to determine the appropriate choice of law. Constitutional limits on the use of such rules and methodologies are explored in some detail.

Constitutional Criminal Procedure

Criminal

A basic course on Constitutional Criminal Procedure, with comprehensive consideration of topics under the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  Among the topics considered are search and seizure law including probable cause to search and arrest, the warrant requirement and its exceptions, and the exclusionary rule; custodial interrogation, confessions and the privilege against self-incrimination; double jeopardy; the right to counsel and effective assistance of counsel; the death penalty and the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments; lineups and other forms of pretrial identification.

Constitutional Law

Required JD

Constitutional Law I:

This course focuses on the historical development of major constitutional doctrines, including the Commerce, Due Process, and Equal Protection Clauses.  The course also studies the process of constitutional decision-making, and explores major techniques of constitutional interpretation. 

Constitutional Law II:

Continues the studies major constitutional doctrines, including the First Amendment, and the processes of constitutional decision-making as well as major techniques of constitutional interpretation. 

Constitutional Rights Litigation

Diversity

Explores the procedural framework governing civil actions to enforce constitutional rights and the actionable elements of the individual rights protected by the Constitution, as well as defenses to constitutional tort liability, including Eleventh Amendment and common law immunities.  Students are required to draft a federal court complaint and to write and orally defend a summary judgment motion brief.

Contracts

Required JD

This course examines in detail the requisite elements of a valid contract, while analyzing the effects of contracts on third parties and the impact of outside forces on contracting parties.

Copyright Law

Business

A comprehensive introduction to copyright law that examines the historical foundations of copyright and related intellectual property law, U.S. treaty obligations, policies and case law that shape not only the traditional areas of copyright law, but also the often controversial relationship between copyright and technology in the digital age.

Corporate Finance/Mergers and Acquisitions

Business

Explores legal and financial issues relating to the capital structure and financing of corporations, including various types of securities and the rights and legal relationships among the holders of such securities; and business and legal considerations with respect to dividends and distributions to shareholders.  This course also considers the planning, structure and implementation in connection with mergers and acquisitions, and the role of the business lawyer in corporate transactions. 

Corporations and Other Business Associations

Business

Provides a basic understanding of the different organizational forms for businesses, including corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships, general partnerships and sole proprietorships.  The course also examines the law of agency, and surveys selected topics, such as basic accounting principles, business formation, financing, dissolution, and securities regulation.

Criminal Law

Required JD

This course focuses on the foundation of our system of substantive criminal law, with emphasis upon mental state, responsibility, justification and excuse, inchoate crimes, and liability for the conduct of another.

Criminal Law Clinic

Criminal

In this clinic students have the option of working either in the prosecution or in the defense of criminal law matters, under the supervision of experienced prosecutors and defense attorneys in Vermont.   All clinicians, regardless of assignment, meet together for a joint classroom component.

Criminal Procedure and Practice A

Criminal

The course covers a broad range of topics in constitutional criminal procedure law and criminal practice, including topics under the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, federal criminal statutes, and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The course is designed to provide both a basic grounding in the criminal procedure jurisprudence relevant for the bar exam and an understanding of the application of this jurisprudence to criminal practice.

Criminal Procedure and Practice B

Criminal

A basic course on Constitutional Criminal Procedure, with comprehensive consideration of topics under the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  Among the topics considered are search and seizure law including probable cause to search and arrest, the warrant requirement and its exceptions, and the exclusionary rule; custodial interrogation, confessions and the privilege against self-incrimination; double jeopardy; the right to counsel and effective assistance of counsel; the death penalty and the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments; lineups and other forms of pretrial identification.

Culture and the Environment

JurisprudenceEnvironmental

Interdisciplinary seminar that combines the study of cultural ecology with legal anthropology. The course examines the historical roots of the current environmental crisis in the development of agriculture, urbanization and industrialization. The course focuses on the political and cultural challenges of climate change in other historical periods and the challenges that global warming presents in different parts of the world.

Current Topics in International Law

International Law

This seminar will provide a vehicle for exploring "hot topics" in international law, with the specific focus shifting from year to year.

Debtor-Creditor Law and Bankruptcy

Business

An exploration of consumer bankruptcy law under Chapters 7, 12, and 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and how the law impacts the rights of borrowers and lenders. The course covers the creation of consumer lender-borrower relationships, including promissory notes, security agreements, and mortgages; rights of borrowers under the Truth in Lending Act, RESPA, and other consumer protection laws; creditor remedies; and exemption statutes under state and federal law. 

Digital Drafting

Business

Focuses on how new technologies affect legal drafting, and surveys the historical background of law and technology; the logical basis for such legal documents as contracts, wills, statutes and regulations; and the theory of embedding law in code. The course  also considers the secondary effects on law, lawyering and the legal profession likely to arise from the digitization of many legal tasks. In addition to the reading and class discussions, students will learn basic programming techniques and will undertake drafting projects. 

Dispute Resolution Clinic I

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Trains students to mediate disputes through participation in local court mediation programs.  Weekly seminars focus on conflict theory, mediation techniques, litigation strategies, public policy and social justice issues, as well as ethical and licensing concerns. A portion of each class devoted to clinic-style rounds, enabling students to present the cases they have mediated for discussion and feedback. 

Dispute Resolution Clinic II

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Karen Borgstrom

Advanced clinic to further develop mediation skills throught participation in mediations in a variety of local court mediation programs and attend weekly seminars.

Earth Law

Environmental

Examines assumptions underlying environmental, constitutional, corporate, and other laws, and how those assumptions impede our ability to live cooperatively and sustainably with the natural world. Identifies legal, governance, and economic systems that better recognize the inherent rights of all people and the natural world.

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Ecology

Environmental

Explores the principles of ecology using an interdisciplinary approach and field-based work. Course work stresses the inventorying of biotic and physical components of a landscape, examining how these components are distributed, and determining what forces drive these patterns. Topics include interpreting the natural and cultural histories of a landscape, biodiversity conservation, and the scientific method, among others.

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Ecology of Food and Agriculture

Required JDRequired LLMEnvironmental

A critical examination of several case studies drawn broadly from the science, law, politics, economics and policy of food and agriculture.  The course also has the broader goals of teaching the student to critically read the scientific literature, and to effectively apply science in diverse legal and political settings. 

Ecosystem Conservation Strategies

Environmental

This course will focus on the conservation theory behind landscape scale projects and specific implementation actions. Case studies will draw conclusions for lawyers and practitioners. The course will involve lectures and discussion. Materials will draw on actual cases and projects involving The Nature Conservancy and other conservation organizations.
 

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Election Law

Public

This seminar examines legislative and judicial regulation of the political process.  It stresses two main themes: 1) the ways in which Congress and the state legislatures regulate campaigns, elections, and participants in the political process and 2) the ways in which courts can justifiably intervene in that process.

Employment Discrimination Law

Business

Examines federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, and sexual identity.  In particular, the course examinesTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity.

 

Employment Law

Business

Examines areas of federal and state labor law which regulate the employment relationship and which provide minimum protection outside of collective bargaining.  Major topics considered include wrongful discharge, post-employment liability, employee privacy, genetic and drug testing, and employee welfare and retirement benefits (ERISA).

Energy Law and Policy in a Carbon-Constrained World

Environmental

Examines key issues in American energy policy and searches for ways to ease the strains which that policy puts upon environmental sustainability. The course reviews fundamental facts about our energy demands and sample regulatory orders and legal writings that address many of those elements from the perspective of a legal review. Background readings will include ethical issues of social justice in siting projects and meeting-or limiting-energy demand, the statutory schemes underlying traditional regulation, and an introduction to wholesale electric markets.

Energy Regulation and the Environment

Environmental

Builds on the course Energy Law and Policy in a Carbon-Constrained World by exposing students to the legal, economic, and structural issues involved in energy regulation and energy markets, focusing on electricity. The course examines the evolution, theory and techniques of monopoly regulation; the current processes for rate setting; and the development of  competitive, market-based alternatives. The course exposes students to the latest approaches to managing the electric grid, to renewable energy strategies and procurement, energy efficiency, demand side management and green markets.

Energy, Development, and Climate Change

Environmental

An exploration of the intersection of energy and development with special attention to the implications of climate change. Course topics and readings are based on recent developments, including the environmental implications of growing energy demand in China and other large developing countries, opportunities and challenges to adoption of renewable energy and other technology-based solutions, and the potential contribution of carbon trading.

Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic

Clinical

The ENRLC is a public interest environmental law firm.  Student clinicians work on behalf of environmental and conservation organizations under the supervision of clinical faculty.  In addition to work on cases, students attend weekly staff meetings and a weekly seminar.

Environmental Aspects of Business Transactions

Environmental

This course will introduce students to the liability, diligence and drafting issues that arise in complex environmental business transactions, such as the purchase and sale of major assets, real property and company stock.

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Environmental Dispute Resolution A

Alternative Dispute ResolutionEnvironmental

Explores the range of processes that are used to resolve environmental disputes with particular emphasis on consensual processes such as negotiation and mediation.  Instruction will be based on lectures and discussions of the theory of dispute resolution and environmental law and simulations to practice the skills needed to resolve environmental disputes.

 

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Summer
Spring

Environmental Economics and Markets

Environmental

Introduces students to the discipline of environmental economics and expose them to debates over the use of market-based instruments in environmental and energy policy. It also introduces students to basic economics and finance concepts, examines key principles, and applies these basic elements and concepts to common environmental problems and actual case studies.

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Environmental Enforcement and Compliance

Environmental

Introduction to the enforcement of federal pollution control laws and a discussion of the basic regulatory structure of those laws and the enforcement tools available to regulators. Covers civil and criminal enforcement and alternatives to traditional command-and-control regulation and enforcement for gaining compliance with environmental standards.

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Environmental Ethics Seminar

Environmental

Explores the ethical foundations of environmental reasoning, including: intrinsic value, biocentrism, utilitarianism, eco-feminism, deep ecology, social ecology, and religious/spiritual foundations of environmental reasoning. These theoretical approaches are applied to concrete environmental policy issues. A central goal of the course is to assist students in developing a personal and professional environmental ethic.

Environmental Health Law Seminar

Environmental

Using  federal environmental law and state public health law this seminar addresses human health impacts resulting from exposure to physical, chemical, biological, and social factors in the environment.  Coverage includes toxic torts, lead poisoning prevention, food protection, and pesticides.  Public policy, and the role of government as policymaker and regulator, are emphasized.  

Environmental Insurance Law and Litigation

Environmental

Provides a broad based introduction to insurance law generally, and more specifically to how environmental issues have forced dramatic changes in the insurance industry, as well as how insurance is a fundamental component of many cases with environmental implications. It will cover the nature and purpose of insurance; different types of environmental insurance products; excess and reinsurance; issues affecting insurers, including tort reform, environmental cleanups, and insolvencies; state and federal regulation of insurers in the environmental arena.

Environmental Issues in Business Transactions

Environmental

An exploration of the types of environmental risks and issues that are commonly confronted in a variety of business-related transactions such as the acquisition of all a company's stock, asset purchases, real estate deals, leases and financings. Special focus on how the environmental issues in transactions are identified and managed in the course of a deal. The unique environmental issues associated with the purchase and redevelopment of contaminated properties or so-called "Brownfield sites" are also covered.

Environmental Justice

Environmental

This course examines the issue of environmental justice from an environmental law perspective and from a civil rights law perspective. It explores how environmental justice issues are framed, addressed, and resolved through litigation and mediation in the U.S. and internationally.

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Environmental Law

Environmental

An introduction to the broader categories of protecting human health and the environment  to both assess the successes and failures of environmental protection in the U.S. and gain more detailed substantive knowledge of several key statutes.

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Environmental Law and Finance

Environmental

A discussion of the four forms of financing (grants, concessionary loans, market loans, and loan guaranties) and their relative desirability and efficiency. Strategies for maximizing a utility's income, traditional cash flow analyses, and project cost reduction strategies.

Environmental Litigation

Environmental

How to sue the government, win, and get paid, with a focus on the Administrative Procedure Act and the citizen suit provision of the Endangered Species Act. The course also covers jurisdictional issues such as standing, ripeness, mootness, exhaustion, primary jurisdiction, and statute of limitations.

Environmental Litigation Workshop

Environmental

This course provides students with intensive, practical experience with application of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the context of civil environmental litigation. Participating in either a plaintiff’s or defendant’s litigation team, students will follow each step in pretrial civil litigation under the FRCP, from complaint filing through discovery.

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Environmentalism in America

Environmental

Explores what has happened to the environment and environmentalism in America since the first Earth Day in 1970. Considerable time is spent on proposals for a revamped or even new American environmentalism. Using scenario analysis, the course looks ahead at what the future might hold and what accounts for different possible outcomes.

Essentials of Electric Grid: Business

Environmental

Introduces the major financial and economic factors that energy companies use in making production and investment decisions, and how emerging environmental regulations might affect these decisions. The module will also cover deregulated market structures in the petroleum, natural gas, and electric power industries. 

Essentials of Electric Grid: Engineering

Environmental

The engineering realities of electric power grids and natural gas pipelines greatly constrain the choices that lawyers and policy analysts might otherwise make. This module covers the engineering fundamentals inherent in the current and expected energy infrastructure.

Essentials of Electric Grid: Legal

Environmental

Provides an overview of the fundamentals of energy law in both the U.S. and the European Union and addresses some of the most important problems faced by energy project development, including facility siting, environmental issues, and authority fragmentation. 

Estate and Gift Taxation

Family

Examines the fundamental principles of federal gift, estate, and generation skipping taxes, including an introduction to basic estate planning techniques.

Estates

Family

 

Examines gratuitous transfers by intestate succession, wills, trusts, and other techniques; execution and revocation of wills; will substitutes; administration of estates; family survivors' rights; the nature of trusts and fiduciary relationships; powers of appointment; and future interests.

 

European Union: Emerging Constitutional Law

International Law

Provides a basic introduction to European Union law, with a focus on the foundational treaties, the key institutions and their interrelationships, and important cases decided by the European Court of Justice.  Students will be given an opportunity to attend lectures by leading EU legal scholars at the University of Trento in Italy.  Special fees and conditions may apply. 

Evidence

Litigation

Considers the rules governing the admissibility of testimonial, physical, documentary, and demonstrative evidence in trials and other formal legal proceedings.  Topics considered include relevance, prejudice, competency, hearsay, opinion, impeachment, and privilege.

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Evidence Lab

Extinction and Climate Change

Environmental

Examines the ecological, social and ethical consequences of biological impoverishment and considers various legal and policy options to address the phenomenon of climate change.  The course addressses the extent to which laws like the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and some international laws can be used to address both conventional threats to species as well as the  threat of climate change.

Family Law

Family

Explores the legal and social issues arising from the development of assistive reproductive technologies. This interdisciplinary course is jointly taught by faculty from VLS and Dartmouth Medical School, and provides an opportunity for VLS and DMS students to share their approaches to the issue.  

Federal Courts

Jurisprudence

An analysis of the sources of and limitations on the federal judicial power.  Particular emphasis is placed upon the relationship between the state and federal judicial system. 

Food Regulation and Policy

Environmental

Presently, the United States is experiencing a resurgence in public concern over the safety of our food supply due to biotechnology, pesticide use, and unsafe food packaging, etc. This course will introduce students to the laws and policies that govern food regulation and policy in the United States.

Food System Justice and Sustainability

Environmental
Our current globalized food system affects the struggling margins that are impacted by industrial production methods and inequitable distribution of healthy food. This course will examine the policies and programs that could help create a Good Food environment, where food is healthy, affordable, and sustainably and fairly produced.

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French Corporate Law

International Law

Taught by a French law professor (in English), this course addresses the substantive law and underlying policies of the law of French business corporations and the ways in which the law differs from U.S. corporate law.  

French Legal Method

International Law

Taught by a French law professor (in English), this course provides an introduction the French law and legal system, and French legal methodology. 

Genocide

International Law

Considers genocide from an interdisciplinary perspective, addressing legal, cultural, political, economic, and moral issues surrounding this phenomenon. These issues are studied in the context of broader international human rights concepts.

Global Energy and Climate Policy

Environmental

Offers a detailed assessment of the most advanced commercially available technologies for strengthening global energy security, mitigating the effects of climate change, and enhancing resilience through adaptation and geo-engineering. The course also evaluates the barriers to the deployment of these technologies and critically reviews public policy options and behavior changes crucial to their adoption.

Global Energy Justice

Environmental

How can justice theory help people make meaningful decisions about the production, delivery, use, and effects of energy? The class is divided into four parts: (1) understanding the global energy system and the injustices currently associated with it; (2) exploring justice theory and what it can offer when applied to energy problems; (3) examining policy mechanisms and tools that promote energy justice; and (4) analyzing case studies around the world of where communities or countries have made remarkable gains promoting energy justice.

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Global Food Security

Environmental

This course explores the legal landscape of global hunger: the definition of “food security;” food security risks; global food governance organizations and legal instruments; assessing and monitoring food security; food related human rights concerns; the current status of global food security; and international NGOs’ strategies for policy advocacy against hunger.

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GPP I - Domestic Relations

General PracticeFamily

This course is an introduction to the substantive law of domestic relations, including divorce, domestic violence, parental rights and responsibilities, child support, spousal maintenance, property settlements, tax consequences, and ethical considerations. Students in this course will also learn to: conduct an initial and follow-up interview of a client; draft a complaint and related documents; prepare and maintain a client file; counsel a client regarding one or more aspects of a divorce; negotiate the economic aspects of a divorce; draft a stipulation; and research and draft a short memorandum to the court. This course is required for all GPP certificate students.

GPP II - Commercial Transactions

General PracticeBusiness

Advice to clients respecting commercial transactions, that is, as to binding agreements between parties of all sorts involving the transfer of goods and services, lies at the core of the private practice of law. This course is an introduction to the negotiation, drafting, performance and enforcement of such agreements in a "real world" context, with a particular emphasis on the interpretation and understanding of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, with at least a nod to U.C.C. Articles 9 (secured transactions) and 3 (negotiable instruments) as they impact on these transactions. In the context of a law firm's actual practice, students will prepare to interview and advise clients on proposed transactions, identify and resolve legal and ethical issues, negotiate the terms of commercial contracts, draft such contracts and analyze and advise clients on issues of performance and breach.

GPP II - Employment Law/Pre-Trial Litigation

General Practice

Disputes between employers and their employees have given rise to a specialized area of law. This course explores the anatomy of a lawsuit by challenging students to learn substantive employment principles and apply those principles to a highly charged dispute. Students learn pretrial strategies by representing either the employer or the employee from the initial client contact until the eve of trial. They will conduct the interview of a difficult client, draft a complaint, answer, and demand letter, conduct a negotiation and draft a pretrial brief in the course of their representation.

GPP II - Environmental Issues In Business Transactions

General PracticeEnvironmental

An exploration of the types of environmental risks and issues that are commonly confronted in a variety of business-related transactions such as the acquisition of all a company’s stock, asset purchases, real estate deals, leases and financings. Special focus on how the environmental issues in transactions are identified and managed in the course of a deal. The unique environmental issues associated with the purchase and redevelopment of contaminated properties or so-called “Brownfield sites” are also covered.

GPP III - Criminal Law

General Practice

This segment of the GPP is taught through the life cycle of a criminal case from the offense and investigation through sentencing. Classes focus on substantive law as related to the case study fact patterns presented. Students act as prosecutors and defense attorneys. Students will present bail hearings and sentencing hearings, and will have two written assignments based on their case files. Most classes will also include discussions of practical ethical issues that arise in criminal cases. Students may expect to develop a solid understanding of how a typical criminal case proceeds. Final grades are based on the two hearings, two written assignments, and class participation.

GPP III - International Intellectual Property

General Practice

In today's economy, the transfer of intellectual property rights plays an important role in domestic and international trade, particularly in the software and entertainment industries. This course will introduce students to the legal and ethical issues involved in the production of creative and artistic works across national boundaries. Students will develop a strong understanding of the primary sources of international copyright law, and the influence of culture on country practices involving protection of intellectual property. Students will advise their client on a particular transaction involving the creation of an artistic work, research and resolve legal and ethical issues, and negotiate and draft select documents. Satisfies perspective requirement.

GPP III - Representing Entrepreneurial Business

General Practice

This course will explore the basic stages of setting up an entrepreneurial business, raising finance for it, and selling it as a going concern. Issues addressed will include understanding the basic concerns of business planning from the client’s perspective, choosing the form of entity, dealing with the regulatory requirements for raising capital, and questions relating to the attorney-client relationship. Projects will include the drafting of documents for a number of simulated business transactions. Skills emphasized include interviewing, drafting instruments and agreements, research on legal and business topics, and business planning fundamentals. Ethical issues are raised and resolved.

GPP IV - Estate Planning/Personal Injury

General Practice
Eric Janson
Martha Smyrski

This course combines two courses: Estate Planning is an introduction to estate planning and probate including the law of wills, testamentary and intervivos trusts, basic probate of wills, basic income and estate tax considerations, powers of attorney, and ethical and malpractice issues. Students in this segment will learn to draft a simple will and simple trust for surviving spouse and minor children, conduct a client intake interview, probate a basic estate, and prepare a durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and living will. In Personal Injury, students will represent either the plaintiff or the defendant in a personal injury claim. And will focus on the collection and assessment of evidence that takes place during the early stages of civil litigation. Students will learn about the discovery mechanisms available in civil litigation generally, and, more specifically, about the information sharing process between the lawyer, the client, the medical experts and the insurance companies in a personal injury case. Students will draft interrogatories and other discovery documents, conduct a deposition, and manage medical documents and evidence. At the end of the process, students will analyze the available information in order to assess the likelihood of success of the claim at trial, and to make a recommendation regarding settlement. Ethical and professional responsibility issues will be discussed throughout the segment.

GPP IV - Municipal Law

General Practice

Representing a client at the municipal level is a challenge like no other in the law. A good attorney must be prepared for everything in forums that occasionally rely more on group sentiment and politics than procedure and rigor. Yet, municipal work is often the most rewarding as the work here as immediate and profound impacts on the community. This course is an introduction to the various issues faced by lawyers representing local government entities. Students will become familiar with the procedures for challenging or defending actions taken by municipalities. Assignments will challenge students to navigate between charter, statutory, bylaw and constitutional obligations. They will draft legal opinions for municipal staff, attend a municipal meeting, and conduct a mock selectboard meeting on a contested issue as well as drafting supporting memoranda on that issue.

Health Law

Family

Focuses on the core of today's health care litigation and regulation in the United States, and health care organization and finance. Covers public health care programs like Medicaid and Medicare; private health care finance and insurance system; liability of health care providers and institution; information privacy and physician-patient confidentiality; tax status and business forms; and the international context for the United States health care system.

 

Human Nature and the Law Seminar

Jurisprudence

Taking as its starting point the idea that humans are biological creatures, and that human nature and its manifestation in the law can be profitably approached from a biologically informed viewpoint, this course examines concepts of culture and other influences on social interaction that help to shape legal systems.

Immigration Law

International Law

Covers the basics of immigration law; family and employment-based immigration categories; citizenship issues, grounds of inadmissibility/deportability; detention; removal and relief from removal. Special emphasisis placed on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and humanitarian relief under asylum law and under the Violence Against Women Act

Income Taxation

Business

An introduction to federal income taxation.  Topics include:  the concept of income; exclusions from income; deductions and credits available to individual non-business taxpayers and business taxpayers; sales and other dispositions of property; capital gains and losses.

Independent Research Project

Writing

Working under the supervision of  working faculty sponsor, the IRP provides an individual student with  an opportunity to research and write about an area of law in which the student has a particular interest.

Indian Tribes as Governmental Stewards of the Environment

EnvironmentalDiversity

Examines the unique body of law governing "Indian country," the geographic areas recognized by the federal government as the homelands of sovereign American Indian tribes. Major topics include the history of federal-tribal relations, tribal property rights, tribal court systems, and the balance of governmental power between tribes, states, and the federal government.

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Intellectual Property

Business

A basic introduction to the law of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. 

Intensive Trial Practice

Litigation

Simulates the experience of preparing for trial under the supervision of experienced trial lawyers. Involves intensive review of the Federal Rules of Evidence and applicable trial practice concepts, as well as significant factual analysis, focus, preparation and practice on one detailed problem in order to best replicate the experience of a real trial.  A number of students will be selected to compete in extramural trial competitions.

Intergenerational Rights and Climate Change

International Law

A research and writing seminar about the doctrines, principles, and rules of law designed to ensure or facilitate the rights of present and future generations to protection from harms resulting or likely to result from global warming.

International Business Transactions

International LawBusiness

Using a problem-solving method, this course provides a practice-based introduction to private cross-border transactions, such as purchase/sale of goods; licensing of intellectual properties; and investment of capital in foreign countries in a service business.  

International Commercial Arbitration

Alternative Dispute ResolutionInternational Law
Curtis Pew

Explores the key legal and practical issues encountered when resolving international commercial disputes through arbitration.  Includes a  critical review and discussion of relevant treaties, statutes, rules, institutions, national and international cases, and awards; addresses the more global question concerning the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration as a method of dispute resolution.

International Criminal Law

International Law

Explores International Criminal Law, broadly defined to include criminal issues that arise in the international setting and international issues that arise in the context of national criminal law.  This broad definition encompasses the prosecution of crimes in international tribunals as well as transnational crimes such as terrorism, organized crime, trafficking in drugs and persons, and cybercrimes, which will be prosecuted in domestic/national courts.

International Environmental Law and Policy

EnvironmentalInternational Law

Provides an overview of the structure and basic principles of international environmental law and policy. The course considers the challenge of addressing global environmental problems; the regulatory limitations of U.S. law; and the basic structure and principles of international environmental law. The course examines in detail the structure of the Montreal Protocol regime  and covers other areas, including treaties related to climate change, biodiversity and wildlife protection, and the intersection of international trade and the environment. 

International Human Rights

International Law

Provides an introduction to international human rights law and procedures. It examines what are "human rights" and explores the law of treaty interpretation, how human rights law is incorporated into domestic legal systems, and the role of international governmental organizations, international and regional courts, and non-governmental organizations in protecting human rights.

International Investment Arbitration and the Environment

International LawEnvironmental

Covers particular themes where human rights, environmental, and investment law interact, such as the right to health, due process and denial of justice, property rights and expropriation, and stabilization clauses and positive human rights obligations. The course places special emphasis on ongoing negotiations, as well as on investment, human rights, and environmental cases decided by international tribunals.

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International Law

International Law

This course provides an introduction to international law and the international legal system.  Using real-world examples, it examines the processes through which international law is made, interpreted and applied, exploring the role of states as well as that of international bodies, non-governmental organizations, and corporations. The application of international law in domestic legal systems is examined, as is the reach of domestic law in the international arena.

International Regulation of Trade

International Law

An introduction to the field of international trade regulation.  Focused primarily on the interpretation and application of key provisions of the major trade treaties falling under the jurisdiction of the World Trade Organization, the course also examines arbitral decisions interpreting and applying provisions of separate bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade treaties such as NAFTA.

International Trade and the Environment

EnvironmentalInternational Law

Examines the intersection between trade liberalization and environmental protection. The course addresses protection of natural resources through unilateral trade-based measures, the legality of multilateral environmental agreements employing trade measures, utilization of science-based trade tests, and environmental impacts of foreign investment liberalization.

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Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

This simulation-based course introduces knowledge and behaviors needed to accomplish interviewing and counseling and negotiation tasks successfully.  Topics include working relationships with clients, gathering information from clients effectively, and helping clients make decisions in both dispute resolving and transactional contexts.

Introduction to American Legal System: Constitutional Law, Legislation, Regulation

Environmental

Provides foreign-trained lawyers with a thorough introductory grounding in the U.S. legal system, environmentally-relevant common law, constitutional law, legislative and regulatory regimes, and the skills needed to access and utilize appropriate materials. 

Introduction to Chinese Law

International Law

An introduction to contemporary Chinese legal system and institutions in historical and comparative perspective.  Studies diverse aspects in the legal development of the PRC, including the legislature, sources of law, the legal profession and the judiciary, administrative law, the criminal justice system, dispute resolution, and the efforts and challenges of addressing China's environmental degradation and energy problems through law.

Introduction to Legal Studies

Environmental

An introduction to the fields of legal analysis, research, and writing through the study of environmental statutes and case law. The course explores research and investigatory techniques, citation form, legal reasoning, writing skills, and professionalism. 

Introduction to Study of Law

Environmental

An introduction to the fields of legal analysis, research, and writing through the study of environmental statutes and case law. The course explores research and investigatory techniques, citation form, legal reasoning, writing skills, and professionalism. 

JD Part Time Externship

Clinical
Jeffry White

Provides an opportunity to obtain field based experience on a part-time basis.  Students must work three hours per week for 15 weeks for each credit earned, and may earn from two to six credits depending on the time committed.  Students meet regularly with their faculty sponsors for evaluation and reflection of their experience.

Judicial Externship

Clinical
Jeffry White

Places students in judges' chambers, where students learn about the process of judicial decision making by observing the function of a court. Students work with the supervising judge to develop legal skills such as writing, research, and analytical skills. All judicial externship students complete an Academic Component which concentrates on judicial and legal ethics, judicial philosophy and history; decision-making and judicial discretion; and judicial opinion writing.

Judicial Opinion Writing

Jurisprudence

Explores the opinion-writing process from several theoretical and practical perspectives.  Students draft law clerk memos and judicial opinions based on the briefs and records in actual state and federal cases.

Jurisprudence Tutorial

Jurisprudence

Modeled after the Oxford-Cambridge tutorial system in which the student and faculty member follow a course of reading and meet to discuss, this tutorial provides an opportunity for students to master a field of law and/or philosophy, or explore a particular author's writings in depth, or resolve a particular problem. The preferred subjects are philosophy, jurisprudence, social and political philosophy, ethics, land use, population, environmental, and tort law.

Juvenile Justice Seminar

Criminal

Explores the historical and current administration of juvenile justice in the US, including the legal and policy justifications for having a separate system for young offenders, and whether this division continues to make sense today.

Land and the Law of Takings

Environmental

Traces the development of the constitutional regulatory takings doctrine in the United States-why it developed, what lines it draws, what voids have not yet been filled, how existing case law applies to various types of situations and whether the lines need to be redrawn by the courts or by legislatures to meet more fully the complex, competing needs of our society.

Land Conservation Law

Environmental

Examines the tools available to preserve ecological diversity, historic places, working lands, scenic viewsheds, and open space, such as conservation easements, purchase of sensitive lands, and private/public partnerships for land conservation. The course provides a practical understanding of both the legal and nonlegal dimensions of land conservation transactions involving conservation easements.

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Land Transactions and Finance

Environmental

An introduction to land transaction and finance, covering the study of the title system, title insurance and land contracts, the private development process, and modern real estate financing, including private financing and public financing. The course also introduces the public-private development process including redevelopment, military base conversion and Brownfield's redevelopment.

Land Use and Policy Clinic

Environmental

Provides an opportunity to address land use issues through the application of law and planning tools. Students work in non-adversarial projects such as drafting of legislation, plans, or legal instruments; researching, summarizing and analyzing relevant law and planning tools; developing training materials; and making presentations to lawyers and land use professionals.  Students also attend a weekly class and a weekly project strategy session.

Land Use Clinic

Clinical

Provides an opportunity to develop lawyering skills, particularly as applied in the area of land use practice. The classroom component introduces relevant land use law, practice, and competencies needed for effective representation. The placements build on the class providing students a significant practical experience in land use law.

Land Use Regulation

Environmental

A basic course in land use law.  Covers planning and all manner of private and public land use regulation from common interest communities, to subdivisions, to zoning, to variances, to planned development districts, to transit-oriented development, to traditional neighborhood design, to form-based codes, to growth management. 

Law of Ecosystem Management

Environmental

This course provides an introduction to the concept of ecosystem management—its history, principles, and current state of play in concrete policy settings. The course then explores laws and regulations relating to the six types of ecosystems often described in ecosystem management literature—forests, grasslands, freshwater, coastal and marine, fragile (e.g., deserts, alpine), and human dominated (e.g., agricultural, urban, recreational). Perspectives of agencies, resource users, environmental groups, and other interest groups will be explored.

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Law of International Organizations

International Law

Focuses on the law of treaty-based intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), including their constitutive laws, the laws governing their internal functioning, and the "laws" they promulgate in the form of binding and nonbinding agreements and regulations. The course examines the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as other other IGO in diverse fields.

Legal Adaptation to Global Warming

Environmental

Using global warming adaptation as an example of how the law and legal institutions evolve in response to major social changes, the course examines the legal challenges raised by the need for our society to adapt to the impacts of global warming.  Topics include the need for alternative tools for dealing with eroding coastal shores and higher flooding risks, strategies for relocating urban populations to higher ground, modifications to the Endangered Species Act and other wildlife laws, federal and state property insurance policies, and techniques for reallocating water supplies.  

Legal Methods

Required JD

Focuses on building and reinforcing the analytical, writing, and reasoning skills essential for success in law school.

Legal Profession

Required JD

 The study of a lawyer's professional obligations based on the ABA's Model Rules, ethical rules from selected jurisdictions, and other laws and traditions governing professional conduct. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to identify ethical dilemmas and acquire the tools to help resolve them.

 

Legal Reasoning, Writing and Research (Legal Writing I)

Required JDWriting

An introduction to the three fundamental skills needed for the pursuit of a legal career: research, reasoning, and writing. The early emphasis is on basic writing skills to eliminate language problems and to begin to develop clear, fluid writing. Students also learn rudimentary legal writing skills, including citing, identifying legally significant facts, formulating issues, and reasoning by analogy.

Legal Research

Required JDResearch

Introduction to legal research tools and strategies relevant for law school as well as legal practice. Topics include legal authority, the use of primary and secondary sources, effictive use of LexisNexis, Westlaw, and other electronic databases, the role of the Internet in legal research, and a brief introduction to environmental and international legal research. Emphasis is placed on appropriate and effective research strategies and evaluation of sources, both print and electronic.

Legal Writing II: Theory and Practice

Required JD

Develops fundamental legal writing, reasoning, and research skills in the context of the analysis of a specific subject matter. This course also provides the transition from predictive to persuasive legal writing and advocacy and an introduction to other legal problem-solving skills.

Legislation

Public

Examines legislative law and the legislative process.  Topics include: the nature and history of legislative power, legislative structure and procedure, legislative advocacy, drafting statutory law, statutory construction, legislative history, legislative oversight, and the role of legislative attorneys in the process and the development of public policy.

Legislative Clinic

EnvironmentalPublic

Provides an opportunity for students to work in a standing committee of the Vermont General Assembly under the supervision of the committee's chair and a legislative counsel.  Students are required to be in attendance at the General Assembly in Montpelier and to complete legal research and drafting projects relating to their committee's pending legislation.  

LLM Research Project

Required LLM

Provides an individual student with an opportunity to undertake a research project in an area of law in which the student has a particular interest. Projects require intensive research and the completion of a major piece of legal writing under the supervision of a faculty sponsor.

LLM Seminar

Required LLM

Explores diverse advanced topics and viewpoints over environmental law and policy, through discussion and lectures from environmental scholars who will present their scholarship to the seminar. 

LLM Seminar II (Thesis)

The thesis must be a substantial piece of written work of publishable quality. A 10-15 page thesis proposal must be approved by the LLM candidate's faculty supervisor and the Director of the Environmental Law Center before the thesis is begun. A student who writes a thesis must make a public oral presentation of the thesis work.

Mediation

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Karen Borgstrom

Examines the nature of mediation and explores theoretical and practical aspects of the process. The course analyzes each component of the mediation process and provides students with the opportunity to apply theories and skills in simulation exercises.

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Mediation Advocacy

EnvironmentalAlternative Dispute Resolution

Designed to teach students how to be effective advocates in the mediation setting. Students will learn to counsel clients for mediation, how to prepare a mediation plan, select a mediator, as well as effective participation in mediation.

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Medlaw Seminar: Medical Legal Issues and our Changing Concepts of Reproduction and the Family

Family

What is involved in the processes of in vitro fertilization, egg harvesting, and sperm donation, and how should the law respond?  Can conception and parenthood occur post-mortem, and if so, what are the legal consequences?  If a surrogate mother gives birth to a child, does the law consider her to be the mother?  Who should have access to assisted reproductive technologies-single mothers, same-sex couples, rich and poor alike-- and should the law regulate such an issue?  If these questions intrigue you, we invite you to enroll in this seminar.

MELP Externship

Clinical

Provide MELP students with field experience in the environmental area.  Under the supervision of a faculty sponsor and an on-site supervisor, students can intern in non-profit groups; international, federal, state and local government agencies; law firms, and consulting firms all over the world.

Moral Philosophy for Professionals Seminar

JurisprudenceWriting

Examines ethical issues in the professions with an emphasis on law, including professional character and relationships, gender and moral reasoning, confidentiality, deception, paternalism, and allocation of limited resources. Readings in professional ethics and ethical theory are applied to concrete situations facing professionals, including lawyers, environmental professionals, health providers, journalists, social workers, and political agencies.

National Security Law

International LawPublic

Explores lawyers' involvement in the formulation and implementation of United States foreign and national defense policy through the examination variety of domestic, constitutional, and international law issues such as authority for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, intelligence gathering at home and abroad, detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects, planning for the next terrorist attack, protection of sensitive government information, and other current topics.

Native Americans and the Law

Diversity

This course will focus on the constitutional, statutory and jurisprudential rules of law which make up the field of Federal Indian Law. Attention will be given to the historical framework from which the rules were derived. After tracing the development of the underlying legal doctrines which are prominent today, we will consider subject-specific areas of Indian Law like hunting and fishing rights, stewardship of natural resources, economic development and protection of religion and cultural lifestyles.

Natural Resources Law

EnvironmentalRequired LLM

 Examines the statutes and regulations governing the management of the federal lands and their resources. Considers the historical, political, and ecological influences on the law and management of these resources, and includes an introduction to the agencies with jurisdiction over the components of the federal estate.

Negotiating Environmental Agreements

Alternative Dispute ResolutionEnvironmental

Examines the use of consensual processes such as negotiation and mediation to resolve environmental disputes and manage environmental conflict.  Instruction will be through lectures to discuss the theory of dispute resolution and through simulations to practice the skills.

Negotiation

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Sean Nolon
Donald Powers

A hands-on introduction to the theory and practice of negotiation.  Explores the tension that is created in every negotiation between cooperating to create value with the other side and competing to claim value against the other side.  While there is a lecture component of this course, instruction relies heavily on the use of simulations. 

UPDATE: The summer 2014 Negotiation course has been cancelled.

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Summer 2013
Spring 2014

New Frontiers in Environmental Policies

Environmental

Explores the proposition that successfully coping with today's environmental threats requires deeper challenges to our prevailing system of political economy than mainstream environmentalism in the United States has been willing to mount.  The course develops the idea that a new American environmentalism is needed and with it new environmental policy and law that go beyond the traditional realm of environmental affairs. 

Nonprofit Management

Business

An overview of management subjects facing nonprofit organizations, including resource development, leadership and governance, staffing, planning and policy, resource management and reporting, communications, and stewardship

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Non-Profit Organizations

Business

Examines nonprofit law, policy and practice. The course focuses on the issues surrounding the creation of a tax-exempt charitable organization at the state and federal levels, raising money for that organization, unrelated business income, lobbying and political activity, board of directors and managerial liability, and dissolution of the organization. 

Ocean and Coastal Law

EnvironmentalInternational Law

A review of domestic and international laws and treaties relating to coastal management, pollution, protected areas, endangered species, fish, marine mammals, wetlands, and seabed mineral and hydrocarbon resources. The course considers how effectively these legal authorities blend together to provide rational and comprehensive management and protection of marine resources.

PDF LogoDownload the 2014 Course Syllabus - updated 6/2/14

Oil and Gas Production and the Environment

Environmental

A review of the major contracts used to explore for and produce oil and gas in the U.S. and internationally. The course covers leasing practices on public lands in the U.S. and the acquisition of host government contracts from foreign governments, and provides an understanding of the future of petroleum as a resource, the technology used to produce it, and the externalities of production.

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Peace, War, and the Environment

EnvironmentalInternational Law

This course explores environmental protection during armed conflict and analyzes the role of environmental management in peacekeeping and state reconstruction. It considers current challenges in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and discusses how environmental obligations may be incorporated into the laws of new states.

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Privacy Law

Criminal

In the 21st century, we are all witnesses to, actors in, and subjects/objects of something often called the "Information Age". For about a century, law has sought to define the "privacy rights" of individuals to control personal information held by others. Modern lawyers advocate on privacy issues in new and complex contexts. This course provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of privacy law and the training to reason analogically to accommodate emergent technologies within existing legal frameworks.

Property

Required JD

An introduction to the concept of ownership and its legal implications: rights to control, enjoy, and transfer real and personal property, including public and private restrictions on use; estates in land; concurrent ownership; adverse possession; easements and licenses; and landlords and tenants.

Public Health Implications of U.S. Agriculture and Food Policy

Environmental

An in-depth exploration of agricultural and food laws and the policies and regulatory mechanisms supporting them. The course covers diverse public health issues including Farm Bill nutrition assistance programs, food access, obesity and malnutrition, food safety and food-borne diseases, genetically modified foods, organic and other certification schemes, and the debate about food systems and sustainability.

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Public Lands Management - Montana Field Study

Environmental

A comparative approach to competing legal mandates and diverse philosophies that make federal land management a lively topic not only in the West, but throughout the country. Resource extraction, preservation, and sustainable/multiple-use concepts are addressed. 

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Professor Jack Tuholske and veteran students of the 2013 course held an informal Q&A session to answer student questions about what this backpacking course entails. You can view the discussion video here.

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Public Law

Environmental

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to public law, focusing on the constitutional structure of government, the legislative process and statutory interpretation, the nature and authority of public administrative agencies, the methods agencies use to establish regulations and other legal rules, and the process for judicial review of agency action.

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Race and the Law Seminar

Diversity

Provides an introduction to race as it relates to and is reflected in the law.  The seminar focuses on the role and experience of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latin-Americans, and Native-Americans in American society, with attention to questions concerning critical race theory, class, family, and feminism.  

RCRA - Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulation

Environmental

Examines the regulation of solid and hazardous waste under the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Solid Waste Act, RCRA's overlap with other statutes, and the policy implications of the statute.  The course addresses the regulatory and policy problems associated with recycling, resource recovery, waste minimization, land disposal, incineration, underground storage tanks, and state and federal regulation of the generation, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes.  

Regulating the Marine Environment

EnvironmentalInternational Law

Examines the interaction of state, federal, and international regimes in the regulation of the marine environments through the examination of issues such as the marine environment as a source of energy; the nonrenewable resources of the seabed; and the winds, waves, currents, and temperatures of the sea itself.

Remedies

Jurisprudence

Studies the legal and equitable methods available to redress an infringement of legal rights, such as those rights provided by the laws of contracts, torts, equity, constitutional law, and civil procedure. 

Renewable Energy Law and Policy

Environmental

This course explores the expanding field of renewable and alternative energy supplies. It reviews local, state, and federal laws and policies that promote (and impede) such sources, and considers emerging distributed generation models. Turning to technology-specific evaluations, it surveys the range of emerging technologies and looks in depth into some specific models of high potential or value, concluding with consideration of proposed strategies for reducing greenhouse gases.

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Renewable Energy Project Finance and Development

Environmental

An in-depth look at the legal and regulatory issues associated with the development and project financing of renewable energy projects such as wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal, and the basic terms and conditions of the contracts that are necessary for a successful project financing, such as power purchase agreements, engineering contracts, fuel supply arrangements, and operation and maintenance agreements.

Representing a Private Business: Formation, Financing, Recruitment, Venture Capital/Private Equity, Acquisitions and Exit Strategies

Business

Prepares students for the practice of transactional corporate law by providing them with a foundation on the law and processes related to corporate transactions, acquisitions, and divestitures of businesses.  Students draft documents, negotiate business issues, and organize the legal affairs for growing businesses.

Risk Assessment

Environmental

A science and law course taught from the perspective of a scientist.   This course examines the science, methods, principles and limitations of risk assessment and, more broadly, teaches methods of evaluating and critiquing scientific information.

Sales

Business

Covers primarily Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code governing the sale of goods, including formation and modification of contracts for sale, Article 2's statute of frauds, warranties, parole evidence, risk allocations when goods are stored or transported, breach, remedies for sellers and buyers, and contractual limitations on remedies.  The course includes references to consumer rights as well as comparisons between the common law of contract and the Code's rules and concepts.

Science for Environmental Law

EnvironmentalRequired LLM

Introduces students to the science critical to environmental law and policy, including climate science, air pollution, toxicology, and natural resource management. It also introduces students to scientific thinking and culture, and explores some of the challenges involved in effectively using science in legal and policy decision-making.

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Scientific Controversies

Environmental

Through case studies, this course explores the manipulation of scientific information underpinning some public policy controversies such us global climate change, abortion, homosexuality, DNA forensics, evolution, genetically modified organisms, and debates over the safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs. The course also has the broader goals of teaching the student to critically read and identify political or social bias on scientific literature.

Secured Transactions

Business

An examination of the structure of the law of security interests in personal property from both practical and economic perspectives.  The course covers the interests of all parties in secured transactions, particularly as a way of financing business.

Securities Regulation

Business

A study of federal law and the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning the registration, distribution and trading of securities, and legal and regulatory aspects of the securities industry.  The course considers the responsibilities and liabilities of issuers of securities, its officers and directors, brokers, attorneys, and other participants in the distribution and trading processes, as well as issues regarding "insider" trading.

Semester in Practice (SIP)

Clinical

A full-time external clinic, appropriate for students interested in self-directed learning under the supervision of an experienced mentor. Field-mentors are experienced lawyers who work with and within government, NGOs, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and law firms.

Sexual Orientation and the Law Seminar

Diversity

A look at the way law and the legal systems affect the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.  The class will explore domestic and international laws that sanction discrimination against the LGBT community and the struggle for equality by this community.

Social Enterprise Law

Business

Explores which legal rules can best further enterprises that are designed to engage in profit-making activities for the purpose of promoting social goals.  Will examine ways to define social enterprises; and ask whether traditional for-profit or non profit business forms can accommodate these dual mission companies or whether a new hybrid business form is needed.

South Royalton Legal Clinic

Clinical

An on-campus clinic dedicated to serving Vermont residents who cannot afford private counsel.  Students work under supervising attorneys representing real clients in civil cases in state and federal courts in Vermont and before administrative agencies.

Spanish Constitutional Law

International Law

An introduction to the study of comparative law that provides students with an opportunity to compare the Spanish and the American approaches to constitutional law.   The seminar focuses on similarities and differences in constitutional structure, methodology, and values.  Students attend lectures by leading Spanish legal scholars at VLS and at the University of Seville in Spain.  

Sports Law

Business

An interdisciplinary course that provides students with both practical and theoretical approaches to legal issues that affect professional and amateur sports leagues, conferences, team, and players.  Topics include torts, antitrust, labor, agency, criminal, contract, immigration, and anti-discrimination laws.

State and Local Government

EnvironmentalPublic

Examines the interaction between federal, state and local governments, with particular attention to resource management, pollution control, and human rights. The course also covers non-state jurisdictions such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Indian Country.

Study Abroad Seminar: Canadian Legal System

International Law

Designed to increase study abroad opportunities for students, the specific content taught at VLS is based on the Canadian Legal System.

Sustainable Community Planning in Practice

Environmental

Covers key issues that can be addressed at the community level as components of effective local land use planning.  Reviews regulatory and nonregulatory tools to implement plans and examines topics such as the evolution of land use planning, and smart growth and its barriers.

The Law and Popular Culture

Jurisprudence

Explores images of law and lawyers in popular films as well as the influences of popular film upon legal practice.  Topics studied through the films include Legal Actors and Institutions --such as Law Students, Lawyers and Legal Ethics, Clients, Witnesses, Judges and Juries-- and legal subject matter areas, such as Tort Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Family Law, Business Law, International Law and Military Law. 

The Law of Animals in Agriculture

Environmental

Covers the evolution and regulation of animal agriculture in America, contrasted with farmed animal welfare policies in other developed nations. Will evaluate the long-term sustainability of CAFO food production specifically and animal food production generally. Students will explore the pressures from increased international trade in agricultural products.

 

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The Modern Farm Bill

Environmental

An introduction to the policies and legal authorities included in the Farm Bill that Congress re-evaluates every 5 years. This course will demonstrate the impact of a modern farm bill on private working lands and consumers. International trade, clean energy, forestry, rural development, and overall food policies will be reviewed. 

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The Tools of Environmental Law

Environmental

Introduces students to the various legal methods of achieving environmental improvement. Topics covered include market forces and emission trading; handling inspections and enforcement actions; environmental litigation and complex causation; acquiring and using information; risk assessment; and methods to account for and transfer environmental risks in business transactions.

Three Essentials of the Electric Grid

Environmental

This course sets out, in three linked modules, the fundamental knowledge that professionals should have for working in the closely intertwined fields of energy and the environment. Students may take one, two, or three modules for one credit each.

Module A: Engineering Essentials

The engineering realities of electric power grids and natural gas pipelines greatly constrain the choices that lawyers and policy analysts might otherwise make. This module will cover the engineering fundamentals inherent in the current and expected energy infrastructure.

Module B: Business Essentials

The energy and electric power industries in the U.S. are facing unprecedented challenges in meeting our society’s demands for low-cost, high-reliability energy and electricity with lower environmental impacts. This module will introduce the major financial and economic factors that energy companies use in making production and investment decisions, and how emerging environmental regulations might affect these decisions. The module will also cover deregulated market structures in the petroleum, natural gas and electric power industries.

Module C: Legal Essentials

This module will provide an overview of the fundamentals of energy law in both the US and the European Union. It will focus on what financiers, engineers, and economists need to know about energy law in order to work together and with lawyers in the energy world. The course will address some of the most important problems faced by energy project development, including facility siting, environmental issues, and authority fragmentation. In every issue a comparative perspective will be adopted.

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Torts

Required JD

This course presents the study of the legal protection afforded against interference by others with the security of one's person, property, or intangible interests.

Trademark and Unfair Competition

Business

Provides students with a solid foundation in trademark, rights of publicity, advertising, and other state and federal law relating to the protection of commercial goodwill. Students will also be introduced to the practical aspects of interacting with the US Trademark Office and its administrative body - The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board.

Transnational Issues in the Practice of Law

International Law

Examines the broad range of transnational issues that practitioners can expect to encounter in their law practices, such as international contracts, importing, exporting, inbound and outbound foreign investment, business immigration, protection of intellectual property, international aspects of criminal and family law, international enforcement of judgments, arbitral agreements and arbitral awards, and ethics.

Trial Practice

Litigation

This skills course covers the important aspects of a trial, including jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination, exhibits, objections, expert witnesses, and closing arguments.  The course culminates in a full, simulated trial.  

Water Quality

Environmental

An in-depth analysis of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Ocean Dumping Act, along with relevant regulations, policies and case law. Other federal statutes are covered more selectively, along with state laws. Regulation of groundwater contamination is included as well as tort claims for damages. 

Water Resources Law

Environmental

Examines the three main systems of water law in the United States: Eastern riparian systems, the prior appropriation doctrine of the West, and the nationally diverse laws regulating the use of groundwater. The course will also review federal water allocation issues, interstate water disputes, tribal water rights matters, and will highlight contemporary water allocation dilemmas throughout the country.

Watershed Management and Protection

Environmental

Taking "ecosystem approach" to the study of watersheds and the laws that attempt to restore and maintain them, the course contrasts the current fragmented approach of pollution control and land use law with the kind of integration that is needed to deal more effectively with the problems affecting watersheds. Topics include the public trust doctrine, water allocation, pollution control, floodplains and wetlands conservation, storm water controls, "factory farms," endangered species preservation,  and ecological restoration.  

Wetlands Conservation

Environmental

Provides a survey of federal wetlands regulation under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and related laws and a discussion of international protections. Includes discussions of the basis for federal jurisdiction over wetlands, the fundamentals of the wetlands regulatory process, the role of wetlands in climate change, the relationship to other federal laws, enforcement, international treaties, and other obligations related to wetlands, and scientific and policy issues.

White Collar Crime

Criminal

White Collar Crime balances black letter law with current, high-profile examples of corporate felonies and fiascos. Topics include: conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, perjury, obstruction of justice, RICO, tax fraud, money laundering, and environmental crimes. In addition, administrative investigations, grand jury investigations, pleas, trials and sentencing will be covered.

Wildlife Crimes: Nature, Scope, and Response

EnvironmentalInternational Law

An introduction to the domestic statutes and international treaties that regulate and/or prohibit particular types of unlawful wildlife taking and trafficking, with emphasis on the enforcement schemes and methods used to address these crimes. The course includes a discussion of the most common types of wildlife crimes and an examination of the CITES treaty.

Women and the Law

Jurisprudence

Explores the interaction of the law and gender via an in-depth study of legal responses to domestic violence. Includes discussions of family law, the civil and criminal systems, and the international human rights dimensions of this issue.