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Course Name
Land Transactions and Finance

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 Regulation

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

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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Legal Profession

 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.



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

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

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

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.

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

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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MELP Externship

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

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.

Natural Resources Law

 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.

Sean NolonDonald 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

Nonprofit Management

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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Ocean and Coastal 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.

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Oil and Gas Production and the Environment

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

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

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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