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Center for Legal Innovation


The Future of Legal Education

Vermont Law School has a tradition of being at the leading edge of legal education. It has seen once avant-garde initiatives, such as our general practice and semester-in-practice programs, legal clinics and international programs, become models for widespread adoption. The Center for Legal Innovation builds on this history, with a focus on the current challenges for effective and affordable education for the lawyers of the 21st Century. Some of the new approaches involve technology. Oliver Goodenough co-edited the ebook Educating the Digital Lawyer, published in 2012 by Lexis Nexis, to which Jeanne Eicks contributed the chapter “Educating Legal Professionals: Successful Modern Curricula Join Law and Technology.” Through technology and the direct application of legal skills, we are educating the next generation of lawyers.

Distance education is another strand of innovation where VLS is leading the way. Vermont Law School’s dedication to distance education arose from considering the likely shapes of the future market—or markets—for legal education linked to a desire to extend our missions for environmental protection and furthering a just society beyond our physical location in Northern New England . Vermont Law School’s distance learning innovations help provide model for other law schools’ considering distance education. Rebecca Purdom chairs the Working Group for Distance Learning in Legal Education, a national group of law school faculty and practitioners focused on promoting reform in legal education, convened under the umbrella the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. . Vermont Law School currently offers an online Master of Environmental Law and Policy and an online LLM in Environmental Law.