It's wholly unexpected that a Chinese environmental leader would best know only two or three cities in the United States: New York, Los Angeles, and South Royalton. But that's what happens when a little law school in Vermont trains more than 1,000 Chinese individuals in environmental and energy law in just eight years.
As the challenges posed by climate change grow in urgency, the power that massive developing countries like China--and partner countries like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar, where China has invested significant resources--can leverage to effect change cannot be overstated.
The U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law at Vermont Law School has thus set out on a mission: to engage and train Chinese and Southeast Asian judges, legal scholars, students, natural resource managers, and other professionals in environmental justice, climate change issues, public interest advocacy, and environmental governance.
The Partnership's endeavors are not restricted for our colleagues across the Pacific. Students who specialize in Chinese and Southeast Asian environmental law at VLS will study and research the region's environmental governance challenges, improve their foreign language skills, and build useful connections for their future career in international environmental law. Many students take an exchange semester abroad. And of course, students can draw upon Vermont Law's extensive portfolio of environmental and international courses, clinics, journals, and extracurriculars.
Whether they hail from South Royalton or Beijing, a generation of leaders will use the power of the law to address climate change, public health, and the environment in China and Southeast Asia, and Vermont Law School will teach them how.