Vermont Law School offers a robust program for students interested in a career in criminal law, including the option to pursue a Certificate in Criminal Law.
The certificate in criminal law provides broad-based, comprehensive training and skills needed by students to become prosecutors, defenders, or to practice criminal law in a private firm setting. It includes courses in Criminal Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure or Criminal Practice & Procedure, and Evidence.
In addition, students also have access to specialized knowledge in such matters as sentencing law, narcotics law, white collar crime, juvenile justice, electronic surveillance and computer crime.
This is a field rich with job opportunities: there are prosecutor and defender positions in every state, county and city as well as at the federal level, for a total of tens of thousands of jobs across the U.S.
Moreover, at Vermont Law School, a student learns about criminal law from experts who bring a unique set of experiences and skills to this practice area. Criminal law faculty member Robert Sand '87 is leading efforts to reform the criminal justice system in Vermont with regard to crime directly or indirectly caused by drug addiction. Sands is also Senior Policy and Legal Advisor for the Vermont Department of Public Safety, and the former elected State's Attorney for Windsor County, Vermont. Another faculty member, Michele Martinez Campbell, is not only the former deputy Chief of the Narcotics Unit for the United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, but is also an award-winning author of crime novels.
In addition to access to faculty expertise, students have the opportunity to participate in and organize conferences. Recently, students attended an event on innovative criminal justice practices in Vermont, which attracted Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Reiber, Attorney General William Sorrell, and other leaders in the Vermont legal community (see below).
Finally, through the Criminal Law Clinic, students interested in criminal law have the chance to participate in a seminar taught by a prosecutor and two defense attorneys, all three of whom are leading practitioners in the Vermont criminal law bar and members of the VLS criminal law faculty. Students enrolled in the seminar attend class once a week for two hours and then work on real criminal cases under the direct supervision of Vermont law faculty.