​​​​Programs designed for JD students from other law schools, available only during Summer Session. 

Vermont Law School's master's degrees position graduates to take lead roles in solving the world’s most complex and significant problems.

The degrees

Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP): this degree combines environmental law with interdisciplinary training in policy, science, ethics, and public advocacy.
Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL): this degree offers intensive training at the intersection of energy law, regulation, policy, and economic analysis. 
Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP): this new program is designed to help students develop skills in agriculture and food policy advocacy.


Our summer degree programs offer students the opportunity to earn a JD degree from their home law school and a master’s degree from Vermont Law in three academic years, the period of time ordinarily required to earn the JD degree alone. Students spend the summer after their first year taking classes in Vermont, and the summer after their second year engaged in a Master’s Externship. They may transfer up to 6 JD credits, and finish their master’s credits with online courses. The programs are designed for students who wish to pursue a career in environmental, energy, or food and agriculture law, take full advantage of Vermont Law’s diverse environmental curriculum, and supplement their study of law with interdisciplinary training in policy, science, ethics, and public advocacy.

Read up on one student's experience in our Summer Session program, featured in The ​​National Jurist, "​Should You Study This Summer?​"


How Does the Program Work?

First JD Year First Master's Summer Second JD Year Second Master's Summer Third JD Year
JD classes at your home law schoolChoose 5 master's summer classes

Consider classes that will satisfy master's degree requirements
JD classes at your home law school

Consider classes to transfer that will qualify for master's credit or satisfy master's requirements
Master's Externship: 10 credits

Online master's classes: 3-9 credits
JD classes at your home law school

Consider classes to transfer that will qualify for master's credit or satisfy master's requirements
 Master's credits: 11Transfer credits: 3Master's credits: 13Transfer credits: 3

The Curriculum

The MELP curriculum includes two required courses: Communications, Advocacy and Leadership (CAL), taken online, and Environmental Law. MELP students also take 
three of five core courses in different disciplines, and choose from a wide array of environmental law electives. The MERL curriculum includes three required courses taken online: Energy Law and Policy, Energy Regulation, and Environmental Economics and Markets; energy electives taken on campus; and a project or writing component. The MFALP includes two required courses taken online: CAL and Introduction to the Law and Policy of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment; food and agriculture electives taken on campus; and a project or writing component. During the Summer Session, students in all three master’s programs take classes and participate in a community of students and scholars exploring the cutting edge of environmental law and policy. The faculty include scholars from other law schools, public interest advocates, government attorneys, and lawyers from private practice. The program offers 36 two-, three-, and eight-week courses between late May and early August.

Experiential Learning

Most master’s students spend the summer after their second year engaged in full-time externships in the U.S. or abroad. Students earn credit toward their master’s while gaining experience that advances their education and helps prepare them for employment. Students pursue a wide variety of externships, including with the U.S. Department of Justice, state attorneys general, federal and state environmental agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, and in private practice.


Academic Planning

Students work with an academic planning advisor at Vermont Law School to design a program suited to their needs and interests. For more details, contact Academic Planning Advisor Anne Linehan, at alinehan@vermontlaw.edu or 802-831-1338.​


Apply Now

Please contact the Admissions Office if you have questions about admissions.

Toll free: (888) 277-5985
Phone: (802) 831-1239
Email: admiss@vermontlaw.edu