​​​​​​​​Vermont Law School invites leaders in the fields of environmental, energy, agriculture, and international environmental law to serve as Distinguished Summer Scholars in residency during the VLS Summer Session. Each Distinguished Summer Scholar delivers a public lecture, participates in informal social events on campus, and is available to meet with students individually. These distinguished visitors are a significant intellectual resource for our summer students and also offer valuable networking opportunities.


Environmental Law Scholar

James Salzman, Samuel F. Mordecai Professor of Law and Professor of Environmental Policy, Duke University 

Jim Salzman holds joint appointments at Duke University as the Samuel Fox Mordecai Professor of Law at the Law School and as the Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment.  This summer, Professor Salzman is moving  to become the inaugural Donald Bren Professor of Environmental Law and Policy with joint appointments at UCLA’s law school and UCSB’s school of the environment. ​In more the seventy articles and seven books, his broad-ranging scholarship has addressed topics spanning trade and environment conflicts, the history of drinking water, environmental protection in the service economy, wetlands mitigation banking, and the legal and institutional issues in creating markets for ecosystem services. A popular classroom teacher, Professor Salzman has twice been voted Professor of the Year by students.  An honors graduate of Yale and Harvard, he has lectured on environmental law and policy on every continent except Antarctica and has served as a visiting professor at Yale, Stanford, Harvard as well as at universities in Australia, Sweden, Israel, Italy and Portugal. Prior to teaching, he worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the OECD, and as the European Environmental Manager for Johnson Wax.

Energy Law Scholar

Steven Ferrey, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School
Steven Ferrey is Profess​or of Law at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, and has served as Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  Since 1993, he has served as a primary legal advisor to the World Bank and the United Nations on renewable energy and climate change projects in several developing countries in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere.   He recently has served as Vice-Chair of two different ABA Energy Committees.  He has testified as an expert witness before 7 different committees of the U.S. Congress on energy, and was appointed by the U.S. President to serve on three different national energy boards 

He is the author of 7 books and 100 articles on energy and environmental law.  His books include the 3-volume Law of Independent Power, now in its 34th edition, 2014; Environmental Law:  Examples & Explanations, 6th ed. 2013; Renewable Power in Developing Countries (2006); and Unlocking the Global Warming Toolbox (2010). 

In addition to a JD degree and a Master's degree in urban and regional environmental/energy planning from U.C. Berkeley, he holds a BA in economics from Pomona College in California, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of London between his two graduate degrees. 


Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Scholar

Janelle OrsiCo-Founder and Executive Director, Sustainable Economies Law Center​

Janelle Orsi is a lawyer, advocate, writer, and cartoonist focused on cooperatives, the sharing economy, urban agriculture, shared housing, local currencies, and community-supported enterprises. She is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), which facilitates the growth of more sustainable and localized economies through education, research, and advocacy. Janelle has also worked in private law practice at the Law Office of Janelle Orsi, focusing on sharing economy law since 2008. Janelle supervises two legal apprentices -- co-workers who are becoming lawyers without going to law school. Janelle and her apprentices are blogging about the process at LikeLincoln.org

Books: Janelle is the author of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy: Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, and Local Sustainable Economies (ABA Books 2012), and co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (Nolo Press 2009), a practical and legal guide to cooperating and sharing resources of all kinds.

Cartoons: Janelle's cartoons include: The Next Sharing Economy, Economy Sandwich, Share Spray, The Beatles Economy, The Legal Roots of Resilience, Housing for an Economically Sustainable Future, Transactional Law Practice for a Sharing Economy, Governance is Life, and Citylicious.

Fellowships and Recognition: In 2014, Janelle was selected to be an Ashoka Fellow, joining a robust cohort of social entrepreneurs who are recognized to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society.  In 2010, Janelle was profiled by the American Bar Association as a Legal Rebel, an attorney who is "remaking the legal profession through the power of innovation." In 2012, Janelle was one of 100 people listed on The (En)Rich List, which names individuals "whose contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures."​

International Environmental Law Scholar

Philippe CulletProfessor of International and Environmental Law, SOAS, University of London; Senior Visiting Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi; and Convenor, International Environmental Law Research Centre

Philippe Cullet is Professor of international and environmental law. He came to teach at SOAS with qualifications in law and development studies from Geneva University, London (King’s College and SOAS) and Stanford University. Professor Cullet’s main areas of interest include environmental law, natural resources, human rights and the socio-economic aspects of intellectual property. He works on these at the international level and in India. His current research includes work on water law and governance with a particular focus on groundwater, drinking water, sanitation and institutional reforms in India; equity in environmental law; biodiversity, including benefit sharing and biosafety; and justice, with a particular focus on environmental and water rights. 

Philippe has published widely in his various areas of research. His books include Water Law, Poverty and Development – Water Law Reforms in India (Oxford University Press, 2009), Intellectual Property Protection and Sustainable Development (Butterworths, 2005) and Differential Treatment in International Environmental Law (Ashgate, 2003). Philippe oversees the two postgraduate degrees in environmental law in the School of Law, the LLM in Environmental Law and the MA in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development. He also convenes the Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC) and is the Editor of the Law, Environment and Development Journal (LEAD Journal), a peer-reviewed academic journal published at lead-journal.org. 

Beyond SOAS, Philippe is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. He has been closely involved in policymaking and was, for instance, the Convenor of the Sub-group on Legal Issues Related to Groundwater Management and Regulation of the Planning Commission of India that prepared the draft Model Bill for the Conservation, Protection and Regulation of Groundwater, 2011, and a Member of the Planning Commission of India’s Sub-group that prepared the draft National Water Framework Law, 2011.