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Institute for Energy and the Environment

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Energy and the environment are inextricably linked. An enormous proportion of the earth’s environmental issues arise out of the use of energy. If you care about the environment, energy policy is the single most important influence; and if you care about energy, environmental externalities are the most important constraint. Perhaps no environmental or economic challenge is more important today than our need to expeditiously transition to a low carbon future. Our quest for knowledge covers a wide spectrum of disciplines—including law, science, engineering, finance, public policy and economics. Meanwhile, career opportunities continue to expand with the explosive growth of solar and offshore wind development, the electrification of our transportation system, and new clean distributed opportunities in storage, demand response, efficiency and renewables. We hope that masters and law graduates of the institute’s energy program will continue their cutting edge research, analysis and advocacy well after their time with us in South Royalton, making a transformative impact felt throughout the century on both the environment and the global economy.

Vermont Law and Graduate School leads the nation in preparing students for the clean energy transition. Our energy law and policy program has the largest selection of clean energy courses available, leading renewable energy experiential opportunities, new clean transportation classes and research options,  and seamless integration with a world class environmental law and policy program, including unparalleled climate law course offerings. Our Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE) is a national and world energy policy resource focused on the energy policy of the future. The institute serves as a center for graduate research on the transition to a clean energy future and maintains a vibrant student-staffed energy clinic, which works on legal and business models for community energy development.  Our unique year-round Energy Clinic works on the cutting edge of renewable energy development; one early result of our work VLS is powered by over 50% local solar energy. We welcome you to join us either through our leading, hands-on residential curriculum in adventurous and stunningly beautiful central Vermont, through our unique online curriculum or perhaps through our unsurpassed short-course offerings on-campus during Vermont's glorious summer.

As you explore our website, please bear in mind how energy policy is increasingly driven by the imperative of preserving our environment, and how dramatic increases in society’s demand for energy have had environmental effects. Please reflect on the role of law and policy in balancing the competing interests of energy use and environmental quality. Could the institute help you, your organization, or your enterprise? Think about the skills and knowledge that the graduates of the IEE team can bring to you as an employer. Most of all, keep in mind that as energy consumers, the actions we take today will create tomorrow’s reality.

IEE group photo

 At the IEE we focus on the energy policy of the future. Please join us! 

Eaton House

The IEE Research and Energy Clinic teams continue their work on the important issues of clean transportation, climate justice, community solar ownership and cybersecurity policy. Our year-old Farm and Energy Initiative addresses the interrelated issues of agriculture and energy sustainability. Learn more about what we do and how you can come join us and shape the energy policy of the future.

Curricular Opportunities

Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School
Institute for Energy and the Environment
Students work on energy projects that resolve energy policy challenges in a sustainable and fair way for the Vermont community and the world. 
Energy Law
Energy Law Specialization
VLGS courses and clinics consider the relationship between energy and the environment in the context of its legal, scientific, commercial and human implications.
Energy Law Certificate, Vermont Law School
Energy Law Concentration
The concentration in Energy Law involves study of the law and policy relating to renewable energy development and the environmental problems associated with traditional energy production.​
JD/LLM Joint Degree in Energy Law, Vermont Law School
JD/LLM Joint Degree in Energy Law
Earn both a Juris Doctor (JD) and an LLM in Energy Law in less time than is required to obtain each degree separately.
LLM in Energy Law, Vermont Law School
LLM in Energy Law
Designed for students who have already earned a law degree and wish to pursue intensive study and training in the field of energy law.
Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL), Vermont Law School
Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL)
Focuses on law and policy governing energy use, production, and transmission.
Online Learning (Distance Learning), Vermont Law and Graduate School academics
Online Learning
Earn a law degree online with VLGS or take courses as a non-degree seeking student.