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Vermont Law School will offer limited residential classes during the summer semester and expects to return to normal operations this fall. For information on campus access, health and safety protocols, and testing requirements please visit vermontlaw.edu/covid19.
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Courses

5381/ Local Farm and Food Law in Practice

Teaches the nuts and bolts of providing legal services to farmers and food entrepreneurs (producers/retailers/restaurants), drawing from the rich examples of farmer and food entrepreneurs locally. Such skills are needed to equip students with real world legal knowledge for those students seeking to provide legal services in this area or who wish to start an entrepreneurial career in food and agriculture. A JD skills class.

5105/Administrative Law

Provides students with a working knowledge of the general principles of administrative law; implementation of legislative policy through administrative agencies, including the role of administrative agencies in the governmental process, rule making, adjudication, and judicial review of agency actions.

5401/Agriculture and the Environment

Land used for agricultural purposes (timer land excepted) accounts for nearly 53% of the total land area of the United States - the largest category of land use by far. This course addresses the complex and interconnected relationship of environmental and agricultural law, its historical roots and modern developments.

5205/Air Pollution Law and Policy

An exploration of the major programs and regulatory strategies embodied in the Clean Air Act that are used to address conventional air pollution, toxic air pollution, and greenhouse gas pollution.

5425/Clean Transportation Law and Policy

Transportation is the leading source of climate pollution in the United States. This course focuses on a key pathway to reduce those harmful emissions: the electrification of our cars, tracks and buses. We will examine the current federal landscape for regulation of tailpipe emissions and the range of clean transportation poicy options, with a particular focus on the role of electric utilities and how electric vehicles can support a smarteer, cleaner electricity grid.

5365/Climate Change: The Power of Taxes

This seminar explores the ways in which tax systems can effect change in the energy consumption behavior of business, industry, and consumers. The seminar addresses issues of theory, policy, politics, and law and while focusing on climate change provides students with a framework for understanding how and when to use tax measures to address other environmental problems. An AWR class

5122/Communications, Advocacy and Leadership

Designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to operate effectively in a variety of careers. Topics include communications to achieve public policy aims; development and implementation of legislative and policy campaigns; and management of enterprises. Offered as both ENV and RSJ.

5430/Ecology

Explores the principles of ecology using an interdisciplinary approach and field-based work. Course work stresses the inventorying of biotic and physical components of a landscape, examining how these components are distributed, and determining what forces drive these patterns. Topics include interpreting the natural and cultural histories of a landscape, biodiversity conservation, and the scientific method, among others.

5226/Energy Law and Policy in a Carbon-Constrained World

Examines key issues in American energy policy and searches for ways to ease the strains which that policy puts upon environmental sustainability. The course reviews fundamental facts about our energy demands and sample regulatory orders and legal writings that address many of those elements from the perspective of a legal review. Background readings will include ethical issues of social justice in siting projects and meeting or limiting energy demand, the statutory schemes underlying traditional regulation, and an introduction to wholesale electric markets.

9302/Environmental Advocacy Clinic

The EAC is a public interest environmental law firm. Student clinicians work on behalf of environmental and conservation organizations under the supervision of clinical faculty. In addition to work on cases, students attend weekly staff meetings and a weekly seminar.

6415/Environmental Dispute Resolution

Explores the range of processes that are used to resolve environmental disputes with particular emphasis on consensual processes such as negotiation and mediation. Instruction will be based on lectures and discussions of the theory of dispute resolution and environmental law and simulations to practice the skills needed to resolve environmental disputes.

5220/Environmental Economics and Markets

Introduces students to the discipline of economics and exposes them to debates over the use of market-based instruments in environmental and energy policy. Through a mixed media approach discussion offers a comparative economic approach that highlights how the prevailing economic system has been incongruous with the social and ecosystem welfare.

5446/Environmental Justice

Examines the issues of environmental justice from an environmental law perspective and from a civil rights law perspective. Explores how environmental justice issues are framed, addressed, and resolved through litigation and mediation n the U.S. and internationally.

5115/Environmental Law

An introduction to the broader categories of protecting human health and the environment to both assess the successes and failures of environmental protection in the U.S. and gain more detailed substantive knowledge of several key statutes.

5510/Essentials of Electric Grid: Engineering

The engineering realities of electric power grids and natural gas pipelines greatly constrain the choices that lawyers and policy analysts might otherwise make. This module covers the engineering fundamentals inherent in the current and expected energy infrastructure.

5512/Essentials of Electric Grid: Legal

Provides an overview of the fundamentals of energy law in both the U.S. and the European Union and addresses some of the most important problems faced by energy project development, including facility siting, environmental issues, and authority fragmentation.

5511/Essentials of Electric Grid: Business

Introduces the major financial and economic factors that energy companies use in making production and investment decisions, and how emerging environmental regulations might affect these decisions. The module will also cover deregulated market structures in the petroleum, natural gas, and electric power industries.

5380/Food Regulation and Policy

Presently, the United States is experiencing a resurgence in public concern over the safety of our food supply due to biotechnology, pesticide use, and unsafe food packaging, etc. This course will introduce students to the laws and policies that govern food regulation and policy in the United States.

5478/Global Food Security and Social Justice

This course addresses the legal landscape of global hunger, and the ways in which climate change, population growth and economic inequality intersect with food security law and policy challenges. We'll address how "food security" and "hunger" are defined and measured for policy-making purposes.

5218/International Climate Change Law

Classes offered under this designation explore special areas of interest, including newly developing areas of law, or specialties of visiting faculty and fellows. Students should consult registration information specific to this course.

7421/International Environmental Law and Policy

Provides an overview of the structure and basic principles of international environmental law and policy. The course considers the challenge of addressing global environmental problems; the regulatory limitations of U.S. law; and the basic structure and principles of international environmental law. The course examines in detail the structure of the Montreal Protocol regime  and covers other areas, including treaties related to climate change, biodiversity and wildlife protection, and the intersection of international trade and the environment.

7450/International Investment Arbitration and the Environment

Covers particular themes where human rights, environmental, and investment law interact, such as the right to health, due process and denial of justice, property rights and expropriation, and stabilization clauses and positive human rights obligations. The course places special emphasis on ongoing negotiations, as well as on investment, human rights, and environmental cases decided by international tribunals.

5474/Land Conservation Law

Examines the tools available to preserve ecological diversity, historic places, working lands, scenic viewsheds, and open space, such as conservation easements, purchase of sensitive lands, and private/public partnerships for land conservation. The course provides a practical understanding of both the legal and nonlegal dimensions of land conservation transactions involving conservation easements.

5239/Land Transactions and Finance

An introduction to land transaction and finance, covering the study of the title system, title insurance and land contracts, the private development process, and modern real estate financing, including private financing and public financing. The course also introduces the public-private development process including redevelopment, military base conversion and Brownfield's redevelopment.

5125/Land Use Regulation

A basic course in land use law. Covers planning and all manner of private and public land use regulation from common interest communities, to subdivisions, to zoning, to variances, to planned development districts, to transit-oriented development, to traditional neighborhood design, to form-based codes, to growth management.

5472/Law of Ecosystem Management

The concept of ecosystem management is sweeping through federal and state resource agencies, altering their orientation toward resource use and conservation issues, but what is the law of ecosystem management? This course explores that question beginning with an introduction to the concept of ecosystem management-its history, principles, and current state of play in concrete policy settings.

5209/Law of Toxics and Hazardous Waste

Examines CERCLAs broad liability and cost recovery provisions, emergency response and cleanup requirements that extend beyond the usual Superfund sites. Brownfields, natural resources damages, community involvement, recent Supreme Court decisions and statutory amendments will also be addressed. The course will examine how parties escape or limit liability through due diligence, defenses, pollution prevention, settlement, and cost allocation.

5113/Legal & Policy Writing Seminar

This course will introduce students to key principles of clear and precise writing, familiarize them with legal organization and IRAC (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion), and teach them the basics of legal research. These basic skills help students succeed in their other classes, as well as in their professional careers. For Masters Students Only

7620/Native Americans and the Law

This course focuses on the constitutional, statutory and jurisprudential rules of law which make up the field of Federal Indian Law. Attention will be given to the historical framework from which the rules were derived. The course will consider subject-specific areas of Indian Law like hunting and fishing rights, stewardship of natural resources, economic development and protection of religion and cultural lifestyles.

5462/Public Lands Management - Montana Field Study

A comparative approach to competing legal mandates and diverse philosophies that make federal land management a lively topic not only in the West, but throughout the country. Resource extraction, preservation, and sustainable/multiple-use concepts are addressed.

5550/Renewable Energy Project Finance And Development

This course will provide an in-depth look at the legal and regulatory issues associated with the development and project financing of renewable energy projects such as wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal. The course will explain the various ownership structures that are used for developing an energy project, such as LLC arrangements and partnership agreements.

5112/Science for Environmental Law

Introduces students to the science critical to environmental law and policy, including climate science, air pollution, toxicology, and natural resource management. It also introduces students to scientific thinking and culture, and explores some of the challenges involved in effectively using science in legal and policy decision-making.

5410/The Farm Bill

Introduces students to the breadth of policies and legal authorities included in the Farm Bill that Congress re-evaluates every 5 years. Time will be spent on farm safety nets, conservation and nutrition policies. This course will also demonstrate the depth that a modern farm bill reaches with impacts on private working lands and consumers. International trade, clean energy, forestry, rural development, and overall food policies will be reviewed.

5535/Transnational Environmental Practicum

This course will combine substantive classroom instruction with project implementation where students are teamed up to work on an environmental-related legal or policy research project for a partner organization in China or one of developing countries in the Mekong Region – Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam or Laos. The projects, which are drawn from the work of the U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law (PEL), support PEL’s partnering organizations’ environmental advocacy and legal reform work on the ground.

5246/Water Quality

An in depth analysis of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Ocean Dumping Act, along with relevant regulations, policies and case law. Other federal statutes are covered more selectively, along with state laws. Regulation of groundwater contamination is included as well as tort claims for damages.