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Legal Writing Program

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Welcome to the Legal Writing Program at Vermont Law and Graduate School!

Our dedicated staff of experienced professors are committed to making every student a better writer. We have developed a rigorous, three-semester program that engages students with real-world assignments. These assignments—and the detailed feedback from the professors—are designed to make students “practice ready” for their summer internships or post-JD positions. Through this effort, VLGS students have a regional and national reputation for excellence in legal writing. We encourage you to explore these pages to learn how our program can help you master the art of legal writing.

Student Accomplishments:

Chester Harper
Chester Harper


VLGS Student is nominated for the Burton Award

We are delighted to announce that we have chosen Chester Harper to be Vermont Law and Graduate School's official nominee for the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing.  We chose Chester Harper’s article, Citizen or Soldier? An Originalist Response to District of Columbia v. Heller and the Intellectual Origins of the Second Amendment.  We have high hopes that Chester’s article can carry on this great tradition.  
Chester has spent most of his life living in northern New England. Currently, he is a student at Vermont Law and Graduate School focusing on Constitutional Law and Legal Writing. Before deciding to study law, Chester studied intellectual history at Marlboro College where his area of focus was Early-Modern European military theory. He also spent a number of years working at a museum of the Upper-Connecticut River Valley’s history in the Colonial period. Chester is excited to bring an interdisciplinary approach to constitutional analysis by combining academic history with legal analysis. Chester and his wife, Theresa, look forward to permanently settling in central Vermont after graduation.

Vermont Law and Graduate School students consistently win the award. VLGS students have now won the award five times in the last eight years (Benjamin Leoni (2011); Garrett Chrostek (2012); Lizzie Tisher (2014); Carrie Scrufari (2017); Andrew Rome (2018)). This is a high honor and a tremendous recognition of how accomplished our students are.



Jaclyn Belczyk, executive editor at, presents this info session on JURIST; the history, what it is, and how you can participate.


Professor Accomplishments:

Recent Publications

Professor Greg Johnson had a recent publication in The Vermont Bar Journal: Fall 2017, Volume 43, No. 3. His piece is titled "Is Neil Gorsuch a Role Model for Legal Writing? Yes and No" which can be found here. 

This past summer, Professor Brian Porto was busy publishing a book which is titled May It Please the Court, Third Edition. You can purchase the book here. However, his book was not the only thing he was busy publishing, he also had an article featured in The Vermont Bar Journal: Summer 2017 Volume 43. His article is titled The Rhetorical Legacy of Antonin Scalia which can be found here.

May It Please the Court
Brian Porto's recent publication.