Legal Writing Program

Welcome to the Legal Writing Program at Vermont Law 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, VLS 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:

VLS Student Wins the Burton Award! February 2018
Andrew Rome - Burton Award Winner

We are delighted to announce that Andrew Rome, Vermont Law School's official nominee for the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing, has won the award for his article, Black Snake on the Periphery: The Dakota Access Pipeline and Tribal Jurisdictional Sovereignty, published in the North Dakota Law Review. The Burton Award is the most prestigious award in legal writing. Schools from across the country compete but only ten winners are selected. Against this stiff competition, Vermont Law School Students consistently win the award. Vermont Law School 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.

Andrew was born and raised in the Montpelier, Vermont area.  He attended Keene State College in Keene, N.H., graduating in 2007 with a major in sociology.  After college, he moved back to Burlington, Vermont, where he spent seven years in the social services field working with children diagnosed with emotional behavioral disorder and with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  In 2014, he entered Vermont Law School and graduated in 2017. He currently serve as a judicial law clerk in the chambers of Associate Justice Beth Robinson of the Vermont Supreme Court.

Congratulations Andrew!


VLS National Moot Court team wins Region 1 National Moot Court Competition
VLS students Miranda Jensen JD'18, Thomas Flynn JD/MELP'18 and Amanda Quinlan JD'18

In mid November, the VLS National Moot Court team travelled to Boston College Law School to compete in the Region 1 National Moot Court Competition. After many rounds, the team finished the competition strong and brought home the championship! The team will be competing in January at the National Competition held in New York City. See the press release here.


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.

Brian Porto's recent publication.