Preparation for the practice of law requires context and application.
It requires firsthand involvement in what lawyers do and is how expertise is built. It requires challenging your understanding of justice and its fundamental role in society. The clinics and externships at VLGS engage you in that preparation.
Every student at VLGS has the opportunity to enroll in a clinic or externship. Each will be required to take at least six clinic or externship credits prior to graduation.
Explore the experiential courses that we offer. They are designed to provide a wide array of opportunities to enhance your legal education and help prepare you for the profession.
The Environmental Advocacy Clinic (EAC) is an in-house clinic that gives students the opportunity to develop lawyering skills by working with clients on real cases and projects. The EAC engages primarily in impact litigation on critical environmental, natural resource, conservation, and wildlife issues. Students work on administrative agency proceedings, client counseling, and other forms of environmental advocacy. EAC clients are community groups and environmental organizations. The EAC partners with a wide variety of organizations at the local, regional, and national levels. Learn more! »
The Environmental Justice Clinic (EJC) is one of just a few law school clinics in the United States specifically devoted to environmental justice, an interdisciplinary practice at the intersection of civil rights and environment. Students in the EJC learn the practice of community lawyering. They support community-based struggles for racial and economic justice in the environmental context and to develop practice skills needed to provide representation of, engage, and partner with environmental justice communities. Students work on behalf of community-based organizational clients on administrative cases and projects, including administrative complaints, petitions, and comments, as well as litigation and legislation. Learn more! »
The Energy Clinic provides opportunities for our JD, LLM and Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL) students to progressively develop the knowledge, skills, and values integral to the field of energy law and policy, while helping our clients meet local energy needs with reliable, clean, and affordable resources. Learn more! »
The Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic (FAAC) centers animal issues in the fight for environmental protection. The clinic empowers Masters, JD and LLM students to become effective advocates for animals while also developing skills that can be applied in a variety of arenas throughout their careers through hands-on experience with real-world matters. Students represent clients in litigation as well as legislative, policy, and regulatory matters aimed at improving the treatment and status of farmed animals. Learn more! »
Students in the Food and Agriculture Clinic work on practical projects with real-world implications. We collaborate with local, regional, national, and international partners, and engage in law and policy work that addresses challenges related to food and land justice, public health, the economy, food security, and animal welfare. Learn more! »
VLGS was one of the first law schools to allow students to earn a full semester of academic credit in an off-campus apprenticeship. Our individualized approach to experiential learning allows second- and third-year students to learn from practice by working directly with judges and lawyers across the nation. VLGS faculty teach and coach students and their supervisors using online class discussion, journals, site visits, individual and group conferences, and frequent communications throughout the semester. Learn more! »
An integral part of the master's, LLM, and joint degree programs is gaining real world experience through externships. Our students explore environmental law, science, and policy in a wide variety of settings both locally and worldwide. Activities may include counseling, drafting regulations and legislation, preparing legal memoranda, drafting or commenting on environmental or land use plans, and fieldwork related to wetlands, energy efficiency, local food, and other environmental issues. Learn more! »
The South Royalton Legal Clinic (SRLC) serves Vermont residents who are unable to afford counsel and who need assistance with issues such as bankruptcy, children’s rights, disability, domestic violence, family law, housing, immigration, veterans issues and wills. Working under state and federal student practice rules, approximately 40 Vermont Law School student clinicians and work-study students help to represent clients in over 150 court, administrative, and other appearances per year. The clinic has trained many leading legal service providers in Vermont. Learn more! »
The U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law (PEL) works collaboratively with government institutions, non-government organizations, lawyers, judges, lawmakers and others to promote good environmental governance in Asia. As the most rapidly developing region on the planet, many countries in Asia are in urgent need of leaders to implement and enforce environmental laws and regulations, as well as policymakers and educators to develop the next generation of environmental advocates. The TEL Clinic provides an applied opportunity for students to learn transnational environmental law, as well as legal and other professional skills, while working with our clients and project partners.
(formerly the Entrepreneurial Legal Laboratory / VLSell)
The Small Business Law Clinic (SBLC) helps Vermont’s small businesses find legal support to launch, transition, and grow. Students in the SBLC work with entrepreneurs at every stage from start-up to winding up. They provide legal education and public presentations on business law topics, and may also work with a startup or business law attorney in the community providing direct services. Students in the SBLC work directly with clients, build connections with the local bar, and experience general practice lawyering in a collaborative and supportive environment.