Vermont Law School has resumed on-campus classes for the fall. Masks are currently required for all community members. For information on campus access, health and safety protocols, and testing requirements please visit vermontlaw.edu/covid19.
VLS 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. VLS 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.
We offer three externship courses: the Semester in Practice (SiP), Judicial Externship, and Part-Time JD Externship.
Semester in Practice (SiP)
Through a full-time, semester-long externship, VLS students apprentice in legal practice with experienced attorney-supervisors at government agencies, nonprofits, corporations, and law firms in the United States.
In this semester-long practicum students work in judges’ chambers, where they learn about the process of judicial decision making by observing and participating in the functions of a court. Students work closely with a supervising judge to develop legal skills such as writing, research, and analytical skills.
Part-Time JD Externship
Similar to the Semester in Practice, the Part-Time JD Externship is a semester-long externship in which students work part-time with experienced attorney-supervisors in a variety of legal settings, including courts as well as public and private practice settings.
“I learned more from this experience than I have in any other work experience or class. I wish that every student could have the same opportunity. I learned how to be a better writer and researcher, work more independently, be more confident, and to push through the hard parts." - Amanda Carrington JD’19
VLS has an extensive network of experienced lawyers, judges, and qualified JD recipients with whom students may work, but students are not restricted to a finite list of externship options. Each semester, a significant number of students apprentice to legal professionals who are new to the VLS community.
During the externship semester, students also work one-on-one with an assigned faculty supervisor who serves as teacher, coach, mentor, and confidant throughout the semester. Faculty supervisors have significant experience in the legal profession outside of academia, offering students the benefit of their perspectives, along with the support necessary to begin successfully navigating the challenges of early professional experience.
Vermont Law students can begin the transition to a professional career before graduation through one or more JD Externship courses.