The law school’s proximity to Vermont's capital, Montpelier, allows JD and LLM students with an interest in legislation, policy development, and the political process to gain first-hand experience providing legal support to the Vermont General Assembly. Under the supervision of Katie McLinn and Rebecca Wasserman, attorneys from the Office of Legislative Counsel, participating student clinicians practice legislative lawyering skills and obtain experience staffing legislator bill draft requests, testifying in committee, observing the legislative process, and researching legal and policy issues on the forefront of public discourse.
Participation in the Legislative Clinic helps students become well-rounded, skilled professionals who can read and craft bills and amendments, understand the legislative process and nuanced policy proposals, and communicate effectively with clients and advocates. Student clinicians are not only exposed to the breadth of topics under consideration at Vermont’s State House, but also have opportunities to make connections with legislators and advocates from the public and private sectors.
In addition to research and drafting assignments, student clinicians participate in a weekly seminar covering topics such as legislative lawyering ethics, parliamentary procedure, an overview of the appropriations process and how the Legislative Branch interacts with the other branches of government.
This 10-credit clinic is offered each spring in Montpelier. Student clinicians are required to be in attendance at the Vermont General Assembly in Montpelier 30 hours a week, including full days Tuesday through Thursday and partial days on Monday and Friday. (Specific scheduling accommodations shall be considered upon request.) The Legislative Clinic runs concurrently with the session of the General Assembly.
It is recommended that students complete the Legislation course, offered each fall, prior to enrolling in this clinic.
For more information, please contact Katie McLinn, Rebecca Wasserman, or Cynthia Lewis.