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Reduced Residency Juris Doctor (RRJD)

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The Reduced-Residency Juris Doctor (RRJD) program at Vermont Law School offers students a more flexible way to earn a JD. Compared to traditional three-year residential JD programs, this JD degree option enables students to earn a JD, partially online,  with only 3 semesters of study on campus, beginning in the fall semester. Students complete the remainder of their studies with online law degree courses in an asynchronous format and a Semester-in-Practice (SiP) externship off campus. In addition to the flexibility of taking JD courses online, students may potentially reduce costs associated with attending VLS by living and working elsewhere.

The RRJD is built for the motivated student who desires the opportunity to finish their JD degree online, perhaps while working; who is ready to gain practical legal experience; and who is eager to build a professional network.

Sample Schedule

  • Year One: on campus classes in fall and spring semesters
  • Year Two: on campus classes in the fall and a spring Semester-in-Practice (SiP) externship which may be done in any location in the U.S.
  • Year Three: online classes in fall and spring semesters (or spread over time)

Students also have the flexibility to take a reduced course load during the last two semesters, extending the graduation date until classes are completed. This flexibility allows RRJD students to be working during the last semesters.

The Reduced-Residency JD program may be finished earlier than three years with careful planning with the Registrar and if the student meets the requirements to take classes over the summer. In order to take classes over the summer, the Reduced Residency student must achieve a 3.0 or higher at the end of the Fall semester.

Student Life

Reduced-Residency JD students may participate in VLS student groups, activities, and conferences. However, RRJD students may not be able to take advantage of all VLS opportunities offered on campus, such as Vermont Law Review and moot court. In those cases, students may decide that the RRJD’s flexibility may outweigh the limitations associated with not being on campus a full three years.

All students are encouraged to utilize Vermont Law School's Academic Success Program.


Students who successfully complete the RRJD will be able to sit for the bar exam in most jurisdictions. Students are advised to check with the state bar in the jurisdiction in which they wish to practice law to ensure that the RRJD program meets that state's requirements.