Skip to main content

Reduced Residency Juris Doctor (RRJD)

Layout Builder

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 partially online JD degree option enables students to earn a JD with only 12 months 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, spring, and summer semesters
  • Year Two: fall Semester-in-Practice (SiP) externship
  • Year Two: online classes in spring and fall semesters (or spread over time)

The RRJD program can be completed in as few as two years if the student achieves a 3.0 upon completion of their first fall semester.

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.

Joint Degrees

Students can pursue a joint RRJD/master's degree by completing the majority of the master's degree coursework online. Master's degree options include the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP), Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL), Master of Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP), and Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ).

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.