Vermont Law School offers students the opportunity to earn both a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ) degree. The joint degree can be earned in three academic years, the period of time ordinarily required to earn the JD degree alone. The joint degree allows for up to nine credits to count towards both degrees and courses are taken at an accelerated pace through summer course offerings and online courses.
The JD/MARJ degree program empowers graduates to be forceful and articulate agents for change in law and restorative justice. As criminal justice transforms using more restorative practices, all lawyers should understand that there's another way to look at conflict and conflict avoidance. The program provides hands-on, experiential opportunities to learn about and practice restorative justice methods and innovative criminal justice approaches. The combination of traditional law school courses with curriculum specifically designed for the master's degree, prepares students to bring restorative practices and values to a range of justice systems.
Matthew Fischer - JD/MARJ'22
"When I started my research on law schools, I knew I wanted an education that best prepared me for three things: helping the most vulnerable among us, preparing me to combat our nation’s mass incarceration problem, and creating new practices that will provide fair and effective methods of justice within the American Criminal Justice System.
It became clear very quickly that Vermont Law School and more specifically, the Center for Justice Reform via the MARJ program, would best equip me for my life as a lawyer. At the end of my first year, I truly am grateful to have found my community. The MARJ program and the Center are redefining beliefs on how to most effectively handle crime and punishment. I have never been more challenged or enthralled with my academics. To anyone seeking to learn how to create real, systematic change, I encourage you to truly evaluate the MARJ program."