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 18 months of study on campus. Students complete the remainder of their studies with online law degree courses 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.
All JD candidates at Vermont Law School are required to complete 87 credits to graduate. RRJD students complete 59 credits on campus and the remaining 28 credits off campus. This includes a Semester-in-Practice (SiP) for 13 credits and online law courses for 15 credits. A student can also do an independent research project (IRP) for an additional 3 credits off campus. Students must be in good academic standing and maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA to remain in the RRJD program. Students also must complete a bar passage plan prior to graduation.
- 32 credits on campus (fall/spring)
- 11 credits on campus (summer)
- 16 credits on campus (fall)
- 13 credits Semester-in-Practice (spring)
- 15 credits online courses (over time)
While on campus, RRJD students establish a solid foundation in first-year doctrinal courses and have access to a variety of clinical and experiential opportunities.
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).
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.
For more information about the Reduced-Residency JD at Vermont Law School, or online law degree options, Inquire Now or contact the Admissions Office.
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