Vermont Law School offers online master's and LLM degrees in environmental law, energy regulation and law, food and agriculture law and policy, and restorative justice. With more than 20 online learning courses covering a wide range of topics including climate change, energy law, environmental law, natural resources law, food and agriculture regulations, justice reform, and more, students may tailor their degrees to meet their interests. Students may choose to take courses as non-degree seeking for continuing education or to transfer to another institution.
The VLS Online Learning Program provides access to the Masters and LLM degree programs via an online classroom. The classes in the online program are parallel to the residential classes, and transcripts do not designate whether a class was taken on campus or online. The program was designed for working professionals and is also available to non-degree seeking students and students enrolled at other schools who wish to take online classes at Vermont Law School.
As the premier environmental law school in the nation, Vermont Law School offers degree programs and courses to produce leaders who want to change the world. Online students have access to nationally recognized centers, programs, and faculty—with experiential learning opportunities available from a distance.
Delivered through a mixture of online classes and three brief, in-person residential sessions, the Online Hybrid JD offers the same rigorous legal education as the school’s residential JD, but with flexibility that allows working professionals to earn a law degree without giving up their ability to earn an income or having to move to Vermont.
VLS master’s degrees are one-year programs designed for those who do not seek a professional law degree. Vermont Law School offers four online master's programs: Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP), Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL), Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP), and Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ). Instead of studying theories about how policies work, students learn the law and how to use it to effect change.
LLM degrees from Vermont Law School prepare post-JD students to specialize in environmental, energy, or food and agriculture law. The programs are designed to enhance career options, enabling students to make a bigger mark on their communities and their world.
VLS offers a Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice, a unique 10-credit program for students who wish to develop a career focusing on restorative justice or gain skills in restorative practices. Students pursuing the Professional Certificate can take courses that cover topics such as critical issues in restorative justice, adversity, trauma, and victimization, and new approaches to domestic and sexual violence.
Vermont Law School offers several online courses available for JD credit. Courses cover general environmental topics, including environmental law and natural resources law, as well as specialties in energy law, climate change law and policy, and food and agriculture law. Courses are open to both current VLS students and students at other law schools who may wish to incorporate specialized environmental legal training into their programs.
Duration and Start
Most students pursue the online master's and LLM 30-credit programs on a part-time basis. Students graduate in as few as 18 months of study, taking one accelerated course at a time, but have up to five years to obtain their degree. Online learning students may also take courses on campus, including accelerated courses during Vermont Law School's world-renowned Summer Session.
What are Classes Like?
Online Learning classes are taught sequentially (one at a time) in a compressed format. Each class runs for seven weeks, and is conducted in an asynchronous format. This means you don’t have to be online at any one time: you can do the work at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m., given what your schedule allows. Classes are highly interactive, with 2–3 assignments each week. These assignments require significant amounts of writing, and require students to interact with their professor and each other several times during the week. You should expect to spend approximately 20 to 25 hours per week on your course. There are almost no traditional lectures, but instead conversations among students and faculty that build on material provided in class.
To apply to an online degree program, prospective students must complete an application form and submit all official transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation, resume, and an application fee. Learn more about how to apply for an online degree program.
Vermont Law School offers several options to apply as a non-degree seeking student. Students may experience the curriculum without enrolling in a degree program. Learn more about how to apply as a non-degree seeking student.
Paying for a graduate education doesn't have to be daunting. Vermont Law School is here to help students navigate the process to make their educational goals achievable.
Limited scholarships are available to online learning degree program students who demonstrate excellent academic achievement, promise, and financial need.
Applying For Aid
Vermont Law School's Financial Aid Office is available to prospective students to answer questions and assist throughout the process of applying for aid.
As a member of the Vermont Law School community, online students have access to the same resources, programs, and services as residential students. Their primary point of contact will be their Student Services Advisor, who works cross-functionally with the various institution-wide and departmental resources to ensure an excellent online student experience. The Online Learning Program provides a curated page of Online Student Resources which is sent to each student upon enrollment and referenced in every online class. This resource list contains information about programs like the Academic Success Program, the Office of Career Services, the Virginia & Julien Cornell Library Services – which itself has collected a continuously updated resource for online students, Mental Health Services, the various Educational Centers, etc.
The Online Learning Program engages in personalized individual and general programmatic communications. This is in the form of direct phone, email, messaging communication between the students and their Student Services Advisor, as well as general emails provided at regular intervals, reminding all students of deadlines, program updates, new opportunities, and other general information.
The Student Services team for the Online Learning Program is also committed to the success of their students, and constantly encourages engagement within the class spaces, both of students and their professors. The fast-paced nature of a 7-week online course requires regular engagement and participation, and the Online Learning Program at Vermont Law school works to nurture that for our community.
- LLM In Energy Law
- LLM In Environmental Law
- LLM in Food and Agriculture Law
- Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ)
- Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL)
- Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP)
- Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP)
- Non-Degree Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice
- Online Hybrid JD