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Land Use Law Specialization

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​​​​​​As the global population grows, land use issues intensify. Competing interests vie for land to support housing, agriculture, commercial development, and recreation. Working through those conflicts to make decisions that benefit societies over the long term requires well-reasoned, innovative laws and policies.

Specialization in land use includes a wide range of areas, including smart growth principles, ecological planning, and affordable housing. It also includes flood hazard mitigation, energy and land use regulatory decision-making, permitting processes, and land conservation strategies.

Sustainable development, ecological planning, siting of energy installations, permitting processes, and the scope of eminent domain: the legal and planning aspects of these current issues are part of Vermont Law School’s extensive land use curriculum. Our courses include:

Our land use faculty are advocates and scholars. For example, Professor John Echeverria filed an amicus brief in 2016 on behalf of a group of land economists in a U.S. Supreme Court case, Murr v. State of Wisconsin, involving a "takings" challenge to the land use regulations protecting the St. Croix Wild and Scenic River. Professor Sean Nolon’s article, "Bargaining for Development Post-Koontz: How the Supreme Court Invaded Local Government," appears in the 2016 Zoning and Planning Law Handbook. Professor Janet Milne used Hurricane Sandy as a case study in her 2016 article "Storms Ahead," which appears in the Vermont Law Review, advocating for environmental taxes that can help communities as they invest in adapting to climate change. Professor Kinvin Wroth is a co-editor of the book NAFTA and Sustainable Development, which assesses the current state of environmental protection under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

Other initiatives include the annual Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law and the annual conference on Litigating Takings Challenges to Land Use and Environmental Regulations.

Food and Agricultural Law Specialization Block
Food and Agricultural Law Specialization
Food is a basic necessity of human life and a unique vehicle for change, as it is intimately tied to human health, the environment, poverty, immigration, animal welfare, law, politics, and culture, on every step of its journey from farm to plate.
Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA program, UVM's One Year MBA
Business Law Specialization
A targeted suite of classes for students who want to specialize in business. Courses include corporations, bankruptcy, nonprofit management, white collar crime and more.
China & Southeast Asia - Feng Huang
China & Southeast Asia Specialization
As the challenges posed by climate change grow in urgency, the power that massive developing countries like China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar can leverage to effect change cannot be overstated.
Climate Change Law
Climate Change Law Specialization
In a time of broken global temperature records, increasing natural disasters, emerging U.S. and international law and policy will be key to governing mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
Criminal Law
Criminal Law Specialization
The certificate in criminal law provides broad-based, comprehensive training and skills needed by students to become prosecutors, defenders, or to practice criminal law in a private firm setting.
Dispute Resolution
Dispute Resolution Specialization
In an increasingly complex world, dispute resolution offers a way to find solutions that allow all parties to move forward without entering a courtroom.
Energy Law
Energy Law Specialization
Vermont Law School courses and clinics consider the relationship between energy and the environment in the context of its legal, scientific, commercial and human implications.
Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice Specialization
Students who specialize in Environmental Justice will develop their personal and professional environmental ethics.
Environmental Law Specialization
Environmental Law Specialization
Vermont Law School offers a multidisciplinary array of environmental courses in law, policy, science, economics, and ethics to students studying for any one of our degrees or certificates.
International & Comparative Law
International & Comparative Law Specialization
Prepares students for careers with international organizations, NGOs, law firms, multinational enterprises, and government agencies. We offer study experiences that broaden knowledge and skills, add new perspective, and open opportunities.
International Environmental Law
International Environmental Law Specialization
Environmental issues are global issues. The unique opportunities at Vermont Law School prepare our graduates to be leaders in international environmental law and policy.
Land Use Law
Land Use Law Specialization
Including smart growth principles, ecological planning, affordable housing, flood hazard mitigation, energy and land use regulatory decision-making, permitting processes, and land conservation strategies.
Legal Writing
Legal Writing Specialization
Words are the fundamental tools with which lawyers and policymakers conduct their business, it is paramount that today's law and policy graduates know how to write the law, not just read cases.
Restorative Justice Specialization, VLS
Restorative Justice Specialization
A specialization in restorative justice provides students another way to look at conflict and conflict avoidance, preparing graduates to become forceful agents for change in law and restorative justice.
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Sports Law Specialization
A specialization in sports law might seem out of place at the nation's top environmental law school. But consider the impact that climate change will have on Vermont's ski industry.
Tax Law and Policy
Tax Law and Policy Specialization
We know that improving the environment requires changing the way we run our businesses, use our resources, and act as citizens. But how do we actually make that change occur?
Technology & Legal Innovation
Technology & Legal Innovation Specialization
Digital technologies create a wealth of new possibilities around how we define, deliver, and teach law. What does government become as legislation and regulation open to digital means of access and participation?
Water Resources Law
Water Resources Law Specialization
Learn about local, national, and global efforts to secure water supplies through research, education, and policy development. Focus on water law, environmental justice, and policy initiatives to further wise, judicious use of water as a public resource.