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Food and Agriculture LLM Fellowship

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The Food Movement grows here. Join us in Vermont, one of the most innovative and progressive states in the nation for food and agricultural law and policy. The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) invites applications for a two-year Food and Agriculture Fellowship beginning in August 2021. 

Fellowship Description

The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School trains law and policy students to develop real-world solutions for a more sustainable and just food system. CAFS is now inviting eligible candidates to apply for a two-year fellowship from August 2021 through July 2023. The fellowship combines the opportunity to pursue an LLM degree in Food and Agricultural Law from one of the leading environmental law programs in the nation with the opportunity to work in the cutting-edge field of food and agricultural law in CAFS Food and Agriculture Clinic alongside experienced environmental, agricultural, and food law practitioners and students.

Nature of the Fellowship

In addition to pursuing an LLM degree, the fellow will work part-time (at least 20 hours per week) in CAFS’ Food and Agriculture Clinic, one of a handful of law school clinics that focuses exclusively on the legal and policy needs of the food system. The fellow will work closely with CAFS faculty and staff, partners, clients, and students. The fellow’s responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Working on CAFS projects to develop law and policy tools. Areas of research may include food justice and equity; farmland access; farmworkers' rights; protecting communities from the harmful effects of CAFOs and industrial agriculture; food labeling and regulation of novel food products; legal resources for farmers markets; food safety regulations for produce farms; and biodiversity and agriculture.
  • Providing transactional/business law services to Vermont farmers, food entrepreneurs, and related organizations.
  • Developing and leading Food and Agriculture Clinic seminars and project rounds, under the guidance of the Clinic Director.
  • Working with and supervising student clinicians.
  • Engaging in outreach to the broader food system community, including representing CAFS’ work at trainings and events.

CAFS believes a diverse and inclusive workplace is essential to the success of our organization, and we strive to create a safe and supportive environment that encourages racial and social equity. We strongly encourage applicants from all walks of life, including but not limited to BIPOC/people of color, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+ candidates, and members of other marginalized communities, because we know that our work has greater impact when we center diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

All fellowship materials should be sent to admiss@vermontlaw.edu and must include a clear reference to the fellowship. Electronic submissions are preferred. If unable to send electronically, please send materials to:

Vermont Law School Admissions Office
Food and Agriculture LLM Fellowship
PO Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068

Fellowship Benefits

  • Tuition waiver for LLM in Food and Agriculture
  • $35,000 stipend per year (subject to budget approval)

Fellowship Qualifications

  • JD from an ABA-accredited law school; 
  • One to three years of relevant legislative, legal, or policy experience, including judicial clerkships (experience or interest in transactional law preferred); 
  • Strong legal research, writing, interpersonal, and communications skills; 
  • Demonstrated commitment to sustainable agriculture and local/regional food systems (work in food and agriculture settings preferred); 
  • A commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, both in our workplace and in collaboration with the partners and communities we serve. Demonstrated knowledge of, or commitment to building an understanding of, racial equity. 
  • Admission to the LLM in Food and Agriculture Law program at Vermont Law School (application for LLM admission can occur concurrently with application for CAFS Fellow position); and 
  • Admission to Vermont Bar (can be obtained within first year of position). 

Fellowship Deadline

The deadline for completed LLM applications and submission of fellowship materials is May 1st, 2021.

Fellowship Requirements

In addition to the LLM application requirements please submit the following:

  • Statement of interest specific to the fellowship (not longer than one single-spaced page); 
  • Letter of Recommendation specific to the fellowship; and 
  • An academic writing sample of no more than five pages. 

decision process

Fellowship candidates will be forwarded to the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems by May 15. Fellowship offers will be made by June 1st. Finalists will be expected to respond within three business days. Fall classes begin on August 24.

If you have any questions about the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems Fellowship, please contact Laurie Beyranevand, CAFS Director, at lbeyranevand@vermontlaw.edu. For general admissions questions, please contact the admissions office at admiss@vermontlaw.edu