The Vermont Law School blog features blog posts and articles written by students (JD, LLM and Master's students), faculty members, and others, about environmental law, energy law, food and agriculture law and policy, international law, human rights, and more.
December 6, 2018
Thad Adkins JD'09, an environmental attorney in Helena, Montana, ended up representing a fellow Monatanan imprisoned for 23 years in the apppeal of a lifetime. Read more »
December 4, 2018
Helena Wooden-Aguilar JD’02 was in her second year as an attorney in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Civil Rights when she got an unusual call at her desk. Read more »
October 9, 2018
Nico Lustig has a professional mission: to use the law to help communities, entrepreneurs, and workers create cooperatives, benefit corporations, and social enterprises that strengthen connection and cultivate human and environmental health. Read more »
October 2, 2018
The Energy Clinic and student clinicians worked with Mascoma Meadows, a resident-owned community in Lebanon, NH this summer. Their work focused on a 100kW low income community solar project and commercial and community solar projects in Randolph and South Royalton, VT. Read more »
September 29, 2018
This past July, U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law (PEL) welcomed a delegation of experts to receive training on the basic U.S. legal systems and practice for natural resource damage compensation and restoration.Read more »
September 27, 2018
The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC) has partnered with Earthjustice, the largest nonprofit environmental law organization in the nation, to hire a full-time staff attorney for the clinic. Read more »
September 20, 2018
The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) received a $1.5 million award from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Library (NAL). This funding will be used for a variety of initiatives addressing food and agricultural law. Read more »
August 28, 2018
The Environmental and Natural Resources Clinic (ENRLC) has won a case to protect the city of South Portland from fossil fuel infrastructure. The ruling could have broad implications for local authorities that seek to protect citizens from pipeline companies. Read more »
August 23, 2018
This past month, Vermont Law School, Patagonia and Yale published a guide on guide for entrepreneurs to help budding businesses navigate Certified B Corporations and benefit corporations, which offers a roadmap for entrepreneurs, corporate executives, attorneys, and legislators in using business as a force for good. Read more »
August 7, 2018
Accomplished attorney and environmental advocate Jennifer Rushlow will be joining Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center this fall. She is an experienced litigator, a creative developer of impactful projects, and a passionate and effective advocate for equity and justice. Read more »
July 30, 2018
In July, Sophia Kruszewski joined the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to lead the Food and Agriculture Clinic. Sophia returns to Vermont Law School after spending the last five years immersed in federal food and agriculture policy. Read more »
July 19, 2018
In June, the Vermont Law School’s Center for Justice Reform held the 2018 International Restorative Justice Conference: Global Unity and Healing in Burlington, Vermont at the UVM Dudley H. Davis Conference Center. Over 350 people attended from Vermont, across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. Read more »
July 18, 2018
The Center for Justice Reform partnered with two forward-thinking Vermont prosecutors to help host two expungement days. Working in conjunction with prosecutors and Vermont Legal Aid, the Center and VLS student volunteers helped approximately citizens remove old marijuana convictions from their record. Read more »
July 17, 2018
A month ago, I wrote to you about the financial challenges our School was facing, and how we are working to address them. Today, I can confidently say that Vermont Law School has a stronger, more sustainable financial model that positions the school to thrive in coming years. Read more »
May 31, 2018
To survive in today’s fiscal landscape, and to thrive going forward, we have to insist on a sustainable financial model that delivers a quality education to each and every student who arrives in South Royalton or logs in for our online classes. With the unanimous support and guidance of our Board of Trustees, we are currently undergoing a process of programmatic restructuring. Read more »
May 23, 2018
This summer, a field study course on Environmental Governance in the Developing World will offer VLS students the opportunity observe firsthand some of the challenges to implementing strong environmental governance in Southeast Asia. Read more »
May 20, 2018
Thomas Mitchell, Interim Dean and Professor at Texas A&M University School of Law, delivered the 14th Annual Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law at VLS, discussing “How to Address Racial Disparity in Property Ownership.” Read more »
May 18, 2018
The Institute for Energy and the Environment has added two new international fellows to its team: Anna Butenko as Senior Fellow for European Energy Law and Policy, and Arturo Brandt as Senior Fellow for Latin American Climate and Energy Law and Policy. Read more »
May 16, 2018
Five VLS students represented VLS this winter at National Moot Court competitions. Kira Kelley ’18 and Samantha Doyle ’19 represented VLS at the 26th Annual National NALSA Moot Court Competition and Sarah Munger ’18, Sabrina Camboulives ’18, and Matthew Arnold ’18 advanced to the quarterfinals at the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. Read more »
May 12, 2018
The Center for Agriculture and Food systems launched a national Healthy Food Policy Project to identify and elevate local laws and policies that promote access to healthy food and contribute to strong local economies, improved environmental quality, and health equity. Read more »
May 9, 2018
Shi-Ling Hsu, Natacha Teresa Mesa Tejeda, Andrea Freeman, and Tseming Yang will be representing environmental, energy, agriculture, and international environmental law while serving as Distinguished Summer Scholars in residency during this year's Summer Session. Read more »
April 30, 2018
In honor of Professor Brooks' contributions to Vermont Law School, we ask alumni, faculty, staff, and others to share tributes to their teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. Read more »
April 9, 2018
Elizabeth C. MacDonough has accepted our invitation to serve as the 2018 Commencement Speaker. Ms. MacDonough is a VLS alumna graduating with a J.D. in 1998. She will address the law school community at the Commencement ceremony on the South Royalton Green on Saturday, May 12 which starts at 10:00 a.m. Read more »
April 6, 2018
The Institute for Energy and the Environment at VLS led sixteen students and faculty members to learn about Cuban culture, and its legal system, and renewable energy law and policy. Read more »
April 2, 2018
Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (VJEL) at VLS has published the 2018 “Vermont Law Top 10 Environmental Watch List,” highlighting critical law and policy issues that could escalate in the coming year. Read more »
March 31, 2018
The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at VLS, recently played a pivotal role in launching an online Farmers Market Legal Toolkit, a free resource to support building resilient and accessible markets throughout the U.S. Read more »
March 28, 2018
VLS’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC), achieved their latest victory in a six-year battle against polluting industry in Graniteville, Vermont last December. Read more »
March 21, 2018
U.S. News & World Report has again recognized Vermont Law School as the No. 1 environmental law school in the United States. Read more »
December 20, 2017
In honor of Professor Banks' contributions to Vermont Law School, we ask alumni, faculty, staff, and others to share tributes to their teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. Read more »
November 16, 2017
In honor of Professor Kujovich's contributions to Vermont Law School, we ask alumni, faculty, staff, and others to share tributes to their teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. Read more »
November 10, 2017
Chris Whidden JD’18, Army veteran and president of the Veterans Law Student Association at VLS, discusses the needs of local veterans with South Royalton Legal Clinic Staff Attorney Laurie Izutsu. Read more »
October 19, 2017
The American Bar Association has granted acquiescence in VLS' applications to establish a Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice, and a Master of Arts in Restorative Justice degree, an important step toward establishing our Center for Justice Reform. Read more »
September 7, 2017
This week the Trump administration announced plans to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). VLS stands with the Dreamers firmly and unequivocally against any policy change that would threaten the ability of these students to achieve their educational goals. Read more »
July 18, 2017
In Maine, the hotly debated issue of whether rockweed constitutes private property has significant ramifications. Read more »
June 26, 2017
The state of California continues to act as a pioneer when it comes to American climate change initiatives, in both the mitigation and adaptation spheres. Read more »
June 5, 2017
President Trump's decision to leave the Paris climate agreement was, in the words of distinguished career diplomat R. Nicholas Burns, a "colossal foreign policy mistake." Read more »
May 23, 2017
Despite legal protection, species and habitats found in California’s Marine Protected Areas remain exposed to harmful ocean, land and climate-based stressors. Read more »
May 12, 2017
In his first budget, Trump proposed to eliminate many climate change programs outright, and cut others sharply. Read more »
May 8, 2017
This summer, spanning the waters of the continental U.S., our students will be tackling the major issues facing our ocean. Read more »
April 6, 2017
As community solar projects become increasingly popular around the country, there’s a question that any potential participants should be asking: will our community actually own our solar power? Read more »
March 17, 2017
In front of the Vermont House Judiciary Committee, VLS professor Robert Sand offered his perspective on a fundamentally different approach to marijuana reform. Read more »
February 17, 2017
Thoughts on the H.55, a bill that guarantees public defense services to all needy people who were 25 or under at the time of their alleged offense. Read more »
November 18, 2016
Born in Sierra Leone, VLS alum Joseph Kaifala now returns to the country he used to call home to rebuild schools and libraries. Read more »
November 16, 2016
A former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, VLS alum Carina Roselli sees a bigger fight environmental preservation. Read more »
November 14, 2016
International wildlife policy has a friend in VLS alum Leigh Henry, who supports the prosecution and sentencing of high-profile illegal traffickers. Read more »
November 12, 2016
VLS alum Olga Kariyawasam's credentials speak for themselves as her bilingual assets are in high demand in a globalized economy. Read more »
November 10, 2016
As Chief Counsel of Environmental and International Law for the World Bank, Chuck Di Leva has a global view of climate change. Read more »
November 8, 2016
VLS alum Shazia Khan is on a mission to provide a country with 55 million people without electricity the power they need. Read more »
November 6, 2016
As Environmental Protection Specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration, VLS alum Dan Williams has become a climate changer. Read more »
November 4, 2016
Find out how Gretchen Oldham is uniting nations through her work as a professional support lawyer with Cleary Gottlieb Paris LLP.
November 2, 2016
Vermont has been a safe haven for some 6,300 refugees who have settled here since 1989, including Daniel, who caught Erin Jacobsen JD'11's attention.
September 30, 2016
On this increasingly small and fragile planet, China is the single biggest Environmental Stage. Enter Vermont Law School.
September 28, 2016
In her work and in her teaching, Stephanie Farrior has shown that the fight for social justice knows no boundaries.
September 26, 2016
Vermont Law School mourns the passing of Cheryl Hanna, who was a passionate leader in the Vermont community.
September 24, 2016
Vermont Law School mourns the passing of Geoffrey “Jeff” Benson Shields, who left an indelible mark on the law school as president and dean from 2004 to 2012.
September 22, 2016
Alan Panebaker JD/MELP '11 represented the very best of VLS and his passion for the outdoors lives on in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.
September 20, 2016
When VLS alum Ben Leoni JD'11 is not focusing on land-use and zoning disputes, he's hitting the slopes as a professional backcountry skier.
September 18, 2016
There's no mountain eco-system high enough that VLS Alum Warnock MSEL'99 won't fight protect as the Conservation Director for Hell's Canyon Preservation Council.
September 16, 2016
VLS alum Reggie Hall JD/MSEL'02 helps make it possible for local conservation groups to purchase land by providing financial and technical assistance.
September 14, 2016
VLS alum Allison Buckley's MELP'10 role as Natural Resources Planner has given her the chance to help conserve thousands of acres of land.
September 12, 2016
From the Green Mountains to Alaskan, VLS alum Mike O'Brien JD/MSEL'02 has served the environment, and worked hard to make it safe for all.
September 10, 2016
By becoming an advocate for removing old dams, supporting and restoring rivers and improving public access for boaters, VLS alum Megan Hooker MSEL'05 has made the great outdoors her office.
September 8, 2016
When VLS Alum Stacy Tatman JD'13 is not photographing nature, she's managing regulatory and legislative issues on behalf of it.
September 6, 2016
From Vermont to Maine, VLS alum Eliza Donoghue JD'12 has made it her life's passion to protect New England forests and land.
September 4, 2016
When VLS alum Theresa Labriola MSEL '99 is not exploring the ocean and its wildlife, she's fighting to protect them.
September 2, 2016
From snowshoeing in Vermont to negotiating a land purchase Lehman Brothers, VLS Alum Kate Brown JD/MSL'16, has had a deep connection with nature.
August 31, 2016
VLS Alum Cyndy Kozara MSEL'99 turned her law degree into a career preserving land and wildlife for the Green Mountain Horse Association (GMHA).
August 29, 2016
The impact that Climate Change has had on Vermont is undeniable, and VLS is preparing the next generation of policymakers and legislators to protect the environment.
August 27, 2016
Whether its politics and international affairs or trails and fishing holes Vermont is ingrained in VLS alum Molly Gray JD'14.
August 25, 2016
VLS Professor Jack Tuholske love of the outdoors has translated well to lessons in and out of the classroom, including a two summer course in Montana.
August 23, 2016
Thanks to Vermont Law, VLS alum Tom Mitchiner '15 was able to give meaning to his passion for outdoor sports.
August 21, 2016
VLS Alum Kelly Nokes '15 came to Vermont Law not only because of her passion for protecting the environment, but to satisfy her inner adrenaline junkie as well.
August 19, 2016
From Oregon to South Royalton, Professor Rebecca Purdom has balanced her expertise in law with a love for the outdoors.
August 17, 2016
An aspiring bass fishing pro, VLS Alum David Scott '15 came to South Royalton with the mission of protecting that waterways and what he loves.
August 15, 2016
VLS Alum Meghan Jeans, director of the Boston aquarium's Conservation Programs, is leading an effort to advance seafood sustainability.
August 13, 2016
VLS Alum Paige Tomaselli's '04 work for the Center for Food Safety has helped protect animals, the environment and public health, all while fighting "factory farms."
August 11, 2016
Nancy and Walter Warner '12 have been able to grow their unique jam business, thanks in large part to Walter's legal education and externships.
August 9, 2016
As a first-year law student Huyffer aspired to be a principled small-town lawyer, instead, her days now begin with 4 a.m. milking, arranging logistics for a dairy business, and caring for her children—four boys, ages six to thirteen.
August 7, 2016
While it’s become common in recent years to espouse the virtues of small, localized farming, Michael Formica isn’t one of the movement's evangelists. "I’m ‘Big Bacon,’” he says, with a laugh.
August 5, 2016
Scott Cullen '97 and GRACE Communications Foundation are cultivating relationships where philanthropy and public policy touch the overlapping spheres of food, water, and energy.
August 3, 2016
Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and food systems is on a mission to improve the way a nation grows and distributes its food. It's a place where students can get their hands dirty.
August 1, 2016
VLS alum, Becca Pincus MSEL'11, Chair of Arctic Studies at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Professor-In-Residence at the Center for Arctic Study and Policy, works to support the Coast Guard's strategic objectives in the Arctic region.
July 30, 2016
VLS alum, Andy Meeks JD/MSEL'03, Development Director at The Freshwater Trust in Portland, Oregon, calls himself a "disrupter of the status quo" in the fight for clean and abundant fresh water.
July 28, 2016
VLS alum, Margaux Valenti JD'13, Staff Attorney at Riverkeeper in Buffalo, New York, helps gain access, through contractual agreements, to private and public lands to install river restoration projects.
July 26, 2016
VLS alum, Tom Leary JD/MSEL'95, Deputy Legal Counsel to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman at the Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
July 24, 2016
VLS alum, Michelle Bender MELP'15, Earth Policy Fellow at Earth Law Center in Redwood City, California, dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
July 22, 2016
VLS alum, Peter Van Tuyn JD/MSEL'89, Managing Partner at Bessenyey & Van Tuyn, LLC in Anchorage, Alaska, dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
July 20, 2016
VLS alum, Sarah Mooney Reiter JD'13, Ocean Policy Analyst at Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
July 18, 2016
VLS alum, Zachary Lees JD/MELP'12, Staff Attorney at Clean Ocean Action in Sandy Hook, N.J., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
July 16, 2016
VLS alum, Stephanie Showalter Otts JD/MSEL'01, Senior Research Counsel and Director of Sea Grant Programs at the University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford, Miss., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
July 14, 2016
VLS alum, Meghan Jeans JD/MSEL'02, Director of Conservation at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Mass., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
July 12, 2016
VLS alum, Jim Landis LLM'09, Counsel at Lowcountry Counsel Office U.S. Marine Corps in Beaufort, S.C., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
July 10, 2016
Betsy Baker, Professor of Law at VLS, is now a go-to expert on the Arctic. Through her work with the U.S. State Department and the Arctic Council, an international governing body for the Arctic, Baker has played an important role in elevating the status and understanding of the frozen north.
July 8, 2016
Alum William Taylor JD/MSEL'83, Attorney at Pierce Atwood LLP in Portland, Maine and Partner, Environmental Practice Group, shares his Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
July 6, 2016
Alum Anne Hedges MSEL'93, Deputy Director and Lead Lobbyist, Montana Environmental Information Center, a statewide nonprofit focused on air and water pollution issues, shares her Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
July 4, 2016
Alum Michael Woodard JD'98, Assistant VP and Legal Counsel for Domestic Policy, National Pork Producers Council, shares his Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
July 2, 2016
Alum Lee Woodard JD'82, Partner with Harris Beach PLLC, shares his Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
June 30, 2016
Alum Julia Anastasio MSEL'96, Executive Director and General Counsel, Association of Clean Water Administrators in Washington, D.C., shares her Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
June 28, 2016
Few question the need for clean waterways and safe drinking water. But the controversy and litigation involved in attaining those goals is increasing and sometimes makes the ultimate objectives harder to reach.
June 26, 2016
In the face of drought, floods, and sometimes invisible pollution, access to clean water is growing more fraught than ever. The work of VLS alumni in three regions of the country offers a glimpse of how it's all playing out.
June 24, 2016
Over spring break a group of VLS students volunteered with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project in Texas to provide legal assistance to asylum-seeking mothers and children being held at detention centers by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
May 1, 2015
Things in Bob Liu's JD'14 life began to shift partway through his 1L year, when he overheard friends discussing the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.. Read more »