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Environmental Law

Vermont Law School students are working on the frontlines of climate change law, environmental justice, international environmental law, and more. Below, learn about what they're up to and discover the latest news in environmental law and policy from the VLS perspective.


Vermont Law and Graduate School has, once again, been named among the top environmental law schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The school earned this recognition for its outstanding commitment to environmental legal education, academic excellence, and dedication to shaping future leaders in the environmental field.

PEL Blog

The Transnational Environmental Law Clinic (TELC) at Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS) plays a critical role in addressing global environmental challenges by creating a platform for students to work on legal and policy research projects for partner organizations in China, Vietnam, Thailand, and other Asian countries. Students learn about specific environmental challenges in these countries and the gaps in their laws and policies that need to be addressed.

The clinic also supports the work of the U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law. With project topics such as how to…

Week one COP27 delegation at the Egypt Pavilion (left to right: Logan Keen, Heidi Johnson, Prof Derek Walker, Katie Bernhardt, Wenfang Liang, JiaYu Deng)

The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 opened this week in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with a focus on an aggressive implementation of the Paris Agreement, and two groups of Vermont Law and Graduate School student delegates have the great opportunity of attending in person—VLGS is an accredited "observer" of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Protestors hold a banner that reads "Rise for Environmental Justice for All."
Students and faculty in Vermont Law School’s Environmental Justice Clinic and Climate Justice Practicum are helping to strengthen environmental justice legislation across the country: from the City of Philadelphia to the State of Vermont to federal legislative action.
By Julia Guerrein JD'22. A dual-degree student shares her experience combining environmental law at VLS with an MPhil in environmental policy at the University of Cambridge.
Professor Pat Parenteau
On Thursday, March 17, the Embedded Racism in the Law series features former Environmental Justice Clinic Director Marianne Engelman-Lado in conversation with Pat Parenteau about environmental justice at the EPA. Pat shares a preview of their discussion.
As legal counsel for Animal Outlook, Will Lowrey JD'17 is standing up for farmed animal welfare in the courtroom and mentoring future animal advocates. One of those is 3L Ashely Monti, who reflects on his work and his recent victory in court.
Photograph of a Bailey Soderberg, brown hair and a brown dress.
Vermont Law School 2L will work on projects aiming to improve legal protections for farmed animals.
Tseming Yang headshot
The founding director of Vermont Law School's U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law reflects on the program as it turns 15 years old.
A pig in a gestation crate at the Smithfield Foods/Murphy Brown pig breeding facility, Waverly, Virginia, United States
Pork producers have been spuriously asserting that a California law allowing farmed animals room to move their limbs will spell the end of bacon. This blog presents survey data showing that grocery stores, restaurants, foodservice companies, and pork producers are in fact prepared to comply with the law when it goes into effect on January 1.
Students in a Vermont Law School classroom
From a classroom at Vermont Law School, students in the Transnational Environmental Law Practicum are supporting environmental organizations halfway around the word.
Delcianna Winders headshot
September 23, 2021
Delcianna ("Delci") Winders, a renowned animal law expert and advocate, joined the Vermont Law School faculty this fall as a visiting associate professor of law and director of the new program. We caught up with VLS's newest environmental law faculty member to learn more about animal law and how students can get involved.
Wenfang Liang headshot
June 30, 2021
Wenfang Liang LLM'22 is a fellow with the U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law (PEL), a VLS program that works collaboratively with government institutions, non-government organizations, lawyers, judges, lawmakers, and others to promote good environmental governance in Asia.
June 8, 2021
Each year, a select group of students participates in an International Climate Law course that takes them to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (also known as the "COP" conference). Mitul Patel JD/MERL'21 and Andrea Salazar JD/MERL'22 describe the experience.
Three Can't-Miss Environmental Law Summer Courses
May 11, 2021
From this summer’s selection of 23 environmental law courses, we asked Associate Dean and Professor Jenny Rushlow to weigh in on the three she’s most excited about.
Mission Scholars' headshots
March 11, 2021
This year, Vermont Law School's U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law is supporting 15 aspiring lawyers working pro bono on environmental advocacy in China
Veronica Ung-Kono and Jeannie Oliver headshots
March 8, 2021
Titled "Elevate," the three-part interview series is the brainchild of VLS student Veronica Ung-Kono JD/MERL'21 and professor Jeannie Oliver. We caught up with the duo to hear more about it.
February 10, 2021
What environmental law and policy issues will be at the forefront of 2021? The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law has released its predictions in the Top Ten Watchlist for 2021.
Jonathan Rosenbloom headshot
November 19, 2020
Environmental law professor Jonathan Rosenbloom studies how local municipalities can step up to build sustainability, resilience, and equity.
Bears Ears National Monument
June 18, 2020
Two longtime professors and environmental public interest lawyers team up to teach a new summer course on protecting public lands out West.
Plant Breeder's Guide

June 11, 2020

  Assistant Professor Emily Spiegel recently teamed up with Food and Agriculture Clinic student Cydnee Bence JD'20 to create an innovative guide to intellectual property for plant breeders. Titled A Breed Apart, the resource outlines "defensive publication," a way plant breeders can keep innovations in the public domain. The tool will help breeders support biodiversity and push back against alarming trends in big ag: the consolidation of seed companies, prohibitive patents on genetic resources, and crop diversity loss.

  Over the course of a semester…

May 26, 2020
Explore why and how Vermont Law School leads the state in offering commercial EV charging access.
May 14, 2020
Does filling a person’s body with toxic chemicals constitute injury? That’s the question residents of Hoosick Falls, New York raised when they sought justice from the companies that contaminated their drinking water.
May 14, 2020
Three Vermont Law School alumni from the online program share why they chose VLS online. Hear from Ricardo Edwards JD'22/MARJ'19, Michelle Bender MELP'15, and Delinda Passas MARJ'20.
May 12, 2020
Student attorneys in VLS's Environmental Advocacy Clinic (EAC) take on real-world cases to protect natural resources and the environment. Since the clinic announced a new partnership with the National Wildlife Federation in late 2019, it's been very busy: from tackling national cases for the leading conservation organization, to advocating on behalf of local community groups.
May 5, 2020
With courses taught by world-renowned visiting scholars and experts, Vermont Law School’s Summer Session is open to students from schools around the country. This summer the classes will move online due to the COVID-19 campus closure. But with 24 environmental law courses on deck, there is no shortage of exciting topics to choose from.
April 22, 2020
Vermont Law School students, faculty, and alumni share tips for incremental changes that make a difference.
January 25, 2019
David Bridgers JD/MSL’93 serves as common counsel to some of the country’s major gasoline and petro-fuel companies, while acting as an outside voice for the group with the EPA and the City of New York.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.

September 30, 2016
On this increasingly small and fragile planet, China is the single biggest Environmental Stage. Enter Vermont Law School.

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.​
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.
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.