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Laws to be Thankful for

November 25, 2020

This year has been a challenge, to say the least, and finding gratitude may not have been the easiest task to accomplish. It seems like everything about 2020 redefined the term “non-conventional,” so as we crash into the holiday season, it is only appropriate that we consider non-conventional things to be thankful for.

Thankful Student

Being thankful for friends, family, and healthy food is always good for the soul. But as members of the Vermont Law School community, we know that laws are worthy of our gratitude as well. Laws regulate and shape the human experience ranging from marriage equality to workplace safety, and everything in-between. Here are some of our favorite laws to be thankful for:

“I'm thankful for the Endangered Species Act because it protects species that man has endangered or threatened through human activities and creates a means for them to survive in what was originally their world. I think that every creature on Earth is here for a reason, from the most magnificent mammals to the lowliest bacteria. They all serve a purpose, and that purpose shouldn't be eliminated just because of humankind's activities and often greedy or thoughtless actions.”- Carlynne Toomey JD’23

“I’m grateful for the 22nd Amendment, which limits Presidents of the US to 2 terms, with certain caveats. Term limits can change our elected officials’ calculus for what’s most important – getting re-elected or governing on behalf of the country?”- Francine Miller LLM'18

Thanksgiving 2019
VLS Thanksgiving 2019

“I’ll add the FHA and Clean Water Acts to the list.”- Lauryn Sherman JD’21

“I am thankful for the Family Leave Act. I am a Master’s student in restorative justice, and my mom is 93. I am also a nurse at DH. I have to take FMLA because my mom has been on the decline. She was sent to a nursing home rehab from her home in NJ and when I came down to get her, she had become disoriented overnight. I had spoken to her daily and between Tuesday and Wednesday, she didn't know where she lived, etc. I got her back to her home and I reviewed the medication list that they had given her. Everything was wrong with new additional medications added including Ambien! That night she had an episode and I thought that she was dying! Fast forward 5 days and she is returning back to normal. I now have to bring her back to Vermont with me for the next few weeks where I can watch over her. I was able to get FMLA which protects my job and my health insurance. I am so thankful for FMLA! We can thank William Jefferson Clinton for this!”- Leslie Thorsen MARJ’21

“I’m grateful for the Paris Agreement to limit short-term climate pollutants, and after the U.S. withdrawal this month, I’m thankful we will rejoin the agreement under the new Presidential administration.”- Rachael Bruketta JD/MERL’22

"Generally, the laws that I am thankful for are Light Pollution laws that protect the visibility of stars in the night sky. Specifically, I am most thankful for the Light Pollution laws in my hometown of Tucson, AZ. Even though the city has grown and developed over the years, the stars still shine bright."- Courtney Ayon JD'22