Professor Greg Johnson is an expert in legal writing, sexual orientation and the law, appellate advocacy, and constitutional law. The courses he has taught at Vermont Law School include Legal Writing, Appellate Advocacy, Dispute Resolution, Sexual Orientation and the Law, and Constitutional Law.
Professor Johnson earned a BA degree from Cornell University in 1982 and a JD degree from Notre Dame Law School in 1985. Upon graduation from law school, he clerked with the Alaska Superior Court and then served as staff attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor in New Orleans. He was a legal research and writing instructor at St. Louis University School of Law from 1987 to 1988 and at the University of Oregon Law School from 1988 to 1992. He served as law clerk with the Alaska Supreme Court from 1992 to 1993 and from 1995 to 1996 and as senior court counsel with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau from 1993 to 1995. In 1996, he became an associate specializing in Native Alaskan law with the firm of Middleton & Timme in Anchorage. Professor Johnson served as special counsel to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau from 1997 to 2007. He joined the Vermont Law School faculty in 1997. He has made numerous presentations across the nation on LGBT civil rights issues. He testified before both houses of the Vermont Legislature when it considered the civil union bill in 2000 and the landmark marriage equality bill in 2009.
Professor Johnson has also spoken at national and regional legal writing conferences. He has served on numerous legal writing committees. He was chair of the Scholarship Grants Committee of the Association of Legal Writing Directors from 2012-17.
Is Neil Gorsuch a Role Model for Legal Writing? Yes and No, 43 Vermont Bar J. 27 (2017)
Welcome to Our Gender-Neutral Future, 42 Vermont Bar J. 36 (2016)
The Connection Between Writing Effective Briefs and Remaining Fully Human, 41 Vermont Bar J. 21 (2015) (co-authored with Stephen Reynes)
Sweat the Small Stuff, 40 Vermont Bar Journal 37 (2014)
May It Please the Classroom: Using Pending United States Supreme Court Cases to Teach Appellate Advocacy and Persuasive Writing, 12 The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing 99 (2009)
Becoming Centered—and a Better Advocate—Through Humility, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, University of Denver Law School, Denver, Colorado, March 2018
Joint Venture: The Negotiation and Drafting Workshop at Vermont Law School, (with Brian Porto), New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers Conference, Boston University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, October 2016
The Limits of Advocacy: Our Responsibilities When Incorporating Social Justice into Legal Writing, Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference, Portland, Oregon, July 2016
Toward a Gender-Inclusive Campus, Presentation to the Diversity Committee, Vermont Law School, November 2015
Where Do You Go After Reaching the Summit?: LGBT Advocacy After Obergefell, Alliance Conference, Vermont Law School, October 2015
The Death of Class Actions: Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez and Other Important Class-Action Cases in This Year’s Term, Constitution Day, Vermont Law School, September 2015
Legends of Legal Writing (Moderator), Northwest Legal Writing Conference, Oregon Law School, Eugene, Oregon, April 2015
Effective Brief Writing, (With Brian Porto), American Bar Association Section on Family Law, 2014 Fall CLE Conference, Stowe, VT, October 2014
First for a Reason: The Continued Vitality of the First Amendment in Supreme Court Jurisprudence, Godnick Adult Center Lecture Series, Rutland, Vermont, February 2014
"Circling Back": Integrating Essential Analytical and Communication Skills Through a Spiral Legal Writing Curriculum, (With Professor Susan Provenzano, Northwestern University School of Law), Southeastern Legal Writing Conference, Stetson Law School, Gulfport, FL, April 2014
Victory! The Future of Marriage Equality after Windsor v. United States, Summer Pride Festival at Chandler Hall, Randolph, Vermont, July 2013
Presentation of Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Lawrence, AALS Annual Meeting, Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research, Washington, D.C., January 2013
Panelist and Workshop Leader, AALS Workshop for New Legal Writing Teachers, Washington, D.C., June 2013
Credibility in Advocacy: Humility as the First Step,Legal Writing Workshop, Berkeley Law School, Boalt Hall, Berkeley, California, December 2012
Diversity at Vermont Law School: An LGBTQI Perspective, Vermont Law School, October 2012
Participant in the International Community or Police Officer to the World: Prosecuting Human Rights Violations Under the Alien Tort Statute, Vermont Law School, September 2012
Finding Nemo (and his Anemone): The Symbiosis of Teaching and Scholarship, Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon, August 2012
There is No Finish Line: Getting Students to Embrace the Legal Process as a Never Ending Journey, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law, Tempe, Arizona, March 2012
"Alaska's Same-Sex Marriage Case," Freedom to Marry Conference, Harvard Law School (February 1999).
Joint Venture: The Negotiation and Drafting Workshop at Vermont Law School, (with Brian Porto), New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers Conference, Boston University Law School Boston, Massachusetts, October 2016
Awards & Accomplishments
Awards, Honors or Grants
2014 Faculty Service Award, awarded to one faculty member each year by the Student Bar Association at Vermont Law School
Other Accomplishments or Activities
Law Clerk, Alaska Superior Court, 1985–86, and Alaska Supreme Court, 1992–93, and 1995–96.
Special Counsel to Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau, since 1997.
Instructor, legal research and writing, Saint Louis University School of Law, 1987–88, and University of Oregon School of Law, 1988–92.
Associate, specializing in Native Alaskan law, Middleton and Timme, Anchorage, 1996–97.
Staff Attorney, US Department of Labor, New Orleans, 1986–87.
Professor at Vermont Law School since 1997.
Senior Court Counsel, Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau, 1993–95; chief adviser to court system of newly independent country.
Adjunct Professor, American College in London, 1983.
Created Palau's Supreme Court digest, summarizing the more than 350 cases since the establishment of the court in 1981.
Drafted rules of appellate procedure and rules of admiralty for Republic of Palau; enacted 1995.