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James May, Vermont Law School

James C. May

Professor of Law Emeritus

JD, Boston University, 1977

MA, University of Virginia, 1970

BA, Thomas More College, 1967


Curriculum Vitae

James C. May


Professor James C. May serves as a professor in the South Royalton Legal Clinic (SRLC), Vermont Law School's on-campus, civil poverty law clinic. A provider of legal services to low-income and working Vermonters for 40 years, he has served as lead counsel in cases that have required state and federal agencies to change their rules in favor of the disabled and disadvantaged.

Professor May received his BA from Thomas More College in 1967 and his MA from the University of Virginia in 1970. He then served as the medical news writer for the Cincinnati Post and Times-Star, where he received the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses Community Service Award for reporting on local health issues. He received his JD from Boston University in 1977, following clerkships with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. From 1977 to 1983, he was a staff attorney for Vermont Legal Aid in Springfield, Vermont. His primary emphasis was in income maintenance, public entitlements, housing, employment, family law, and bankruptcy. In 1983 – 84, he served as the Vermont Law School/Vermont Legal Aid Clinical Fellow, teaching classes, supervising client case work, and organizing an internship program that placed Vermont Law School students in the offices of Vermont Legal Aid.  He served as a staff attorney for the South Royalton Legal Clinic from 1984 to 1986 and has served as a clinical professor and director of the clinic since 1987. His responsibilities include directing program development, teaching and supervising cases of student clinicians, and overseeing curriculum development. As a member of the board of directors of the Vermont/Karelia Rule of Law Project, he assisted Russian counterparts in the development of Russia's first modern-day, law school legal clinic at Petrozavodsk State University (1994-95), and thereafter in the rollout of the law school clinical concept to other Russian law schools. He then helped to develop a legal aid project for Petrozavodsk and southern Karelia (1999-2001). He served as deputy director of the U.S. State Department-sponsored Vermont Law School/Petrozavodsk State University NISCUPP grant (Newly Independent States College and University Partnership Program) and as a Vermont Steering Committee member of the Russian-American Rule of Law Consortium (RAROLC) and International Rule of Law Consortium (IROLC).

Since 2007, he has been involved in the work of the Vermont Access to Justice Coalition.  He has served as a board member of Legal Services Law Line of Vermont (1996 – 2017) and the combined board of Law Line and Vermont Legal Aid (2016-17); on the board of Windsor County Court Diversion, and as a member and board chair of the Hartland, Vermont, School Board. Recent activities at SRLC have included planning and resource development for creation of a new physical plant to house the South Royalton Legal Clinic on the Vermont Law School campus, and for expansion and sustaining of SRLC's Projects to include work on behalf of domestic violence survivors, children, immigrants, prisoners, and veterans.



​James C. May and Alexander Banks, Lawyering for Children in High-Conflict Cases, Vt. B. J. 51 (Winter 2007)​.​
​Hard Cases From Easy Cases Grow: In Defense of the Fact and Law Intensive Administrative Law Case, 32 J. Marshall L. Rev. 87 (1998).​
Creating Russia's First Law School Legal Clinic, Vt. B.J., Aug. 1997, at 43.​
The Law and Politics of Paying Teachers Salary Step Increases upon Expiration of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, 20 Vt. L. Rev. 753 (1996).​
Retaining AFDC Support for Nongraduating 18-Year-Old Students with Disabilities, Clearinghouse Rev. (May 1995).​​


James C. May, with William E. Bonn, Lillette M. Granade, and Jesse A. Traugott, "Interview of Maximilian W. Kempner" (2008). This videotape of Mr. Kempner, former Dean of Vermont Law School and member of the Council on Legal Education and Professional Responsibility (CLEPR), was made for inclusion in J. P. Ogilvy, "History of Clinical Legal Education," a two-DVD set. This half-hour DVD segment was shown in part at a dinner honoring CLEPR on its 40th anniversary, held at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) annual conference in San Diego, CA, in January 2009.​


James C. May, Maryann Zavez, Alexander W. Banks, and Arthur Edersheim, Vermont Law School South Royalton Legal Clinic Student Manual (1999-current eds.).​


"Specific Issues In The Delivery of Civil Legal Assistance" ​Vermont/Karelia Rule of Law Project Annual Program Montpelier, VT, June 2, 2009.
"The South Royalton Legal Clinic: Its History, Accomplishments and Needs" ​Top Notch at Stowe, VT, August 4, 2008.
"Access to Justice at Home and Abroad," Mt. Ascutney Resort, West Windsor, ​VT, July 16, 2008.
​"Quality Control in the Delivery of Legal Aid," Russian-American Rule of Law Consortium (RAROLC) annual conference, Petrozavodsk, Karelia, Russia, June 5, 2008.
"Access to Justice at Home and Abroad," ​Unitarian Universalist Church, Hartland, VT, April 13, 2008.

​Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Petrozavodsk, Karelia, Russia, co-organizer and presenter, 1997 and 2003.

Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Consortium of Legal Clinics of Northwest Russia (founding meeting), St. Petersburg, Russia, 2000.​
​"Clinical Supervision," Clinical Legal Education Conference, Novgorod, Russia, 1999.​
​Conference presenter on history of American legal education and clinical teaching methods, for representatives of Association of Russian Law Schools, Yekaterinburg, Russia, 1996.​
​Multiple presentations on American clinical legal education and related topics, Petrozavodsk, Karelia, Russia 1994-96.​
​Conducted community education workshops in Vermont on family law, landlord-tenant and welfare-to-work issues, 1977-83.​
​New lawyer trainer, Legal Services Corporation/Vermont Legal Aid, 1980-84.​

Awards & Accomplishments

Service Work

Member of team that created demonstration civil legal services program in Karelia, Russia, 1999-2001.​
​Member, Hartland Conservation Commission, Hartland, VT, 1990-91.​

​Deputy Director, Vermont Law School/Petrozavodsk State University Law Faculty partnership (U.S. State Department NISCUPP grant), 1998-2005.

​Member, Board of Directors, Windsor County Court Diversion Program, 1994-96.​
Volunteer consultant to new federal Legal Aid Program in Karelia, 2007-present.​​
Vermont Steering Committee Member, Russian American Rule of Law Consortium (RAROLC), 2001-present.​

​Member, Hartland Board of School Directors, Hartland, VT, 1991-94.​

​Member, Board of Directors, Vermont/Karelia Rule of Law Project, which helped establish (1994-95) first law school civil legal clinic in Russia at Petrozavodsk State University,1994-present.​

​Member, Board of Directors, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont, 1996-present.​


​Staff attorney, 1983-86.​​
​One of four experienced attorneys who supervise the South Royalton Legal Clinic's student clinicians.

​Director of the South Royalton Legal Clinic since 1987.

​Professor at Vermont Law School since 1998.

Other Accomplishments or Activities

James C. May, with Lillette M. Granade, VLS '10, "The South Royalton Legal Clinic: Its History, Accomplishments and Needs" (2009). The original version of this 30 minute Powerpoint production on the South Royalton Legal Clinic was presented to the Vermont Law School Board of Trustees at their Summer 2008 meeting at Top Notch at Stowe, Vermont.​