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.
Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Petrozavodsk, Karelia, Russia, co-organizer and presenter, 1997 and 2003.
Awards & Accomplishments
Deputy Director, Vermont Law School/Petrozavodsk State University Law Faculty partnership (U.S. State Department NISCUPP grant), 1998-2005.
Member, Hartland Board of School Directors, Hartland, VT, 1991-94.
Member, Board of Directors, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont, 1996-present.
Director of the South Royalton Legal Clinic since 1987.
Professor at Vermont Law School since 1998.