Jennifer K. Rushlow is the Interim Graduate School Dean, Associate Dean for Environmental Programs, Director of the Environmental Law Center, and Professor of Law at Vermont Law School. In her administrative role, Dean Rushlow oversees the development of Vermont Graduate School and all VLS environmental degrees, curriculum, clinics, and programs.
Dean Rushlow received her juris doctor from Northeastern University School of Law. She also earned a Master of Public Health from Tufts University School of Medicine, and a bachelor of arts from Oberlin College. Dean Rushlow practiced law at the non-profit advocacy organization Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), and the law firm Anderson & Kreiger, both based in Boston. Her practice focused on environmental and land use law, particularly climate change, agriculture, transportation, and environmental justice.
While at CLF, Dean Rushlow argued and won a landmark climate law case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Kain v. Department of Environmental Protection, 474 Mass. 278 (2016). She also founded the CLF’s Farm and Food program, including the Legal Food Hub, a free legal services clearinghouse for farmers and food businesses.
She was named a 2016 Lawyer of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for her work on the Kain case. Mayor Martin Walsh also honored Dean Rushlow with a Greenovate Boston Award in 2016 for her work on the Legal Food Hub. In 2015, she was honored by Governor Deval Patrick with an appointment to serve on the Massachusetts Zero Emission Vehicle Commission.
Dean Rushlow published an article about the Kain case, “Behind the Curtain: Insiders’ View of Developing and Enforcing State Climate Change Laws,” 50 Envtl. L. Rep. 10466 (2020). In 2022, Dean Rushlow joined Plater, et al. as a co-author for the environmental law casebook Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society, 6th ed. (Wolters Kluwer), for which she is contributing a new chapter on energy and climate law. In addition to climate law, Dean Rushlow has published on issues related to air pollution, environmental health, land use, administrative, and municipal law. Dean Rushlow regularly appears in the media, including coverage by the New York Times, Time Magazine, National Public Radio, the Boston Globe, E&E News, and others.
Dean Rushlow serves as Chair-Elect of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Environmental Law. She is also appointed by the Vermont courts as Reporter for the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence, for which she authors Reporter’s Notes for rules amendments. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and Vermont, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First and Ninth Circuits.
Dean Rushlow’s courses taught include: Air Pollution Law and Policy, the Environmental and Natural Resources Clinic, Evidence, and Food Justice and Sustainability.
"Up Next for Infrastructure: All Eyes on Federal Agencies" (with Sandra Santiago), Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (December 2021).
Jennifer Rushlow, Rapid DNA Database Expansion and Disparate Minority Impact, 20 GeneWatch no. 4 (2007).
Jennifer Rushlow and Winton Pitcoff, Public Policy Advocacy Skills Guide for Urban Farmers (Conservation Law Foundation & Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, 2018).
Jennifer Rushlow, Gina Coplon-Newfield, Mark LeBel, and Emily Norton, Charging Up: The Role of States, Utilities, and the Auto Industry in Dramatically Accelerating Electric Vehicle Adoption in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States (Conservation Law Foundation, Sierra Club, & Acadia Center 2015).
Ben Bowell, Cris Coffin, Christophe Courchesne, Ivy Frignoca, Max Greene, Anthony Iarrapino, Jennifer Rushlow, and Kathryn Ruhf, New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System (American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation, & Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group 2014).
Randi J. Eisner and Jennifer K. Rushlow, Smart Growth (G.L. c. 40R and 40S) in Massachusetts Zoning Manual (Martin R. Healy & Peter A. Alpert eds., MCLE 5th ed. 2015).
William L. Lahey and Jennifer K. Rushlow, Coastal Zone Law in Massachusetts Environmental Law (Gregor I. McGregor & R. Lisle Baker eds., MCLE 3rd ed. 2010).
Kevin D. Batt and Jennifer K. Rushlow, Municipal Law in Handbook of Legal Research in Massachusetts (Mary Ann Neary, Ruth G. Matz, & Kevin D. Batt eds., MCLE 3rd ed. 2009).
Moderator, Emerging Environmental Law Curriculum Roundtable Series (with Jonathan Rosenbloom), Vermont Law School (Jan. 28, Feb. 25, and Mar. 25, 2021).
Panel Speaker, “Climate Change, Farm Workers, and Regulatory Rollbacks in the US,” Food and Our Changing Climate, University of Connecticut School of Law, April 26, 2019.
Presenter, “Kain v. DEP: Climate Litigation in State Court,” Virtual Environmental Law Speaker Series at Mercer Law School, March 18, 2019.
Panelist, “Feeding the Warming Planet” Food Justice Law Symposium, Harvard Law School, March 9, 2019.
Invited Speaker, “Legal Resources for Farmers,” 2018 Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture Annual Meeting, June 6.
Panel Speaker, “Land Access in the City: From The Ground Up,” 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference, Bunker Hill College, March 17, 2018.
Panel Speaker, “Changing the Food System Through Policy Advocacy,” 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference, Bunker Hill College, March 16, 2018.
Panel Speaker, “CLE – Engaging and Working with an Expert Witness and Outside Counsel,” Conservation Law Foundation, January 12, 2018.
Invited Speaker, “CLE – Down on the Farm: Environmental Challenges and Opportunities in Massachusetts Agriculture,” Boston Bar Association, December 6, 2018.
Panel Speaker, “Land Access for Urban Agriculture,” 2016 Farmland Access Conference, Maine Farmland Trust, December 5, 2016.
Invited Speaker, “Writing Ordinances: Process and Practical Steps,” Municipal Planner Urban Agriculture Webinar, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, November 17, 2018.
Invited Panel Speaker, “Direct Legal Services for Farmers as a Means for Environmental and Animal Welfare,” Animal Law and Environmental Law: Building Collaboration Conference, Yale Law School, November 5, 2016.
Invited Speaker, “MA Supreme Judicial Court Decision in the Global Warming Solutions Act Case: A Litigation Update,” Boston Bar Association, June 14, 2016.
Panel Speaker, “Successful Policy Interventions,” 6th Annual New England Food Summit, Housatonic Community College, June 8–9, 2016.
Speaker, “MA Local Food Action Plan,” Massachusetts Agriculture Day, Massachusetts State House, April 5, 2016.
Panel Speaker, “Farmland Access, Just Food?,” Forum on Land Use, Rights and Ecology, Harvard Law School, March 25, 2016.
Presenter and Co-Facilitator, “Urban Agriculture Planning” Pre-Conference Workshop, 4th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference, Northeastern University, March 12, 2016.
Speaker, “Charging Up: The Role of States, Utilities, and the Auto Industry in Dramatically Accelerating Electric Vehicle Adoption,” Acadia Center, Conservation Law Foundation, and Sierra Club Webinar, November 17, 2015.
Panel Speaker, “Movers and Shakers in Food Law and Policy,” Food Law Leadership Summit, Harvard Law School, October 3, 2015.
Panel Speaker, “Urban Farmers and Food Entrepreneurs—Do You Need A Lawyer?,” 3rd Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference, Worcester State University, March 28, 2015.
Panel Speaker, “Land in the City: Access and Development,” 3rd Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference, Worcester State University, March 28, 2015.
Panel Speaker, “Food Justice,” Global Food, Local Solutions Conference, Vermont Law School, March 27, 2015.
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Invited Panel Speaker, “Environmental Advocacy Law,” U.S. June 14, 2012.
Awards & Accomplishments
Awards, Honors or Grants
Massachusetts Lawyer of the Year Award, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2016
Greenovate Boston Award, City of Boston, 2016