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News Release

U.S. News Ranks Vermont Law School No. 1 in Environmental Law

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


U.S. News Ranks Vermont Law School No. 1 in Environmental Law.

U.S. News & World Report today released its rankings for the Best Law Schools for 2019, again recognizing Vermont Law School as No. 1 in the nation for environmental law. In the last 28 years, VLS has ranked No. 1 in environmental law 20 times and No. 2 eight times.

“Our tradition of excellence in environmental law and policy education began with the establishment of our Environmental Law Center in the 1970s and continues thanks to the strength and dedication of our world-class faculty and staff,” said VLS President and Dean Thomas McHenry. “The ranking is a result of their leadership, spirit of innovation, dedication to our students, and commitment to developing curricular and clinical opportunities that prepare Vermont Law School alumni to succeed in their chosen professions, whether focused on water issues here in Vermont or on air and water quality in Southeast Asia. Our alumni leave VLS ready to make a difference in their communities and the world.”

“I am privileged to work with the amazing faculty and staff in our environmental programs and thank them for their dedication in educating the next generation of environmental leaders,” said Associate Dean for Environmental Programs David Mears JD/MSEL’91, director of the ELC. “Through the work of this team, we are able to provide our students with the real-world tools to tackle the issues facing our communities and the world today, including climate change and energy, environmental justice, and sustainable food and agriculture. Our work has never been more important, and I am pleased that Vermont Law School has been recognized for its commitment to this vital educational mission.”  

VLS, which established the Environmental Law Center in 1978, offers more than 50 courses related to the environment and environmental law, more than any other law school in the United States, and provides unique experiential opportunities to both JD and master’s students through the work of its clinics, centers and institutes. The school’s environmental clinics include the Energy ClinicFood and Agriculture Clinic, and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. The VLS Summer Session, which will offer 28 classes in 2018, attracts scholars, lawyers, journalists, and environmental advocates from around the world.

For more information about environmental programs at Vermont Law School, including degrees and clinical training, visit the Environmental Law Center online at


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a juris doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; four master’s degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy, and Master of Arts in Restorative Justice; and four post-JD degrees—LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, Center for Applied Human Rights, and Center for Justice Reform. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.