Vermont AG Bill Sorrell Joins VLS as Visiting Scholar in U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law

Vermont Attorney General William "Bill" Sorrell will join the U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law (PEL) at Vermont Law School as an honorary visiting scholar for one year beginning Jan. 1, 2017. As a visiting scholar, Sorrell will share his experience and expertise in representing the citizens of Vermont in environmental and public health matters with U.S.-Asia PEL's partner schools and legal advocates in China, where he will lecture in February and March.

"I am most grateful to Vermont Law School for providing me this opportunity for an extraordinary overseas experience shortly after I complete my time as attorney general," said Sorrell, whose term ends in January.

"Attorney General Bill Sorrell is a familiar and respected face on the Vermont Law School campus, and we are honored that he has agreed to work with us to advance environmental issues and advocacy," said Professor Siu Tip Lam, director of U.S.-Asia PEL. "We look forward to introducing him to our colleagues in China, where we are likewise committed to training environmental stewards and legal advocates to use the power of the law to protect the environment, public health, and welfare."

Sorrell has served as attorney general for the state of Vermont since 1997. He previously served as the state secretary of administration as well as state's attorney and deputy state's attorney for Chittenden County. Before joining the state of Vermont, Sorrell was managing partner of McNeil, Murray & Sorrell.

Sorrell has served on the tobacco, environment, and consumer protection committees of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), of which he is a past president, and currently serves on the civil rights committee. He is a past recipient of the Kelley-Wyman Award, given to an outstanding attorney general; Humane Law Enforcement Award from the Humane Society of the United States; Citizen of the Year, Vermont Medical Society; and Tobacco Control Champion, Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont. In 2013 Sorrell was awarded an honorary juris doctor (JD) from VLS. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and JD from Cornell Law School.

The U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law, founded in 2006 as the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, works collaboratively with government institutions, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), lawyers, judges, lawmakers and others to promote environmental governance in Asia. In 2013 the U.S.-Asia PEL initiated a Myanmar Environmental Governance Program. More recently, the partnerships embarked on a project working with government entities, NGOs and environmental lawyers from China and countries in the lower Mekong Sub-region—Myanmar, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Vietnam—to explore ways to sustainably manage the environmental and social impacts of rapidly increasing Chinese overseas investment in the region. For more information about the U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law, visit


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; three Master's Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; 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, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.​