Vermont Law School to Celebrate Environmental Law Center’s 40 Years of Leadership in Environmental Law and Policy

Forty years ago, Vermont Law School launched the Environmental Law Center, under the leadership of Professor Richard Brooks, creating the first such environmentally-focused law program in the nation. In the four decades since, the Environmental Law Center has continuously trained students to work on the forefront of environmental law and policy.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Environmental Law Center, Vermont Law School will be hosting a tribute to Professor Brooks and panel discussion about the future of environmental law and policy.

“Since training our graduates to implement the environmental laws and policies passed in the first decades of the environmental movement, we have much to celebrate,” said David Mears, Director of the ELC.  “Many of our streams, rivers, ponds and lakes have recovered. The air is cleaner. A number of once endangered species are thriving. Businesses are increasingly sophisticated in making decisions that result in greater sustainability. Vermont Law School-trained professionals have played a major role in these successes, representing all sectors and levels of government.”

Today, however, students face new environmental challenges. Vermont Law School has invited a number of former ELC directors to participate on a panel discussion about the current and future state of environmental law and policy.

“Students today are facing a new landscape of environmental challenges—from global climate change to ocean acidification, from food policy to the energy transition in a carbon constrained world,” said VLS President and Dean Tom McHenry. “We want to convene some of the best minds in environmental law and policy—and some of the most important figures in the history of VLS—to discuss how the Center can adapt to these new challenges, and how our students can best use law and policy to address these challenges.”

The 40th Celebration of the ELC will be held in the Chase Center at Vermont Law School on Friday, June 22, 2018 at 3pm, and is open to the public.