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News Release

VLS Students to Provide Legal Aid in Haiti

Friday, January 26, 2018


––Vermont Law School students will travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in March as part of a new VLS-Haiti Development Initiative to provide legal aid in environmental law and human rights to local organizations.

The VLS-Haiti Development Initiative, created by students Luckie Milad JD’19 and Renee Smith MFALP’17, will prepare participants to conduct legal research to assist with reforestation efforts and human rights advocacy, and arrange for participants to meet with Haitian students to share information about legal education in the United States. Students also will hold meetings with various legal entities to learn more about the rule of law in Haiti.

“We noticed that while Vermont Law School offers programs for students to travel abroad for legal studies and experiences, there is greater opportunity to expose VLS students to the legal landscape in developing nations,” Milad said of the inspiration for the VLS-Haiti Development Initiative.

“We believe this trip will be a stepping stone for connections and partnerships in Haiti so students at VLS and abroad can benefit from a diverse legal education and an exchange of knowledge with international legal practitioners,” said Smith.

Professor Tracy Bach, director of the International and Comparative Law Program at Vermont Law School, advises the VLS-Haiti Development Initiative, which also receives guidance from Associate Dean David Mears, director of the Environmental Law Center, and Associate Dean Shirley Jefferson of the Office of Student Affairs and Diversity. The initiative’s first trip, March 3-10, is made possible with institutional support and generous donations from Vermont organizations and community members. For more information about the initiative, including financial gifts, email


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.