Vermont has never been afraid of marching to its own drummer. The Green Mountain state declared itself an independent country in 1777 and did not join the American Colonies until 1791. Vermonters are proud of their independent nature as well as their maple syrup and cows. Yes, cows! At times in their history, Vermont had more cows than people. No wonder, Ben & Jerry's ice cream empire is located in Vermont. If you desire to go to law school in this quirky little state, then your choice is Vermont Law School.
Vermont Law School (VLS) is located in the tiny town, about 700 people according to the 2010 census, of South Royalton, VT. The little village is charming and good for a whole afternoon of exploring. It may be a little small for some prospective students. However, there can be a real plus to not having anywhere to go. As a law student, you need to keep your nose firmly in a law book most of the time.
Vermont Law School is a private school and is not associated with a larger university. That explains why their tuition is on the expensive side, despite being a third tier school, according to U.S. News law school ranking. VLS is an approved American Bar Association law school. In 2016, the student body was about 375 students and the bar pass rate averaged 66.67%. The school is laid out like a little village with separate little small houses and buildings. However, even though they are separate buildings they are all connected. If you go here, you will be glad not to have to walk outside during snow storms.
- Appellate Advocacy
- Civil Procedure
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Legislation and Regulation
In addition to these required courses, two courses are required from a list of what they call "Bar Courses". This list includes courses in Corporations, Criminal Law, Family Law, Estates, Remedies and Sales. Some of these are standard areas tested on many State Bar Exams. It would be wise to check what areas the State Bar Exam that you hope to take includes. You will want to make sure you take the courses you need.
In order to graduate with a JD, you are also required to have six credits in one of the practical clinics they offer. In addition, a "Perspective" class is required. These are classes that try to give students a broader perspective of how law fits into a bigger world picture. Finally, a writing project course is required.
Vermont Law School has a top ranked environmental program with their Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and specializations in Environmental Justice, Environmental Law, and International Environmental Law.
VLS offers an accelerated two-year program, if you are in a hurry, and an extended four-year, if you have other life commitments and need more time. Joint Degrees with a master in environmental, energy, and agriculture law are possible.
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