Graduate and Professional Programs Vermont Law School

Graduate and Professional Programs Vermont Law School

South Royalton, VT
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
March 1
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
1 Department and Program
departments and programs


Vermont Law

Vermont Law School is committed to developing a generation of leaders who use the power of the law to make a difference in local communities and the world. VLS students are world-class thinkers and doers. They participate in clinics and externships that give them experience representing underserved clients, conducting leading-edge research, and working with community groups. They take part in national trial advocacy, environmental and civil rights moot court competitions, and in arguments before the Vermont Supreme Court. They are scientists, hackers, hikers, and musicians. They are talented, sometimes quirky, entrepreneurial self-starters and self-selectors who believe in community. They are idealists interested in practical training. They are friends, activists, and leaders in the law.

The environmental and energy, international, public interest and clinical law programs at VLS are among the best in the nation. The Environmental Law Center (ELC) at VLS has the largest graduate environmental law program in the country, and consistently ranks among the nation's best by "US News & World Report." In addition to law firms, Vermont Law School graduates work in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, where there is demand for smart, talented lawyers who want to make a difference.

Degrees at Vermont Law

-JD Degrees. The core JD curriculum focuses on legal doctrine and analysis, emphasizes the broader social context of the law, and provides education in the skills and values needed for effective law practice. The flexible JD program offers an opportunity both for concentration in a particular area of the law and broad preparation for general practice in all 50 states. Last year, VLS students sat for the bar in 33 different states. Concentrations range from environmental, energy, and agriculture law and policy to business and criminal law and dispute resolution.

-Master's Degrees. A master's degree from Vermont Law School is different. Instead of studying theories about how to change policy, VLS master's candidates learn the law and how to use it to effect change. By studying advocacy, regulations, legislation, and markets, they acquire the tools to create a more sustainable world. Master's degrees include Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP), Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL), and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP). All master's degrees can be pursued jointly with the JD program and online.

- LLM Degrees. LLMs require one year of study and can be pursued part-time. These programs require applicants to have a JD degree, and are geared toward students interested in pursuing specialized careers in environmental, energy, and agriculture law or higher education. LLM degrees include LLM in Environmental Law, LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Food and Agriculture Law, and LLM in American Legal Studies. All LLM degrees can be taken online except for the LLM in American Legal Studies.

Accelerated JD Degrees

Vermont Law School's Accelerated Juris Doctor program (AJD) offers an extraordinary opportunity for highly motivated and focused candidates to complete their law degree in only two years and for only two-thirds the cost of a traditional program. The program was strategically designed to allow accelerated students the chance to diversify their studies with electives and participate in both academic and experiential opportunities. AJD students begin in the summer during Vermont Law School's world-renowned Summer Session.

Experiential Learning

At one of the top-ranked schools for externships and experiential learning, JD students can participate in a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities within the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, Center for Applied Human Rights, Center for Legal Innovation, Criminal Law Clinic, Dispute Resolution Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Environmental Tax Policy Institute, Experiential Advocacy Program, Food and Agriculture Clinic, Institute for Energy and the Environment, Judicial Externship Program, Land Use Clinic, Legal Writing Program, Legislative Clinic, Semester-in-Practice Program, South Royalton Legal Clinic, U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law, and Water and Justice Program.

Vermont Law School student clinicians and faculty represent at more than 200 court and administrative hearings per year, working on more than 2,500 formal pro bono cases since 1979.

"Our courses don't use case books. Our students learn by grappling with real scenarios designed by experts in the field." -Professor Jessica West, Director of the Experiential Advocacy Program

Vermont Law School Students

Vermont Law School students and faculty are committed to making the world a better place. It's more than a job. VLS graduates develop meaningful and influential careers throughout the United States and abroad, with governments, NGOs, and leading law firms. They use their degree as a ticket to a sustainable career and a meaningful life.

"I want to be doing something a little groundbreaking. People don't come here just to be a lawyer and blend in." -Elena Mihaly '13

"A legal education can prepare you to do all sorts of things, not just work in a courtroom or with stacks of paper." -Scott Cullen '96

Learn more about Vermont Law School alumni and students.

The Country's Top Environmental Law Program

Founded in 1978, the Environmental Law Center (ELC) at Vermont Law School has the largest graduate environmental law program in the country, and consistently ranks among the nation's best by "US News & World Report." The program offers more than 64 courses related to the environment and environmental law, more than any other law school in the nation.

Environmental Law Center faculty and students have earned an international reputation for their scholarship and clinical work in a variety of sectors, from agriculture to alternative energy. They work together to address critical global issues: climate change, water justice, sustainable food systems, environmental taxation, land use, renewable energy and more. In the clinics, they go toe-to-toe with multinational corporations--and win. VLS alumni credit this experiential approach for their success in finding meaningful work that enables them to effect positive change in environmental law, policy, and regulation.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Vermont Law School is making legal education more accessible by offering merit and need-based scholarship aid. Fellowships are also available.


Vermont Law School is accredited by the American Bar Association.

Location & Contact

Graduate and Professional Programs

Vermont Law School

Chelsea Street, PO Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068-0096
United States

Mr. Marc Mihaly

President and Dean

Phone: 802-831-1225
Fax: 802-831-1163

Mr. John Miller

Associate Dean of Enrollment and Marketing

Phone: 802-831-1239
Fax: 802-831-1174

Request More Info

Departments & Programs

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Juris Doctor (JD)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Energy Regulation and Law (JD/MERL)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Environmental Law and Policy (JD/MELP)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (JD/MFALP)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Laws (JD/LL M)
      Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL)
      Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP)
      Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP)
      Master of Laws (LL M)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees 128
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


74% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 686
    • Accepted 510
    • Acceptance Rate 74
    • Enrolled 144
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $60
    • Application Fee - International $60
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline March 1st Not Reported Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesLSAT, LSDAS, resume
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 600 paper based

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 15
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Tuition Waivers, Career or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students424
    • Female Percentage56%
    • Male Percentage44%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students424
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino8%
    • Black / African American4%
    • White / Caucasian72%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native2%
    • Asian4%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown8%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty63
    • Full-time Percentage84%
    • Part-time Percentage16%
    • Female Percentage51%
    • Male Percentage49%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchEnvironmental law, energy regulation and law, international law, food and agriculture law and policy, water and justice
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported