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Vermont Law School

Vermont Law School is a laboratory of ideas - a wellspring of legal energy rippling throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. The school is situated on 13 acres of beautiful, rolling campus in the picturesque and historic town of South Royalton. Within this safe, tranquil setting, students find 18 turn-of-the-century buildings filled with modern technology, Oakes Hall, the environmentally state of the art classroom building, a research library that supports attorneys throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, and a surprising array of cultural offerings.

Vermont Law School's James L. and Evelena S. Oakes Hall is located along the banks of the scenic White River. The teaching facility, which opened in the fall of 1998, incorporates the latest electronic and distance-learning technology and demonstrates environmentally sound construction and operation.

VLS attracts students from all across the U.S. and from foreign countries, and they bring to the law school a remarkable array of interests and backgrounds. Although we are the only law school in Vermont, most of our students come from outside the state. We seek geographical diversity in our student body, and our 500 students come from 48 states, and Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Madagascar, the Philippines, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Over 235 undergraduate schools are represented in our student body. Forty-five percent of our students are women and 10 percent are representatives of minority groups. Their ages range from 21 to 54 years. About 20 percent of the students are age 30 or older. A significant number of students have pursued graduate studies or have had work experience in a wide variety of fields prior to entering law school. Two-thirds of our students have been out of college for a year or more.

Law School is not all work!
There are abundant opportunities in the local area for running, hiking, skiing, biking, canoeing, sailing, and kayaking. VLS students also participate in a number of informal competitions with other colleges/universities in ice hockey, rugby and ultimate frisbee; intramural competition in basketball, volleyball and soccer.

The Upper Connecticut River Valley Region, of which South Royalton is a part, plays home to more than 100,000 residents. Nearby Hanover and West Lebanon just across the state line in New Hampshire and Randolph, Woodstock and Quechee in Vermont provide a myriad of cultural attractions, fine dining, craft centers and country fairs as well as vigorous commercial activity.

Vermont Law School's Academic Success Program provides a comprehensive network of presentations, activities, tutorials, and workshops designed to stimulate learning and amplify the classroom experience. The Academic Success Program supplements the required curriculum with a panoply of opportunities to enhance learning skills and develop more efficient, effective methods of studying, comprehending, and writing in the law school environment.

Vermont Law School is dedicated to educating students in the understanding, skills, and values needed for private practice and public service. Emphasis is placed on developing professional responsibility and judgment, together with respect for the dignity of all people and the integrity of the natural environment.

The core J.D. 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 J.D. program offers an opportunity both for concentration in a particular area of the law and for a broad preparation suited to general practice in all 50 states.

In the first year, students receive a solid foundation for the study of law through exposure to the basic subject areas as well as techniques of legal analysis, fundamental legal skills, and perspectives on the origins, function, and development of the legal system. During their second and third years, students take full advantage of the breadth and depth of courses offered at Vermont Law School. While a certain number of courses are still required, students virtually design their own second and third year curricula. Choices from VLS’ extensive list of course topics range from American Legal History to Women in Law.

In keeping with Vermont Law School’s dedication to experiential learning, the South Royalton Legal Clinic offers second and third year J.D. students the unique opportunity to represent clients in actual civil cases. Student clinicians provide help for persons otherwise unable to afford counsel in areas such as family law, juvenile law and children’s rights, Social Security, welfare and unemployment compensation, civil rights and civil liberties, landlord-tenant relations, consumer protection, contracts, wills, and federally subsidized health care and housing.

Student practice rules in Vermont’s state and federal courts allow students to file pleadings, conduct discovery, and make supervised court appearances both in evidentiary hearings and appeals. Students also conduct evidentiary hearings in a variety of administrative proceedings.

Under the guidance of three experienced, full-time attorneys, clinic participants learn to integrate their knowledge of civil procedure and substantive law with practice skills. These include interviewing, counseling and negotiation, case and statutory analysis, research and writing, case preparation, discovery, and trial practice. The clinic student quickly becomes aware of the importance of overview, organization, independent and critical thought, and benefits from experiencing the interaction between development of evidence and development of applicable legal theories. Student associates have consistently praised the clinical experience as allowing them to learn, for the first time, how to develop a real case from the outset.

Clinic students have been involved in numerous Vermont Supreme Court and U.S. District Court cases which have set precedent or clarified important points of law. The clinic is partially supported by two grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, through the Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and Vermont Legal Aid. It is estimated that the clinic contributes up to a half million dollars worth of free legal services each year to the Windsor-Orange County region.

Student associates, who may work in the clinic either full-time (13 credits) or part-time (6 credits) during a semester, come to their work from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. Clinical training provides excellent preparation for whatever type of practice the student may enter after graduation. The knowledge and hands-on experience gained in learning to marshal evidence and unravel complex statutes, regulations, and appellate decisions is transferable to virtually any subject area and any type of firm.

The clinic features a substantial in-house library, two interview/conference rooms, and ample individual work areas.

Vermont Law School faculty have made their mark as prize-winning authors, researchers, and theorists, and as leaders of national organizations, partners in prominent law firms, and as high-level appointees. They have served as editors of scholarly journals and publications; members of important administrative, legislative, and judicial committees; and as directors and trustees of noteworthy groups and projects.

Many have been recognized nationally * and internationally * for their expertise, while others have devoted their skills to making a difference in Vermont and in their local communities. This range of talents and interests has produced an environment in which scholarship is celebrated, originality is encouraged, and excellent teaching is the standard.

The law school's faculty is the foundation of our many achievements. Faculty leadership has contributed to the strengths of Vermont Law School's core Juris Doctor program, our top-ranked specialization in environmental law, and our leadership in public service law. The faculty has also served as the impetus for many of our distinctive programs.

School name:Vermont Law School
Address:Chelsea Street
Zip & city:VT 05068 Minnesota
Phone:1 800 227 1395

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