Vermont Law School
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to LLM, Master’s, and Certificate Programs
Vermont Law School (VLS) is a private, independent, law and graduate institution. VLS operates from the belief that lawyers and legal scholars should advocate for the common good and help protect the natural world. The juris doctor (JD) program emphasizes public service, and the master’s and LLM programs allow you to focus on a variety of environmental, energy, and food and agriculture issues. In addition, VLS offers flexible online learning options for students.
The school’s legal scholars, practitioners, and staff prepare students to have an impact on fields affecting public interest, policy, and social justice. Graduates work in a variety of sectors, including nonprofit organizations, private firms, government agencies, corporations, and educational institutions.
As an international leader in environmental law, VLS is active in broadening the array of social justice, energy policy, and climate crisis issues addressed by legal scholarship and education. The school features distinctive programs in international law and dual JD/master’s degree programs in business administration, environmental management, environmental policy, philosophy, and other fields.
Vermont Law School works with advocacy organizations, domestic and international governments, and other educational institutions that share its commitment to making substantial, positive change in their communities and the world.
Vermont Law School offers several LLM programs for graduates of ABA-approved law schools or their foreign equivalents. Merit scholarships, need-based scholarships, and fellowships are available to LLM applicants. Visit Tuition and Financial Aid for more information.
The LLM in Environmental Law program is designed for a select group of post-JD candidates seeking to specialize in the practice of environmental law or pursue careers in teaching, research, or public policy. Vermont Law School offers LLM candidates more than 64 courses in environmental law and policy—the widest range of courses offered by any law school in the nation.
Students enrolled in the Environmental Law LLM program have the option of beginning their studies in the summer or fall semesters. Full-time students complete the degree requirements during three consecutive semesters (fall/spring/summer or summer/fall/spring). Part-time students have up to five years from the date of matriculation to complete the degree.
The LLM in Environmental Law is also available in an online 18-month format.
The LLM in Energy Law program is designed for candidates seeking to specialize in the field of energy law. Energy law faculty members are affiliated with the law school’s Institute for Energy and the Environment.
Students enrolled in the Energy Law LLM program have the option of beginning their studies in the summer or fall semesters. Full-time students complete the degree requirements during three consecutive semesters (fall/spring/summer or summer/fall/spring). Part-time students have up to five years from the date of matriculation to complete the degree.
The LLM in Energy Law is also available in an online 18-month format.
Food and Agriculture Law
The LLM in Food and Agriculture Law program is designed for candidates seeking to specialize in the field of agriculture and food policy. Food and agriculture law faculty members are affiliated with the law school’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems.
Students enrolled in the LLM in Food and Agriculture Law program have the option of beginning their studies in the summer or fall semesters. Full-time students complete the degree requirements during three consecutive semesters (fall/spring/summer or summer/fall/spring). Part-time students have up to five years from the date of matriculation to complete the degree.
American Legal Studies
The LLM in American Legal Studies is specifically designed for students who hold a law degree from an institution outside of the United States. LLM students take courses with the JD students, so they have immersion in the US law school experience. The required courses provide a solid foundation in US law and US legal method. Some US states permit foreign lawyers who earn an LLM in US law to take the bar exam and be admitted to practice in their state, if certain other requirements are met. Students in the VLS LLM program have taken either the New York or Washington, DC, bar exam, and have an excellent pass rate.
Students enrolled in the LLM in American Legal Studies program begin in the fall semester and take the full set of required courses in the fall and spring semesters.
Requirements for LLM Applicants
- Priority application deadline: April 15
- Application fee: $60
- LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service
- Two letters of recommendation
- Law school transcripts
- Writing sample (in English)
- TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for foreign applicants
At Vermont Law School we live our environmental ethic. Our campus, nestled in the Green Mountains, occupies 12 acres beside the White River in the lovely village of South Royalton. Surrounded by tranquility and exceptional Vermont views, our historic buildings have been renovated with respect for the past and for the future of the environment. Our students can find cozy spots to study or socialize as well as space to hike, ski, and fish—one of the best trout-fishing rivers in Vermont forms the northern border of our campus.
At the same time, we have kept pace with advancing technology, ensuring that our campus is wireless and our equipment is cutting edge. Our sophisticated law library serves attorneys throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, and our full-time environmental librarian assists legal scholars throughout the world. Our newest buildings and recent renovations represent the very latest in energy conservation and environmentally friendly construction.
Vermont Law School students come from all 50 states and several countries. While some students enroll soon after graduating, others have spent years in a wide variety of professions, including engineering, teaching, lobbying, corporate management, and nonprofit work. As a result, this allows VLS to enjoy a diversity of perspectives on campus and in the classroom.
Vermont Law School’s small size and collaborative environment foster an atmosphere where students are valued for the contributions they make and the initiative they take within the community. Whether through independent study with faculty, engagement with one of the many active student organizations, or participation with the Student Bar Association (SBA), students help shape academic and cocurricular coursework and campus policies.
The Vermont Law School Housing Office assists students in finding off-campus housing. Once admitted, students gain access to the law school website’s searchable database of rental properties. The database is updated regularly and can be searched by many criteria, such as number of bedrooms, location, pets allowed, and cost. More than 200 units are available within South Royalton, and others are available in nearby towns. The best time to look for apartments in the area is from mid-May through June. In July and August, there will still be plenty of rentals available, but your search will take more time if you have pets or are on a strict budget.
We strongly recommend that you set up appointments with prospective landlords prior to visiting South Royalton.
Student Services and Organizations
The SBA funds more than 30 official student organizations and groups, representing special interest and advocacy organizations, affinity groups, extra- and cocurricular activities, sports and recreation, and student publications. Each year, the LLM class elects one representative to the SBA.
In addition to the network of staff, peers, and faculty advocates who serve as ready resources to every VLS student and graduate, the Office of Career Services operates as a clearinghouse for information on professional and experiential opportunities for students throughout their law school years. The office provides tools for résumé and interview preparation, assists students in researching and applying for internships and summer jobs, and helps them explore a range of postgraduate placements. The office also provides a searchable online directory of alumni, an online job posting site, and comprehensive guides to career planning and judicial clerkships. Students are encouraged to attend the many different events hosted by the office, such as workshops, seminars, VLS-only job fairs, and alumni networking events.
For additional information, please visit the Vermont Law School website or contact the Admissions Office:
Vermont Law School
164 Chelsea Street, PO Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068