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Clinical and Externship Programs
Clinical programs vermont law school

Clinical Programs

Vermont Law School offers two types of opportunities to engage in clinical practice: its in-house clinics and courses we refer to as external clinics, which combine aspects of both clinical and externship courses. The in-house clinics operate as public interest law offices within the law school; the external clinics combine on-campus teaching with experiences in closely connected placements in the Vermont community.

Our in-house clinics are the South Royalton Legal Clinic and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. Each clinic is a law office that represents real clients, but unlike other law offices, a specific aspect of their missions is to provide students with the opportunity to take responsibility for the representation offered.

Our external clinics are the Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law, Land Use, and Legislative Clinics. In each of these clinics, students practice outside of the law school in venues that challenge them to contribute effectively to the work of the specific legal institutions and offices to which their faculty supervisors are connected.

Each student at VLS can structure his or her professional education to include significant experiential learning, and should do so. The links on this page lead to detailed descriptions of the clinical learning you can pursue here at VLS. Search the site, contact the faculty, learn what experiences will help you understand the demands that make lawyering a privilege that carries significant obligations, challenges, and rewards. 

Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic   New window icon

This Clinic offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of environmental law, develop skills and values associated with client representation, and acquire valuable work experience by advocating in national, regional, and local environmental matters.

South Royalton Legal Clinic   New window icon

Students enrolled in SRLC have the opportunity to obtain practical experience in a wide variety of legal and judicial settings, including immigration, public benefits, landlord-tenant, domestic violence, and family matters. Our goal is to provide opportunities for students to develop lawyering skills through direct representation of clients, learn substantive law, and engage in critical reflection about the legal profession, their legal career, and their priorities and values as lawyers and individuals.

Criminal Law Clinic

The Criminal Law Clinic is a unique opportunity for students who have determined that they are serious about criminal law as a career.

Dispute Resolution Clinic

After intensive training and observation, VLS students participate in civil dispute mediations taking place in Vermont and New Hampshire courts.

Land Use Clinic

For more than twenty-five years, Vermont Law School has offered students an opportunity to spend a full semester off campus in a governmental, public interest, or private legal setting under the direct supervision of an experienced attorney or judge.

Legislative Clinic

Both JD and Masters students can undertake internships in the legislature in nearby Montpelier, performing legal research and drafting legislative documents under close supervision. Many VLS graduates go on to work for the Vermont legislature.