All VLS Courses
Legal Adaptation to Global Warming
Using global warming adaptation as an example of how the law and legal institutions evolve in response to major social changes, the course examines the legal challenges raised by the need for our society to adapt to the impacts of global warming. Topics include the need for alternative tools for dealing with eroding coastal shores and higher flooding risks, strategies for relocating urban populations to higher ground, modifications to the Endangered Species Act and other wildlife laws, federal and state property insurance policies, and techniques for reallocating water supplies.
Provides an opportunity for students to work in a standing committee of the Vermont General Assembly under the supervision of the committee's chair and a legislative counsel. Students are required to be in attendance at the General Assembly in Montpelier and to complete legal research and drafting projects relating to their committee's pending legislation.
Designed to teach students how to be effective advocates in the mediation setting. Students will learn to counsel clients for mediation, how to prepare a mediation plan, select a mediator, as well as effective participation in mediation.
Download the 2014 course syllabus
Natural Resources Law
Examines the statutes and regulations governing the management of the federal lands and their resources. Considers the historical, political, and ecological influences on the law and management of these resources, and includes an introduction to the agencies with jurisdiction over the components of the federal estate.
Negotiating Environmental Agreements
Examines the use of consensual processes such as negotiation and mediation to resolve environmental disputes and manage environmental conflict. Instruction will be through lectures to discuss the theory of dispute resolution and through simulations to practice the skills.
New Frontiers in Environmental Policies
Explores the proposition that successfully coping with today's environmental threats requires deeper challenges to our prevailing system of political economy than mainstream environmentalism in the United States has been willing to mount. The course develops the idea that a new American environmentalism is needed and with it new environmental policy and law that go beyond the traditional realm of environmental affairs.
Ocean and Coastal Law
A review of domestic and international laws and treaties relating to coastal management, pollution, protected areas, endangered species, fish, marine mammals, wetlands, and seabed mineral and hydrocarbon resources. The course considers how effectively these legal authorities blend together to provide rational and comprehensive management and protection of marine resources.
Download 2013 Course Syllabus
Oil and Gas Production and the Environment
A review of the major contracts used to explore for and produce oil and gas in the U.S. and internationally. The course covers leasing practices on public lands in the U.S. and the acquisition of host government contracts from foreign governments, and provides an understanding of the future of petroleum as a resource, the technology used to produce it, and the externalities of production.
Download the 2013 Summer Syllabus
Peace, War, and the Environment
This course explores environmental protection during armed conflict and analyzes the role of environmental management in peacekeeping and state reconstruction. It considers current challenges in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and discusses how environmental obligations may be incorporated into the laws of new states.
Public Health Implications of U.S. Agriculture and Food Policy
An in-depth exploration of agricultural and food laws and the policies and regulatory mechanisms supporting them. The course covers diverse public health issues including Farm Bill nutrition assistance programs, food access, obesity and malnutrition, food safety and food-borne diseases, genetically modified foods, organic and other certification schemes, and the debate about food systems and sustainability.
Download the 2014 course syllabus