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First-Year Curriculum

Photo of outdoor class in session.

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's extensive list of course topics range from American Legal History to Women in Law to Energy Regulation, Markets, and the Environment.

First-year JD students have a prescribed schedule of required courses. Class size for doctrinal classes is approximately 60 to 70 and for Legal Writing and Legal Research classes 20 to 25 students. There is no registration; the fall semester schedule is included in the packet of materials students receive the first day of Orientation. Because several sections of the course are offered each semester, and each professor selects their own texts, we cannot provide a book list in advance. Typically, students will have classes five days a week including an 8:30 a.m. class. Most classes are completed by 3:30 p.m., with only occasional first-year classes in the 3:35 - 5:15 p.m. time slot.

We encourage you to learn about our first-year core curriculum. Visit the our first-year, fall semester, and first-year, spring semester, pages for course listings and attending faculty.