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VLS Launches its First Online Degree Programs in Environmental Law

Vermont Law School will launch the nation's first online master's degree program in environmental law in May 2011. The online format is designed to deliver a robust educational experience that is flexible and accessible for professionals who need to continue working while completing their degree.Image of river

After several years of research that included e-learning pilot courses, VLS decided to embrace distance learning, which is the fastest-growing population of graduate students in the United States. Professor Marc Mihaly, director of the VLS Environmental Law Center (ELC), said distance learning provides the best avenue for the nation's top-ranked environmental law school to reach individuals who want expertise and resources in environmental law and policy but who can't venture to South Royalton to take classes or participate in degree programs.

Applications are now being accepted and the inaugural online class will start in May for the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) program. The program was developed to equip law and non-law students with the expertise to address the world's increasingly complex environmental issues. In addition to the traditional MELP curriculum, the online LLM in Environmental Law is available for post-JD attorneys seeking to specialize in the practice of environmental law.

"By providing a platform for students to explore environmental law and policy with our world-class faculty at their own pace and within their own constraints, we will extend Vermont Law School's unique brand of excellent environmental legal training and commitment to public well-being to a vast array of communities and to the world," Mihaly said.

Image of Rebecca PurdomThe ELC has been at the forefront of environmental law and policy since 1978 and has been ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report 14 times since their rankings began in 1991. Vermont Law School's bold venture will lead nonprofit, mission-driven law schools in the development of the appropriate standards for distance education, said Associate Professor Rebecca Purdom, director of E-Learning and assistant dean for environmental programs. "Other institutions are watching us, looking to our example as the way to offer responsible, effective and valued legal education in the 21st century," she said. "VLS will set the standard for a new kind of distance education."

Learn more about the online master's programs or call directly at 802.831.1247.


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