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Vermont Law School Ranked First in the U.S. in Environmental Law

April 23, 2009

Contact: Carol Westberg, Director of Marketing and Communications

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt.—Once again U.S.News & World Report has ranked Vermont Law School’s environmental law program as the best in the nation. The 2010 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools will appear on newsstands on April 28.

Vermont Law School (VLS) President and Dean Geoffrey Shields says, “We are committed to protecting the planet’s most valuable resource––our environment. I commend Environmental Law Center (ELC) Director Marc Mihaly and our outstanding faculty.”

Vermont Law School has placed first 12 times since the environmental specialty rankings began in 1991 and has never placed lower than second. To develop their specialty rankings, US News asked legal educators to identify the top programs.

The school’s environmental law and policy program offers the largest and deepest selection of environmental law courses in the country. The ELC provides a multidisciplinary program in law, policy, science, and ethics to lawyers, law and graduate students, government officials, teachers, scientists, and citizen activists. The ELC administers the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) degree program for lawyers and nonlawyers and the LLM in Environmental Law, a post-JD degree for experienced attorneys who seek to specialize. The school offers unparalleled clinical, research, and experiential programs through the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, the Institute for Energy and the Environment, the Land Use Institute, the Environmental Tax Policy Institute, the Climate Legacy Initiative, and the Partnership for Environmental Law in China.

The ELC’s Summer Session participants acquire a working knowledge of the legal and scientific underpinnings of environmental policy and explore major environmental issues with leading national experts in a collaborative environment. The Summer Session offers a broad curriculum, a Visiting Distinguished Environmental Scholars program, and a popular lecture series that features summer faculty members, distinguished summer scholars, and environmental media fellows speaking about current issues in their fields.

In addition to the Environmental Semester in Washington and the MELP internship program, the ELC is active in international projects, assisting partner schools in China and Russia in the development of environmental law curricula. VLS received a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to support a collaborative partnership with Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, to address the serious environmental problems and energy needs associated with China’s ever-growing market economy.

Vermont Law School—a private, independent institution—is top-ranked in environmental law by U.S. News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor (JD) curriculum that emphasizes public service, a Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) degree for lawyers and nonlawyers, and two post-JD degrees, the Master of Laws (LLM) in Environmental Law and the LLM in American Legal Studies (for international students). The school also features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center and the South Royalton Legal Clinic. For more information, visit

Contact: Carol Westberg, Director of Marketing and Communications 802-831-1309

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