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VLS’s New Dean to Focus on Innovation, Affordability Amidst Changing Legal Landscape

July 27, 2012

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. --Marc Mihaly, Vermont Law School's new dean and president, will start work on Aug. 1 with a focus on adopting innovative changes and holding down costs in an effort to help the school and its graduates succeed in the changing legal landscape.Image of Mihaly

Mihaly is available to meet with the media to discuss his vision for VLS.

He assumes VLS's top post at a time of unprecedented transition in legal higher education and the legal job market. VLS is the nation's top-ranked environmental law school, and many of its alumni pursue careers nationwide and globally in environmental stewardship, social justice and public service.

"Law schools don't know what will happen and some of them are 'dead schools walking,'" said Mihaly, who previously was director of VLS's Environmental Law Center. "I don't think success will look anything like the present. All these changes have been a long time coming and the recession just accelerated the process. But VLS can do this -- we're small, nimble, able to move more quickly than other schools. I believe VLS will benefit from being a national leader in adapting our curriculum, expanding our Distance Learning program and rethinking what we teach, who we teach, our educational products and what our graduates can do with their degrees."

The Board of Trustees announced March 12 the appointment of Mihaly as VLS's eighth president and dean, effective August 1. He will succeed Jeff Shields, who will retire July 31 after eight years as president and dean.

Mihaly, one of the nation's leading environmental law attorneys, was a visiting professor in 2004-05 and joined the regular Vermont Law School faculty in 2005. An expert in the areas of land use, urban planning and energy law and policy, Mihaly received his BA degree from Harvard College and, after service in the Peace Corps, received his JD degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, where he was editor in chief of the Ecology Law Quarterly. He then served with the environmental unit of the California Attorney General's Office and with the San Mateo County Legal Aid Society.

Mihaly cofounded Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger (San Francisco) in 1980 and served as its managing partner for 17 years. His practice included three decades of trial and appellate litigation practice on behalf of governments and community-based organizations on environmental issues. He developed the firm's low-income housing practice, initiated the energy practice and focused on all aspects of growth limitation. He has provided advice and counsel to state, regional and local governments as well as specialized environmental agencies on all aspects of environmental law. His work has included the design of sophisticated regulatory regimes to regulate development and to secure public benefits through private development. He advises environmental regulators on government law issues relating to the form and structure of their regulatory programs.

CONTACT:  John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations, Vermont Law School

Office: 802-831-1106, cell: 540-798-7099, home: 802-649-2235,

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