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Vermont Law School Joins Lawyers for America

July 9, 2014

Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Media Relations, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593,

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., July 9, 2014—Vermont Law School has partnered with Lawyers for America (LFA) to increase public service opportunities for law students and provide greater access to justice throughout the United States.

VLS is the second law school in the nation to join LFA, a nonprofit program introduced in 2012 by University of California, Hastings College of the Law. LFA’s mission is to improve the practical skills of new lawyers while expanding the availability of legal services for individuals who cannot afford lawyers by increasing the manpower of legal nonprofits and public law offices. Program partners include The Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project, which spearheaded the national movement to improve citizenship through public service.

“Vermont Law School students are service-minded and committed to making positive change in the world,” said Marc Mihaly, president and dean of Vermont Law School, ranked No. 1 in the nation for environmental law and No. 18 for clinical training. “Our partnership with Lawyers for America is a natural fit and will afford our students new opportunities to use the power of the law to make a difference across the country.”

LFA works with law schools and worksite partners—government organizations and nonprofit legal offices—to create two-year fellowships. Fellows spend the first year, their final year of law school, in clinical externships. The second year, the fellows’ first as new attorneys, is spent in paid service with a worksite partner to help fill the large, unmet need for the assistance of lawyers.

“Service through Lawyers for America will enable nonprofit legal organizations and government law offices to stretch their budgets to help fill our nation’s justice gap,” said UC Hastings Professor Marsha Cohen, executive director of Lawyers for America. “LFA worksite partners have a direct interest in training the fellows. The more fellows can do and the faster and more effectively they can learn, the more value these offices get out of it. It’s a win for everybody.”

The Lawyers for America program at VLS is supervised by Jackie Gardina, vice dean for faculty and professor of law.

“We look forward to counseling Vermont Law School students interested in giving back through Lawyers for America,” Gardina said. “Not only do the fellowships provide great public service opportunities, they expand on VLS’s already rich Clinical and Externship Programs to help students build firsthand expertise—giving them a distinct advantage as they enter the workforce.”

For more information about the Lawyers for America program at Vermont Law School, including resources for nonprofits and public law offices interested in hosting fellows, call Jackie Gardina at 802-831-1272 or email For more information about the national Lawyers for America program, call Marsha Cohen at 415-565-4676 or email


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two Master’s Degrees (Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and Master of Energy Regulation and Law), and three post-JD degrees—LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, and LLM in Environmental Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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