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Vermont Law School Launches Two-Year JD Program

May 28, 2013


Peter Glenshaw, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
Office: 802-831-1318, cell: 603-738-8487, home: 603-795-4764,
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SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt.—Vermont Law School announced that its inaugural accelerated juris doctor (AJD) program has begun with thirteen students taking their first classes today.

Under this program, these students will complete the entire program in two years (compared to three years in the traditional JD), and for two-thirds of the cost.

“Earlier this month, we celebrated the Class of 2013’s graduation and now, just ten days later, we already have new law students on campus,” said President and Dean Marc Mihaly. “This represents the essence of Vermont Law School: we are here to change the world. Students who want to earn a JD in less time and for less money can now do so. I am extremely proud of these students and know they will inspire all of us with their commitment to this program.”

AJD students begin their course work in the summer. In the fall and spring semesters, they will join their first-year peers and can take upper-level courses. AJD students can participate in all student groups and are eligible for the Vermont Law Review or the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. In their second summer, AJD students can pursue one of three tracks: environmental law in Vermont Law School's world-renowned summer program, dispute resolution, or a student-attorney in a VLS clinical program. They can also pursue any concentration available to traditional JD students.

"The AJD program is one of the most innovative actions that VLS is taking in response to concerns about the cost of legal education,” said Mark Latham, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at Vermont Law School. “It substantially reduces the cost of obtaining a law degree and allows students to enter the workforce a year earlier.”

AJD students complete their degree and graduate the following spring semester. They are ready to sit for the bar in July, and can return to work a full year ahead of peers in the traditional program. The cost for the accelerated JD program is the same as only two years of the traditional JD. In addition, AJD graduates save one year's worth of living expenses.


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


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