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Vermont Law School Signs Articulation Agreement with Wesleyan University

April 8, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—April 8, 2013

CONTACT:
Peter Glenshaw, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
Office: 802-831-1318, cell: 603-738-8487, home: 603-795-4764, pglenshaw@vermontlaw.edu
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SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt.—Vermont Law School and Wesleyan University announced today that they have signed an articulation agreement that will enable graduates from Wesleyan’s College of the Environment who meet certain academic standards to be guaranteed admission to Vermont Law School’s JD, JD/Master’s or Master’s degree programs.

President Michael S. Roth of Wesleyan University signed the agreement on Wednesday, April 3rd, and President and Dean Marc Mihaly of Vermont Law School signed the agreement this week.

“We are delighted to sign this agreement with Wesleyan University and look forward to welcoming qualified graduates from its College of the Environment to the master’s and the JD degrees offered at Vermont Law School,” said Dean Mihaly. “Students from Wesleyan fit the profile of our most successful students—they are smart and committed to making a difference in their communities and, indeed, in the world.”

U.S.News & World Report recently ranked Vermont Law School as the #1 environmental law school in the nation for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year. Vermont Law School has been ranked #1 or #2 in the U.S. News rankings for environmental law every year since 1991, and it has been ranked number one for 16 of those 23 years.

“We’re excited to provide this option for students in the College of the Environment to take their interdisciplinary exploration of environmental issues to the next level through advanced study of the law, policy and regulation,” said Roth. “The COE was conceived of as a place where scholars can think about translating their research into action in the public sphere. Vermont Law School offers superb programs in environmental law and policy. Earning a JD or Master’s degree there certainly will empower our graduates to make an even greater difference in the world.”

“In my mind, Vermont Law School is the premier school for environmental law in the country,” remarked Barry Chernoff, director of College of the Environment and Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies. “Pursuing further study in environmental policy, regulation and law will enable our students to influence critical environmental issues facing our country—and the world—over the next century.”

Under the agreement, graduates of Wesleyan’s College of the Environment will be guaranteed admission, with a waiver of all application fees, into Vermont Law School’s JD, Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP), or Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL) programs. Qualified applicants must complete all requirements to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan; complete a minimum of 15 credits for a JD, or 16 credits for a Master’s, at Wesleyan; have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher; earn an LSAT score of 150 or higher for the JD; and present a letter of recommendation from the director of the College of the Environment. The agreement applies to those who have graduated from Wesleyan within four years.

College of the Environment students are especially well-prepared to pursue this type of work after graduation, said Chernoff, because Wesleyan requires them to do their primary scholarship in a particular discipline, and then examine environmental issues from multiple lenses for the Environmental Studies linked major. Majors are also required to complete a capstone project on an environmental topic, principally from the perspective of their primary major, which offers good practice in real world environmental research. The emphasis on critical thinking from an interdisciplinary perspective, which takes into account the viewpoints of all stakeholders, gives “our students a great basis for doing environmental policy work in the future,” Chernoff said. He added that a significant number of COE graduates currently go on to earn law degrees. Current students he consulted about a partnership with Vermont Law School gave universally positive feedback.

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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 www.vermontlaw.edu.

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