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James C. May

Director of South Royalton Legal Clinic, Clinical Professor of Law

JD, Boston University, 1977;
MA, University of Virginia, 1970;
BA, Thomas More College, 1967

Phone: 802-831-1500


Professor James C. May serves as professor and director of the South Royalton Legal Clinic, Vermont Law School's on-campus, civil poverty law clinic. A provider of legal services to low-income and working Vermonters for more than 30 years, he has served as lead counsel in cases that have required state and federal agencies to change their rules in favor of the disabled and disadvantaged.

Professor May received his BA from Thomas More College in 1967 and his MA from the University of Virginia in 1970. He then served as the medical news writer for the Cincinnati Post and Times-Star, where he received the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses Community Service Award for reporting on local health issues. He received his JD from Boston University in 1977, following clerkships with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. From 1977 to 1983, he was a staff attorney for Vermont Legal Aid in Springfield, Vermont. His primary emphasis was in public entitlements, housing, employment, and family law. He served as a staff attorney for the South Royalton Legal Clinic from 1983 to 1986 and has served as a clinical professor and director of the clinic since 1987. His responsibilities include directing program development, teaching and supervising cases of student clinicians, and overseeing curriculum development. As a member of the board of directors of the Vermont/Karelia Rule of Law Project, he assisted Russian counterparts in the development of Russia's first modern-day, law school legal clinic (1994-95) and helped to develop a legal aid project for Petrozavodsk and southern Karelia (1999-2001) and to design an environmental law center for Petrozavodsk State University (2002-04). He served as deputy director of the U.S. State Department-sponsored Vermont Law School/Petrozavodsk State University NISCUPP grant (Newly Independent States College and University Partnership Program) and is a Vermont Steering Committee member of the Russian-American Rule of Law Consortium (RAROLC).

Since 2007, he has been involved in the work of the Vermont Access to Justice Coalition, stemming in part from his service as a board member of Legal Services Law Line of Vermont (1996-present) and his responsibilities as a provider of legal aid services in Vermont since 1977. He also is assisting Russian counterparts in the establishment of a legal aid program in Karelia.