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Vermont Law School will continue with mostly virtual classes during the spring semester, however limited on-campus classes and access to campus services will be offered. For information on campus access, health and safety protocols, and testing requirements please visit
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Sampling of CAFS courses:

CAFS Courses

5105/Administrative Law

Provides students with a working knowledge of the general principles of administrative law;  implementation of legislative policy through administrative agencies, including the role of administrative agencies in the governmental process, rulemaking, adjudication, and judicial review of agency actions.

5407/Animal Welfare and Agricultural Trade

Surveys U.S. and E.U. animal welfare, environmental, food safety, and economic regulatory schemes implicated in farmed animal food production.Case law and case studies illustrate how the E.U.'s stricter animal welfare and food safety standards have led to trade treaty disputes, and how the WTO addresses them.

5343/Climate Change Adaptation in Human Systems

Examines the legal challenges raised for society to adapt to the impacts of climate change.  Students will examine the confusion and inadequacy of current legal and policy structures to address new risks, and the need for alternative tools in light of rapidly changing circumstances.

5212/Climate Change and the Law

Explores lawyers' involvement in the formulation and implementation of United States foreign and national defense policy through the examination variety of domestic, constitutional, and international law issues such as authority for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, intelligence gathering at home and abroad, detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects, planning for the next terrorist attack, protection of sensitive government information, and other current topics.Perspective & AWR 

5229/Environmental Issues in Business Transactions

An exploration the types of environmental risks and issues that are commonly confronted in a variety of business-related transactions such as the acquisition of all of the stock of a company, asset purchases, real estate deals, leases and financings. Special focus on how the environmental issues in transactions are identified and managed in the course of a deal. The unique environmental issues associated with the purchase and redevelopment of contaminated properties or so-called Brownfield sites are also covered.

5115/Environmental Law

Please see class descriptions by term.

9428/Food and Agriculture Clinic

Provides an opportunity to obtain field based experience on a part-time basis.  A JD skills class.

5380/Food Regulation and Policy

Presently, the United States is experiencing a resurgence in public concern over the safety of our food supply due to biotechnology, pesticide use, and unsafe food packaging, etc. This course will introduce students to the laws and policies that govern food regulation and policy in the United States.

5383/Food System Justice and Sustainability

This is a seminar on the impacts of our current globalized food system on the struggling margins that are impacted by individual production methods and inequitable distribution of healthy food. The course will examine the policy and program options that could help create a Good Food environment, where food is healthy, affordable, and sustainably and fairly produced.

5478/Global Food Security and Social Justice

This course explores the legal landscape of global hunger: the definition of "food security"; food security risks; global food governance organizations and legal instruments; assessing and monitoring food security; food related human rights concerns; the current status of global food security; and the international NGO's strategies for policy advocacy against hunger.

7446/International Trade and the Environment

Examines the intersection between trade liberalization and environmental protection. The course addresses protection of natural resources through unilateral trade-based measures, the legality of multilateral environmental agreements employing trade measures, utilization of science-based trade tests, and environmental impacts of foreign investment liberalization. .

5108/Introduction to Agriculture and Food Law and Policy

This survey course brings together American law impacting agriculture and food and explores the traditional divisions between agriculture, food, and environmental regulation. The course provides a hard look at the agriculture and food production sector and involves not only an examination of traditional farming and food safety policies but the ways in which these policies intersect with environmental law and health care policy, as well as important sectors from local land use planning to international trade.

5474/Land Conservation Law

Examines the tools available to preserve ecological diversity, historic places, working lands, scenic viewsheds, and open space, such as conservation easements, purchase of sensitive lands, and private/public partnerships for land conservation. The course provides a practical understanding of both the legal and nonlegal dimensions of land conservation transactions involving conservation easements.

5239/Land Transactions and Finance

An introduction to land transaction and finance, covering the study of the title system, title insurance and land contracts, the private development process, and modern real estate financing, including private financing and public financing. The course also introduces the public-private development process including redevelopment, military base conversion and Brownfield's redevelopment.

5125/Land Use Regulation

A basic course in land use law.  Covers planning and all manner of private and public land use regulation from common interest communities, to subdivisions, to zoning, to variances, to planned development districts, to transit-oriented development, to traditional neighborhood design, to form-based codes, to growth management.

5235/Natural Resources Law

Please see individual class descriptions by term.

5423/Ocean and Coastal Law

A review of domestic and international laws and treaties relating to coastal management, pollution, protected areas, endangered species, fish, marine mammals, wetlands, and seabed mineral and hydrocarbon resources. The course considers how effectively these legal authorities blend together to provide rational and comprehensive management and protection of marine resources.

5540/Public Health and Food and Agriculture Policy

An in depth exploration of agricultural and food laws and policies and the regulatory mechanisms supporting them. The covers public health issues including Farm Bill nutrition assistance programs, food access, obesity and malnutrition, food safety and food-borne diseases, genetically modified foods, organic and other certification schemes, and the debate about food systems and sustainability.

5349/Regulating the Marine Environment

This course examines the interaction of state, federal, and international regimes in the regulation of the marine environment.  After a brief historical introduction, the course looks at private right, the public trust, and the police power in the context of state authority over coastal lands and navigable waters.  We then consider the sources of federal power over marine and maritime matters and the relationship of federal preemption of state law and federal incentives for state regulation.

5408/The Law of Animals in Agriculture

Covers the evolution and regulation of animal agriculture in America, contrasted with farmed animal welfare policies in other developed nations. Will evaluate the long-term sustainability of CAFO food production specifically and animal food production generally. Students will explore the pressures from increased international trade in agricultural products.

5410/The Modern Farm Bill

Introduces students to the breadth of policies and legal authorities included in the Farm Bill that Congress re-evaluates every 5 years. Time will be spent on farm safety nets, conservation and nutrition policies. This course will also demonstrate the depth that a modern farm bill reaches with impacts on private working lands and consumers. International trade, clean energy, forestry, rural development, and overall food policies will be reviewed..

5245/Water Resources Law

Water is the planet's most precious natural resource. Deciding how it will be shared among competing demands is one of a society's most challenging questions. Water Resources Law is a review of the law and policies concerned with the allocation of water resources in the United States.  This course will examine the three main systems of water law in the United States: Eastern riparian systems, the prior appropriation doctrine of the West, and the nationally diverse laws regulating the use of groundwater.