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Vermont Law School will continue with virtual classes during the fall semester. The physical campus will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. VLS community members should download the Health Screening App and check their email for more information. Please visit vermontlaw.edu/covid19 for general information, resources, and updates.

2020 Summer Session Classes

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Students, please note: CampusWeb is the authoritative source for class information, so please refer to CampusWeb when making final registration decisions.

2020 Summer Session Classes

Term 1

WRI7380/Advanced Environmental Legal Research

This one-credit course provides in-depth exposure to the most useful, efficient strategies and resources for environmental law research, including specialized science and statistical information resources, international environmental law research, advanced administrative law research, legislative history, environmental updating services, etc. The course is designed to prepare students to research environmental legal materials and non-legal materials for use in law school and in practice.

Professor(s)

Christine Ryan

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 1

ENV5430/Ecology

Ecology is an integrative science that can provide insight into many contemporary environmental problems. Through visits to a variety of field sites in central Vermont, readings, and lectures, this course will explore the principles of ecology using a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach. Course work stresses the inventorying of biotic and physical components of a landscape (pieces), examining how these pieces are distributed (patterns), and determining what forces drive these patterns (processes).

Professor(s)

Walter Poleman
Thomas Lautzenheiser

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 1

ENV5412/Ocean and Coastal Law

Long neglected by lawmakers despite its essential ecological functions, the marine environment has increasingly been the focal point of conservation and natural resource management efforts. As a foundation for studying the laws that govern the marine environment, the course considers the natural components of estuarine, coastal, and marine ecosystems and the current conservation issues confronting them.

Professor(s)

Don Baur
Tim Eichenberg
Sarah M. Reiter JD’13

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 1

RSJ7330/Restorative Justice in Educational Institutions

This course explores how restorative justice approaches can provide important alternatives to more traditional responses to harm within educational settings. Restorative justice has three primary applications in school settings, which includes both K-12 schools and higher education. Restorative circles are commonly used to build and strengthen relationships between students and with their teachers. Restorative practices help develop “social-emotional learning.” Restorative conferences are used in response to conflict and misconduct.

Professor(s)

Marilyn Armour

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 1

ENV5511/Three Essentials of the Electric Grid: Business Essentials

This course sets out, in three linked modules, the fundamental knowledge that professionals should have for working in the closely intertwined fields of energy and the environment. Students may take one, two, or three modules for one credit each.

Professor(s)

James Cater

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 1

ENV5510/Three Essentials of the Electric Grid: Engineering Essentials

This course sets out, in three linked modules, the fundamental knowledge that professionals should have for working in the closely intertwined fields of energy and the environment. Students may take one, two, or three modules for one credit each.

Professor(s)

Chris Root

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 1

ENV5512/Three Essentials of the Electric Grid: Legal Essentials

This course sets out, in three linked modules, the fundamental knowledge that professionals should have for working in the closely intertwined fields of energy and the environment. Students may take one, two, or three modules for one credit each.

Professor(s)

Samantha Williams '05

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 1

Term 2

ENV5902.1/Environmental Crimes

Environmental crime is the most common federal offense committed by U.S. corporations, and among the most profitable criminal activity in the world. Explore this specialized practice, from the relevant investigative agencies, through the benefits of “speaking” indictments, to the applicable federal sentencing guidelines. Students will examine the major pollution prevention and wildlife protection statutes, as well as the Title 18 offenses with which they are most often paired (e.g., conspiracy, false statements, obstruction of justice).

Professor(s)

Deborah Harris

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 2

ENV5446/Environmental Justice

The environmental justice movement is aimed at avoiding, minimizing, or mitigating disproportionately adverse human health and environmental impacts, including social and economic impacts, on minority and/or low-income communities, and for those communities to be engaged meaningfully in environmental decision-making processes. This course examines this environmental and public health problem.

Professor(s)

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 2

ENV5902.01/Food Impact Litigation

This course examines the potential and limitations of litigation against the industrial agriculture system. We will touch on the most common causes of action used in federal courts, as well as several new theories good food movement advocates are testing. In considering these approaches we will discuss their legal elements and remedies, how they can be used to advance a narrative about the current food system, and the ways in which they might be combined with policy advocacy.

Professor(s)

David Muraskin

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 2

ENV5230/Global Energy Law and Policy

Climate Change, driven by greenhouse gas emission coming from energy is one of the most important environmental problems that we face today. Latin America, with 590 million inhabitants, is responsible for 9% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. 80% of those emissions come from four countries; Brazil Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina. 42% of the GHG emissions come from energy. It is estimated that if global temperature rise by 2,5 C, the effect on GDP could be as much as 5% of Regional GDP.

Professor(s)

Arturo Brandt LLM '04

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 2

ENV5474/Land Conservation Law

This course examines the potential and limitations of litigation against the industrial agriculture system. We will touch on the most common causes of action used in federal courts, as well as several new theories good food movement advocates are testing. In considering these approaches we will discuss their legal elements and remedies, how they can be used to advance a narrative about the current food system, and the ways in which they might be combined with policy advocacy.

Professor(s)

Jessica Jay '97

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 2

RSJ7315.1/Peacemaking Courts

This course introduction begins with the exploration of the roots of peacemaking from indigenous nations within our national border. Students will learn about differing world views, tribal justice systems (through Native voices), and tensions between Native justice systems and western model court systems. In addition, students will learn about current efforts to nurture communication, collaboration and common ground between the two.

Professor(s)

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 2

Term 3

ENV5561/Environmental Enforcement and Compliance

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of enforcement of the federal pollution control laws.  The course will describe the basic regulatory structure of the pollution control laws, and then analyze in detail how to apply the administrative, civil judicial, and criminal enforcement tools available to federal and state regulators, for gaining compliance with environmental standards. We will then delve into the practice of civil enforcement, including methods for investigating and establishing potential violations, selection of the appropriate enforcement response, calculati

Professor(s)

Randolph Hill

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 3

ENV5233/Environmental Governance and the Private Sector

This class examines the push for more private sector accountability and governance in environmental matters (such as EDG and CSR policies) and how this relates to legal requirements.  The class also looks at private sector environmental governance.  In particular, the class will examine the concept of business sustainability drivers and practice, private environmental governance, including the growth of market models, and what legal standards apply.

Professor(s)

Victor Flatt

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 3

ENV5361/Forest Policy and Law

This intensive 2.5-day course will introduce students to the significant policy and legal issues affecting forests and forest management, using the forests of New England as a case study.

Professor(s)

Thomas McHenry

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 3

CRI7333.1/Juvenile Justice and Law

Professor(s)

Anna Saxman '85

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 3

ADR6416/Negotiating Environmental Agreements

This experiential seminar teaches the skills necessary to effectively negotiate and develop mutual gains solutions in the environmental context. It does so through a blend of lectures, scenarios, case studies, and role-play simulations. Students will explore a range of processes that can be used to productively resolve environmental disputes, examine the advantages and disadvantages of adversarial and collaborative approaches, and learn the art and science of mutual gains negotiation, conflict management, and consensus building.

Professor(s)

Danya Rumore

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 3

ENV5550/Renewable Energy Project Finance and Development

This course will provide an in-depth look at the legal and regulatory issues associated with the development and project financing of renewable energy projects such as wind, hydro, solar, and battery storage. After completing this course, students will have a solid understanding of how to help vet the economics of renewable projects and get them permitted, financed, built, hooked-up to the grid and operational. 

Professor(s)

Brian Potts
Andrew Hanson

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 3

ENV5902.02/The International Law of Food

This course, one of the few if not the only in the world to address this critical subject matter, identifies and analyzes contemporary international legal and policy issues related to food including supply, safety, security, subsidies, and trade.  Students will master legal and structural analytical tools for addressing these increasingly important challenges of concern to all global citizens.  The material includes the roles of international institutions, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Wor

Professor(s)

David Wirth

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 3

Term 4

ENV5422/Animal Welfare Law

In recent years, a broad and rapidly evolving field of law has developed concerning the welfare of animals that are used for a variety of human purposes, including food, entertainment, research, and companionship.  Animals used for these purposes often endure a wide range of abuses that diminish animal welfare while also impacting humans.

Professor(s)

Heather Rally
Delcianna Winders
Don Baur

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 4

ENV5425/Clean Transportation Law and Policy

Transportation is the leading source of climate pollution in the United States. This course is focused on a key pathway to reduce those harmful emissions: the electrification of our cars, trucks, and buses. We’ll examine the current federal landscape for regulation of tailpipe emissions and the range of clean transportation policy options, including a particular focus on the role of electric utilities and how electric vehicles can support a smarter, cleaner electricity grid.

Professor(s)

Joseph Halso

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 4

INT7440/Comparative U.S.-China Environmental Law

This course examines how China and the United States—the two countries with the greatest impacts on the planet’s environment—are using law to respond to environmental challenges. After an introduction to the history and structure of environmental law, the course compares approaches to regulation used in China with those employed by the U.S.

Professor(s)

Robert Percival

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 4

ENV5424.01/Current Issues in Western Resource Litigation

The vast majority of the United States’ public lands – National Parks, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges – are located in the West.  Increasing conflicts over resource use, such as extraction versus preservation and motorized versus non-motorized recreation, has led to thousands of court cases in the last three decades. Courts play a major role in public land management. This class explores the intersection of environmental and administrative law with public land management.

Professor(s)

Pat Parenteau
Jack Tuholske

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 4

RSJ7320.1/New Approaches to Domestic and Sexual Violence

Professor(s)

Karen Tronsgard-Scott

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 4

ENV5410/The Farm Bill

American farm and food policy has long been the subject of strenuous debate and criticism.  In recent years, prominent criticism has come from a movement of consumer and environmental interests concerned that the way we eat and how we support producers impacts our health, natural resources and the environment.  Other interests raise concerns that about Federal spending and government footprint.  Regardless of the reason, all of them look to the farm bill.  The farm bill, however, is difficult; hard to understand and challenging to change policies that have proven incredibly resilient over m

Professor(s)

Chris Adamo '04
Jonathan Coppess

Semester

2020 Summer - Term 4

Friday only Term

ENV5901.02/Advanced Communications for Environmental Advocates

A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering environmental issues for the Boston Globe teaches this course. A practicum taught in workshop style, this course develops communications skills to help advocates communicate clearly and effectively with the public. The emphasis of this course is on writing and students will gain insights through detailed feedback and workshopping. The course is unique in its emphasis on communicating complex issues to a general audience, a skill that is compelling for employers and typically takes advocates years to hone.

Professor(s)

David Abel

Semester

2020 Summer - Fridays Only

ENV5901.01/Conservation Agriculture Policy

This one credit course examines state and federal conservation agriculture policies with an emphasis on Vermont’s Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs). Students will be exposed to the variety of state and federal conservation programs designed to assist farmers in achieving conservation compliance.  The course will include 3 farm visits where students will see specific types of conservation practices implemented by farmers to protect natural resources and increase air, water, and soil quality on- and off-farm.

Professor(s)

Jennifer Byrne '19 MELP

Semester

2020 Summer - Fridays Only

ENV5497/End Use Energy Efficiency

The course provides an overview of energy efficiency policies, programs and measures at the Federal and state levels. It covers the systems, policies and legal frameworks enabling energy efficiency to serve as an energy resource to the energy system and electric grid. It also highlights new approaches to program design, including the role of behavioral science and energy cultures in engaging customers and expanding access to energy efficiency.

Professor(s)

Elizabeth Chant
Emily Levin

Semester

2020 Summer - Fridays Only

Full Semester

REQ7255/Appellate Advocacy

An exercise in appellate brief writing and oral argument using a case pending before the United States Supreme Court. Classes focus on the appellate process, complex research and analysis, preparation of briefs, critical writing skills, and oral argument.

Professor(s)

Catherine Fregosi
Greg Johnson

Semester

2020 Summer - Full Term

WRI 7352 E1/Bar Exam Skills and Tactics

Skills-development course designed to provide students with the analytical, test-taking, writing, and study skills that are critical to students' success on the bar exam and in the practice of law. The course consists of an intensive substantive and analytical review of major multistate bar exam subjects and of numerous writing and practice assignments.

Professor(s)

Semester

2020 Summer JD - Full Term

FAM7710.01/Estates

This course examines gratuitous transfers by intestate succession, wills, trusts, and other techniques; execution and revocation of wills; will substitutes; administration of estates; family survivors' rights; the nature of trusts and fiduciary relationships; powers of appointment; and future interests.

Professor(s)

Stephanie Willbanks

Semester

2020 Summer JD - Full Term

LIT 7210 E1/Evidence

Considers the rules governing the admissibility of testimonial, physical, documentary, and demonstrative evidence in trials and other formal legal proceedings. Topics considered include relevance, prejudice, competency, hearsay, opinion, impeachment, and privilege.

Professor(s)

Jeannette Eicks

Semester

2020 Summer JD - Full Term

FAM7715.01/Family Law

This course will examine the roles of law and of private ordering in family law contexts. Topics which may be included are marriage and divorce, child custody and support, alimony, property division, tax consequences of divorce, and family violence. The course will also look at various means of dispute resolution in the domestic relations area, including negotiation, mediation, and litigation.

Professor(s)

Margaret Olnek

Semester

2020 Summer JD - Full Term

REQ 7186 E1/Legislation and Regulation Survey

This course will provide students an introduction to the legislative process, regulatory agencies, and agency law-making. Students will learn to navigate modern U.S. government institutions and processes, with a particular emphasis on the legislative process and the administrative state. Key topics include the structure and animating principles of the U.S.

Professor(s)

Kerriann Stout

Semester

2020 Summer JD - Full Term

REQ 7265 E1/Professional Responsibility

The study of a lawyer's professional obligations based on the ABA's Model Rules, ethical rules from selected jurisdictions, and other laws and traditions governing professional conduct. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to identify ethical dilemmas and acquire the tools to help resolve them.

Professor(s)

Jared Carter

Semester

2020 Summer JD - Full Term

REQ 7265 E2/Professional Responsibility

The study of a lawyer's professional obligations based on the ABA's Model Rules, ethical rules from selected jurisdictions, and other laws and traditions governing professional conduct. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to identify ethical dilemmas and acquire the tools to help resolve them.

Professor(s)

Pamela A. Vesilind

Semester

2020 Summer JD - Full Term