The Juris Doctor (JD) degree program prepares students to engage in the general practice of law or to pursue a career in environmental or energy law, international law, criminal law, or another specialty. Applications to Vermont Law School's JD program is open to any person who has earned their bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
Opportunities and Options
If you have any questions about the following, please contact the Admissions team via the information at the bottom of this page.
Online/Distance Learning Opportunities
Though there is currently no path to earn a Juris Doctor entirely online, there is potential for you to complete some of your coursework in such a manner. Please speak with an Admissions Counselor if you are interested in knowing more about this opportunity.
Duration And Start
Scholarship & FINANCIAL AID Opportunities
Vermont Law School offers and provides information regarding many opportunities for scholarships and financial aid. See Tuition & Financial Aid for more information.
DUAL DEGREE OPPORTUNITIES
If you are interested in pursuing a dual degree, please refer to the the program descriptions and application information specific to each of the dual degree programs. Please note that admission to the JD or Master's program does not ensure admission to a dual degree program.
Credits received at other institutions transfer at the discretion of the VLS Registrar.
As a transfer student, you're eligible for merit and need-based scholarships, law review (within law review deadline restrictions) and all Vermont Law School clinical, experiential, and international offerings. An assigned mentor will help orient you to the curriculum and the community. During Orientation Week, you'll get to know other students through social events and meet with your faculty advisor.
You can enroll any semester-fall, spring or summer. There is no application deadline and no application fee. Files are reviewed when complete.
In addition to the JD application requirements, you must submit:
- Two letters of recommendation - one must be from a law school professor
- Law school letter of good standing
- Law school transcript with fall and spring semester grades
- Law school class rank for the first year
Visiting & exchange STUDENTS
Exchange applications may be submitted at any time during the academic year and will be reviewed when the file is complete. Applicants should apply via the VLS Visiting/Exchange Application.
In general, the following items are required to complete the application file, though additional materials may be requested.
- Completed application form
- $60 application fee (not required for exchange applicants)
- Professional resume or curriculum vitae
- Short essay indicating why you are interested in VLS
- Letter of good standing from the home law school, including permission to attend Vermont Law School with a current law school transcript
U.S. Law School Exchange Program
Students enrolled at a U.S. law school that participates in the Law School Exchange Program should contact their school's Admissions Office for application instructions. Please contact the Vermont Law School Admissions department with any questions or concerns.
Law School Exchange Program schools include:
- University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, CT
- University of New Hampshire, Concord, NH
- University of California - Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA
- Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.
- New York Law School, New York City, NY
International Exchange Programs
If you are currently enrolled at an institution which has an established International Dual Degree partnership with VLS, please work through your home-institution's processes in order to apply for an opportunity to learn at VLS. When advised proceed to the VLS Visiting/Exchange Application.
Application Evaluation Criteria
We evaluate each applicant by examining the whole person and we admit students without consideration of their financial need.
LSAT Scores and Academic Records
The two most important JD admissions criteria at VLS are the undergraduate academic record and the LSAT score. Vermont Law School generally requires applicants to have earned their bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution by the time the applicant intends to enroll. All JD applicants must provide current LSAT scores—there are no exceptions. LSAT scores are valid for five years.
We consider the undergraduate record from a number of perspectives: quality of the undergraduate institution; nature and rigor of the curriculum; performance compared to that of other students from the same school; grade trend from freshman to senior year; and length of time intervening between receipt of degree and application to law school. Many of our applicants have completed graduate work. We look favorably upon this if the quality of work exceeds the minimum standards required for the graduate program.
Just as there are many different roads to the acquisition of an inquiring, disciplined, and cultivated mind, there are different ways to acquire a valuable foundation for the study of law. Perhaps of greatest importance is the acquisition of the habit of precision, fluency, and economy in speaking and writing.
We give no preference to college majors in political science, economics, or other concentrations traditionally associated with pre-law education. What we seek are programs that give students an opportunity to analyze critically, and think creatively. We require that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree at the time of enrollment. U.S. institutions must be regionally accredited.
We require two letters of recommendation. We seek thoughtful, substantive recommendations that speak specifically to and from personal knowledge of your academic potential and relevant personal qualities. We prefer at least one recommendation from a college or graduate school professor, although we understand that is not possible if you have been out of college for some time. In that case, ask someone who knows your work in your profession or in your community to write on your behalf. We want to know about your intellectual ability, character, determination, professional and community achievements, your potential for contributions to the legal community and community-at-large, and how you compare to other law school students the writer has known.
Recommenders are encouraged to send their letters to Law School Admission Council to become part of your CAS report. If a recommender prefers to submit a recommendation directly to the law school, they may email it directly to the Office of Admissions.
Work Experience, Community Service and Extracurricular Activities
Most of our applicants have had work experience, be it in permanent positions or in part-time work in college. We look upon your employment history as indicative of your ambition and persistence.
We hope to enroll students who, once active in the legal profession, will use their education and skills to contribute to the profession and the community in which they live. Thus we look favorably on applicants who demonstrate a commitment to the greater community through participation in civic, charitable, volunteer, and other activities.
We recommend that applicants give us a brief description of their extracurricular activities to round out their application. These activities help to complete the applicant's "written photograph," and provide some insight for the Admissions Committee which might be helpful in the decision-making process.
Character and Fitness, Qualifications for Bar Admissions
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Acceptance by the law school does not guarantee certification by the state bar examiners. If you are concerned about facts that may affect your eligibility to practice law, you should discuss the matter with the Board of Bar Examiners in the state and jurisdiction where you expect to practice.
Check-List of Materials
- Completed application form
- $60.00 (USD) application fee
- Professional resume or curriculum vitae
- Essays as described below
- LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report with current LSAT score, transcripts from all schools attended, and two letters of recommendation.
- Character and Fitness Information
- All applicants whose native language is not English and have not lived or studied in an English-speaking country for at least two years must submit TOEFL, PTE or IELTS scores.
Students applying to all Juris Doctor (JD) programs are required to submit all application materials via LSAC.org. If you experience any technical difficulties with this application, please call the LSAC Help Desk at 215-968-1393.
Vermont Law School has an application fee of $60.00 (USD).
- Describe the goals that are motivating you to pursue a Law/Master's or LLM degree. How do you think the skills and experience you will gain at Vermont Law School will help you achieve these goals?
- Give a realistic appraisal of your academic work since graduation from high school. Please note any inconsistencies in your record and the reasons for them.
- How have you tried to effect change in relation to an issue of personal, local, or national significance?
If you are currently enrolled at an institution which has an established International Dual Degree partnership with VLS, please work through your home-institution's processes in order to apply for an opportunity to learn at VLS. For individuals outside of the United States who are not currently enrolled at another institution, or who are enrolled at an institution that VLS does not have a formal partnership with, please note the following additional application requirements:
INTERNATIONAL CREDENTIAL EVALUATION REQUIREMENT
- All international transcripts must be evaluated by an official evaluation agency. Recommended evaluation agencies include Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE.org) and World Education Services (WES.org).
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT
- TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score is required of all students for whom English is not the primary language spoken. Applicants who have studied in the U.S. or at an English-speaking institution for more than two years may be waived from this requirement.
- TOEFL minimum score: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, 100 Internet-based
- IELTS minimum score: 6.5
- PTE minimum score: 68
Vermont Law School reviews applications on a rolling basis. The Admission Committee reviews all complete applications and applicants are notified promptly of the admission decision. Vermont Law School does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.
Acceptance of offer for admissions
An applicant offered admission must make a total non-refundable tuition deposit of $750 by the deposit deadlines indicated in the offer of admission in order to secure a place in the incoming class. The deposit will be applied in full toward the student's tuition upon enrollment.
Please contact the Admissions Office if you have questions about admissions or programs.
Toll free: 888-277-5985
Please submit all physical application materials to:
Vermont Law School Office of Admissions
164 Chelsea Street, PO Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068