Juris Doctor in
Juris Doctor Program Vermont Law and Graduate School
What to expect from the JD Program
Earning a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law and Graduate School indicates dedication and commitment, not just to the legal profession, but to make an impact through the law.
While preparing for general practice in all 50 states, you’ll develop the knowledge and acquire the skills needed for leadership in environmental law, criminal law, dispute resolution, energy law, international and comparative law, land use, or water resources law.
The core curriculum focuses on legal doctrine and analysis, emphasizes the broader social context of the law, and provides education in the skills and values required for effective law practice. In the first year, you’ll build a foundation for legal study through exposure to basic subjects, the techniques of legal analysis, fundamental legal skills, and perspectives on the origins, function, and development of the legal system. During your second and third years, you’ll use Vermont Law and Graduate School’s extensive course catalog to focus on the issue areas in which you’d like to work and lead.
To accommodate the financial realities of many students, Vermont Law and Graduate School offers accelerated two-year, extended four-year, and reduced-residency enrollment options for the JD program.
- Professional Responsibility and Ethics: Graduates will be able to work respectfully, ethically, and productively with diverse clients and legal professionals. They should possess the skills needed to recognize and resolve dilemmas in an ethical manner.
- Foundational and Substantive Legal Knowledge: Graduates will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law, and the role of law in society.
- Foundational Legal and Advocacy Skills: Graduates will be able to independently and collaboratively engage in legal research, legal analysis, reasoning, and problem-solving and communicate effectively and persuasively.
- Bar Exam Preparedness and Skills: Graduates will possess the skills needed to successfully perform on the bar examination taken.
- Service to Society: Graduates will understand an attorney’s obligation to engage in community and public service.
Required courses are subject to change.
All of the following courses:
- REQ7255 Appellate Advocacy 3
- REQ7104 Civil Procedure I 3
- REQ7103 Civil Procedure II 2
- REQ7112 Constitutional Law 4
- REQ7130 Contracts 4
- REQ7140 Criminal Law 3
- LIT7210 Evidence 4
- REQ7120 Legal Analysis and Writing I 1
- REQ7122 Legal Research 1
- REQ7125 Legal Writing II: Theory and Practice 3
- REQ7185 Legislation and Regulation 3
- REQ7265 Professional Responsibility 3
- REQ7160 Property 3
- REQ7150 Torts 4
At least two (2) of the following courses:
- BUS6235 Corporations 4
- CRI7262 Constitutional Criminal Procedure 4
- CRI7307 Criminal Practice and Procedure 4
- FAM7710 Estates 4
- FAM7715 Family Law 3
- PUB7500 First Amendment Law 3
- BUS6280 Sales 2
At least six (6) credits from the following experiential courses:
- BUS6219 Entrepreneurship and Legal Lab Practicum (VLSell) 2/4/6/12
- CLI9302 Environmental Advocacy Clinic 6/9/12
- CLI9310 South Royalton Legal Clinic FT 12
- CLI9311 South Royalton Legal Clinic - Summer 6 or 9
- CLI9312 South Royalton Legal Clinic PT 6
- CLI9318 Environmental Justice Clinic 6/9/12
- CLI9319 Climate Justice Practicum 4
- CLI9321 Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic 4/6/9/12
- CLI Advanced Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic 4/6/9/12
- CLI9323 Advanced Environmental Advocacy Clinic 6/9/12
- CLI9333 Advanced South Royalton Legal Clinic 6/12
Advanced Legal Writing Project
One (1) of the following advanced legal writing project courses:
- ADR6450 Advanced Dispute Resolution Writing Seminar 2
- BUS6262 Social Enterprise Law 2
- BUS6330 Sports Law 2
- CLI9302 Environmental and Natural Resources Clinic 6/13
- CLI9310/9312 South Royalton Legal Clinic 6/13
- CLI9450 Land Use Clinic 4/6
- CRI7305 Advanced Criminal Law Seminar 2
- DIV7606 Civil Rights Seminar 2
- DIV7607 Constitutional Rights Litigation 3
- DIV7610 Race and the Law Seminar 2
- DIV7615 Sexual Orientation and the Law Seminar 2
- ENV5110 Ecology of Food and Agriculture 3
- ENV5212 Climate Change and the Law 3
- ENV5236 Advanced Natural Resources Law 2
- ENV5250 Watershed Management and Protection 3
- ENV5303 Advanced Energy Writing Seminar 2
- ENV5304/5306 Comparative Environmental Law Research Seminar 2/1
- ENV5305 Environmental Ethics Seminar 2
- ENV5310 Environmental Health Law Seminar 2
- ENV5335 Extinction and Climate Change 2
- ENV5337 Frontier Issues in Environmental Law and Policy 2
- ENV5342 Legal Adaptation to Global Warming 2
- ENV5345 Land and the Law of Takings 2
- ENV5349 Regulating the Marine Environment 2
- ENV5365 Climate Change: The Power of Taxes 2
- ENV5493 Agricultural Biotechnology and the Law 2
- HIS7555 American Legal History: The Search for National Identity 2
- INT7407 Comparative Law: Comparative Legal Systems 3
- INT7413 European Union Law 3
- INT7428 International Regulation of Trade 3
- INT7430 Spanish Constitutional Law 2
- INT7437 Introduction to Chinese Law 2
- JUR7307 Culture and the Environment 2
- JUR7323 Law and Popular Culture 2
- JUR7330 Moral Philosophy for Professionals Seminar 2/3
- JUR7332 Law, Lawyers, and Religion 2/3
- JUR7350 Women and the Law Seminar 2 +1 IRP
- JUR7390 Jurisprudence Tutorial 1/2
- PUB7550 National Security Law 3
- PUB7580 State and Local Government 2
- WRI7900 Independent Research Project 1/7
- WRI7950 Law Review 2/4
- WRI7960 Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 2/4
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 who have not lived or studied in an English-speaking country for at least two years must submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores.
Vermont Law and Graduate School has an application fee of $60.00 (USD).
Describe the goals that are motivating you to pursue a JD degree. How do you think the skills and experience you will gain at Vermont Law and Graduate 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 that 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 with that VLS does not have a formal partnership, 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 the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) via LSAC, Educational Credential Evaluators, and World Education Services.
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 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 and Graduate 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 and Graduate School does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.