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Old 11-26-2007, 02:37 PM
 
Location: CT/VT
28 posts, read 62,289 times
Reputation: 11

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I am applying to law school and my first choice is Vermont Law since I want to study environmental law and justice. I live in CT but I attended UVM for a year before transferring to UConn in Storrs. I am more familiar with the Burlington area but I've been to the South Royalton-White River Junction area a few times and I love it! I am a vegetarian so I'm wondering if anyone living there now would recommend any good markets that sell vegetarian staples- like wheat gluten and meat analogues. Finding good fruit and vegetable farmers markets will not be a problem.

After graduation in 2011 I'm thinking about settling down in VT. I love the rural life. Politically, I am a libertarian (but I support government environmental policies) so I'm not a big fan of taxes but I think it is a small price to pay for the beauty of VT. Going to law school there will give me a chance to see if it is what I want. I look forward to participating in this forum!
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:55 PM
 
141 posts, read 161,124 times
Reputation: 26
You don't need to go to Vermont Law to do environmental law. You'd be better off going to a higher ranked school like UCONN for example. I went to UCONN and I know plenty of people who are now doing environmental law from there. As an in state resident at UCONN you would pay less than half of what you would at VTLAW. Plus, Vermont Law is a 3rd or 4th tier school whereas UCONN is near the lower middle of the first tier.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,328 posts, read 8,763,998 times
Reputation: 1991
Vermont Law is known for its environmental law programs. Most of the lawyers I deal with at my job are VLS graduates. I think you've made a great choice personally. HOpefully some others can give you some pointers for the South Royalton/upper valley area.
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:13 PM
 
141 posts, read 161,124 times
Reputation: 26
You can still be a UCONN grad and work in Vermont. I have classmates who do. Why spend twice the money for a 4th tier school?
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,328 posts, read 8,763,998 times
Reputation: 1991
Cosmo...why do you say Vermont is a 4th tier school? In everything I've ever seen/read about VLS is that it is tops for environmental law. Just curious. Uconn certainly is a good school too. Have some friends who are alums (not the law school).
US News & World Report ranks it #1 in Environmental Law
USNews.com: America's Best Graduate Schools 2008: Law: Environmental Law

Environmental Law Schools

Regardless, I'm sure VTLaw has done his/her research...maybe VLS is a better fit?
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:44 PM
 
Location: CT/VT
28 posts, read 62,289 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmonewman View Post
You don't need to go to Vermont Law to do environmental law. You'd be better off going to a higher ranked school like UCONN for example. I went to UCONN and I know plenty of people who are now doing environmental law from there. As an in state resident at UCONN you would pay less than half of what you would at VTLAW. Plus, Vermont Law is a 3rd or 4th tier school whereas UCONN is near the lower middle of the first tier.
I feel that the strength of the program makes up for it being a lower tier school. I also like the fact that Vermont has Act 250. Love it or loathe it, it shows that Vermonters are actively calculating the environment into the equation- even if they support reforming the act and making it easier for development they are at least asking themselves questions about how development will impact their communities both good and bad. It is something more communities, towns, cities and states should be doing.
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:46 PM
 
Location: CT/VT
28 posts, read 62,289 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by vter View Post
Vermont Law is known for its environmental law programs. Most of the lawyers I deal with at my job are VLS graduates. I think you've made a great choice personally. HOpefully some others can give you some pointers for the South Royalton/upper valley area.
Thank you! So I'm guessing the networking for VLS grads is good up there, eh?
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:55 PM
 
141 posts, read 161,124 times
Reputation: 26
I don't mean to sound so discouraging but I just think s/he should realize the advantages and disadvantages before making a huge commitment like that.

For one thing, specialties are less important in law than in other fields. You don't get a degree in environmental law, you get a degree in law. With a JD and bar admission you can practice anything other than patent law. Being ranked #1 in environmental law is like being #1 in tiddlywinks—its nice but doesn't do much for you.

Second, going to a private law school is expensive. You can get the same qualification for much less money at a public law school. In this case UCONN or even Maine would be cheaper and would provide more opportunity to try different types of law.

Third, recruiting is much harder at a smaller school. There are going to be fewer employers interviewing on campus and a smaller alumni network to make employment connections.

Finally, the legal community is pretty small in Vermont and the salaries are pretty low. So unless you can pay for law school in cash now, you'll be burdened with high debt for half of your life. Trust me, that is no fun.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:00 PM
 
Location: CT/VT
28 posts, read 62,289 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by vter View Post
Cosmo...why do you say Vermont is a 4th tier school? In everything I've ever seen/read about VLS is that it is tops for environmental law. Just curious. Uconn certainly is a good school too. Have some friends who are alums (not the law school).
US News & World Report ranks it #1 in Environmental Law
USNews.com: America's Best Graduate Schools 2008: Law: Environmental Law

Environmental Law Schools

Regardless, I'm sure VTLaw has done his/her research...maybe VLS is a better fit?
In general it is ranked as a lower tier school, but also considering that it has only been around since 1972 and has been consistently rated either first or second place in environmental law, and in 2005 won the ABA Negotiation Competition beating students from Ivy League schools- It is a rising star. The school is attracting a lot of bright students and faculty who want to find solutions for environmental problems. And the first hand experience of seeing environmental legislation in action in VT is un-matched in any other state. It gives us a chance to see what works, what doesn't work, and how we can improve the law both for the benefit of the people and the environment.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:13 PM
 
Location: CT/VT
28 posts, read 62,289 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmonewman View Post
I don't mean to sound so discouraging but I just think s/he should realize the advantages and disadvantages before making a huge commitment like that.

For one thing, specialties are less important in law than in other fields. You don't get a degree in environmental law, you get a degree in law. With a JD and bar admission you can practice anything other than patent law. Being ranked #1 in environmental law is like being #1 in tiddlywinks—its nice but doesn't do much for you.

Second, going to a private law school is expensive. You can get the same qualification for much less money at a public law school. In this case UCONN or even Maine would be cheaper and would provide more opportunity to try different types of law.

Third, recruiting is much harder at a smaller school. There are going to be fewer employers interviewing on campus and a smaller alumni network to make employment connections.

Finally, the legal community is pretty small in Vermont and the salaries are pretty low. So unless you can pay for law school in cash now, you'll be burdened with high debt for half of your life. Trust me, that is no fun.
I plan on reducing the costs by applying for scholarships. And if I want to live, work and network in the area, VLS sounds like a good choice- especially if I want to work where my concentration in law will be useful. They also have a joint J.D./MSEL program with a degree in environmental law (first in the country) which would also be nice.

Btw, I am a "he".
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