Vermont Law School gains worldwide profile as the 'Environmental Law School'
There are 61 comments on the BurlingtonFreePress.com story from Jan 16, 2011, titled Vermont Law School gains worldwide profile as the 'Environmental Law School'. In it, BurlingtonFreePress.com reports that:
SOUTH ROYALTON - Quite apart from maple syrup and cheese, Vermont has another major export of which most people are unaware: Environmental lawyers.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at BurlingtonFreePress.com.
#1 Jan 17, 2011
If you check...Vermont Law School is a second or third tier law school based upon the quality of it's students. They use the "Environmental Law" schtick for marketing purposes as all law schools teach the basics of environmental law which is not that complex an area of law as law areas go. Not as complex as taxation for example.
The best law students go elsewhere but Vermont is an ok law school for that second or third tier student.
#2 Jan 18, 2011
Whats the point of trashing a school that has been very successful and has attracted talented youth to our area...
This commentor probaly attended a lower tier school and apparently has little knowledge of environmental law yet spouts off...
I guess opinions are like ********..everyone's got one...
but this one is full of ****.
#3 Jan 19, 2011
Why is correcting misinformation "trashing". What I wrote was one hundred percent true. Why you are so sensitive?
I think it is in the best interests of all Vermonters to be self reflective in an honest way. We have a tendancy, and I have been a participant in this, to over value anything in this state because we love it here so much. The result is that we are unrealistic about things like business development, quality of education, quality of life in Vermont, etc....and want to gloss over problems we have.
The basic premise of Vermont law school that special training is required or beneficial for a successful career in environtmental law is false. If anyone reads this and wants to become a lawyer get some good advice before you think of limiting your training to an environmental specialty. There simply is not enough careers in environmental law to justify doing it and it is the quality of the applicant that will get the job regardless of the environmental specialty.
As for whether dropping all these lawyers into Vermont is a good thing you might want to consider how many people we have and how many lawyers per capita we already have. I think most lawyers who come out of Vermont law school and try to stay in Vermont have a great deal of difficulty making a living. We simply don't need to add two hundred new lawyers to the Vermont economy every year.
And we already know we don't need any more self avowed environmentalists in Vermont.
#4 Jan 19, 2011
Here is what another commentator said in the Burlington Free Press:
"The Vermont Law School's pro-environmental agenda is indicative of a troubling dominant paradigm in American politics & education- top down policy driven by non-profits, trusts, funds, & foundations."
It is plain to see what the dominant paridigm is- "Big Solar" & "Big Wind", dubious Hydro Quebec contracts, closing Vt Yankee (80% of our generating capacity), spend, spend, spend...
Do we really need to elevate Anthony Doria's Vt. Law School to elevated reverential god-like cult status?
How about exposing these posers as the self-agrandising self-profiteers that they are? They don't produce anything but more paperwork & more cost per project."
#5 Jan 19, 2011
Your jaded and you speak of a field in which you already admitted you know very little...
Smart Grids and other technologies are CUTTING edge...
HUGE federal grants to a VT school
US environmental regulation is one of the main products we are exporting to oher countries????
I know your thinking you know what your talking about...but maybe your over the hill?
Stuck in old thoughts that env reg is not a service industry?
Also, your citation reeks of Vy propaganda...
that new fangled renewables...
Catch how nice the area around the law school is?
The locals all get lots of dough off the students and then they LEAVE for DC for great jobs since environmental is HUGE down there and VLS has a TOP REPUTATION in the field!
And of course, someone has to have a problem with it...
but you are short sighted...
BTW...I am expecting a "back in MY day" kinda response...
But what is the AVERAGE age of the VT bar...63?
I can tell you enrollment in the bar is LOW and bar takers is even lower...
what were yu saying about this supposed flood of young lawyers?
yup, you missed on that one too...
so, please explain your motive for popping off at VLS each time there is an article...dont deny the grudge...explain it!
Just bashing for the benfit of YOUR tier 3 school?
#6 Jan 20, 2011
"Employment after Vermont Law School is a bit of a mixed bag. Lacking a major market nearby, Vermont graduates spread throughout the country, with most either remaining in New England or spreading down the Atlantic coast into the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. In New York the state in which the greatest number of graduates took the bar exam the schools 83% pass rate is slightly higher than the 80% state average.
Vermont is atypical of the third tier in that only about half of the schools graduates go into the private sector. Given the schools focus on environmental law, it perhaps less surprising that almost 15% a high amount, especially by third-tier standards of graduates enters the public sector. About the same amount secure government positions of some sort or another. Vermont is a typical tier three in terms of academia (less than 1% of graduates), and clerkships nearly 15% total, but only 3% clerk for federal judges.
Salaries at Vermont are less than encouraging. Even with only 54% of eligible graduates reporting, the median starting salary in the private sector is only $65,000. And for the many graduates who enter the public sector, the $43,000 starting salary is even grimmer. Such low salaries mean that Vermont graduates are likely to struggle with debt for years and decades after graduation."
#7 Jan 20, 2011
I am an expert in the field so I don't know where you get the "admittedly ..know very little"
What year did you graduate from VLS?
For a student interested in environmental law, and who doesnt mind living in insular South Royalton, Vermont can certainly be a good start to a legal career. However, the tuition is extremely steep, and employment statistics suggest that most graduates struggle with debt for many years. Since Vermont is, in fact, a private school with no distinction between in- and out-of-state tuition, it is difficult to fully recommend the school unless an admitted student is awarded a hefty scholarship to offset the expense."
#8 Jan 20, 2011
"As for whether dropping all these lawyers into Vermont is a good thing you might want to consider how many people we have and how many lawyers per capita we already have."
"Vermont graduates spread throughout the country, with most either remaining in New England or spreading down the Atlantic coast into the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. In New York the state in which the greatest number of graduates took the bar exam the schools 83% pass rate is slightly higher than the 80% state average."
VLS is a pipeline to great DC jobs...
it is a relatively new school that already has fostered a strong alumni allegience in the environmental field...
you get where I am going with this?
As someone who DID NOT take environmental classes at VLS, I found that their core law courses prepared me for the bar and practice...
so I find your entire premise to be faulted to an extent that I would not probable respond to you about this except for your trashing the school for no reason and that other people may mistakingly believe what you are saying...
#9 Jan 20, 2011
you are an "expert" in a field that, according to you, requires little specialized knowledge?
now i see your grudge...
and vls'ers having that extra silver star that your school didn't provide...
yah, it only brings international attention and federal grants...
#10 Jan 20, 2011
If you are a lawyer you must be a very young and inexperienced one to think that twisting and spinning words would win an argument. Smart people admit when they are wrong. I never said VLS was a bad school. In fact I said it was a good school and an ok place to get a legal education. It is just the environmental law specialty which is overblown. And no one outside of Vermont give two shats about VLS and it's environmental reputation. They know that a lawyer coming out of Yale without an environmental law degree is still going to be a more desirable hire. Except a Yale law grad would never take a bureaucratic environmental regulator job.
No I don't think that environmental law requires specialized training. Specialized knowledge about environmental laws is something anyone who is intelligent can pick up very rapidly.
I cannot imagine that a career in environmental law can't be made by any lawyer who has a law degree. I have never seen anything in environmental law that required an "environmental" lawyer to interpret.
I have seen the need for lawyers to contest overreaching regulators. But specialized training in environmental law had nothing to do with it. Most of the heavy lifting is done by science people. Most of the regulators are people with science backgrounds. The most complex area from a legal perspective is environmental litigation and I'd rather have a lawyer good at litigating any day over a lawyer claiming a specialty in evironmental law.
And you missed the point. The bureacratic jobs that someone can land who wants to practice environmental are low paying jobs. But then if you are a lawyer in Vermont you know about low pay.
So let's figure this out ...650,000 people in Vermont...Vermont already has 550 lawyers. So if Vermont Law School drops 50 new lawyers on us/year that is one for every 13000 people. Not enough people to justify it. How many new lawyers a year do you think we need in Vt?
If as you say VLS is not pumping lawyers into VT it is because the graduates have figured it out that Vermont is not that great a place to try and have a career. This is new to me as I have heard very recently that there were too many new lawyers in Vt and the blame was put on VLS.
Why don't you give me a fact pattern where speicalized training in environmental law is required for the lawyer handling it? Or better yet just accept the fact that VLS is an adequate third tier law school and leave it at that.
#11 Jan 20, 2011
dude (legally speaking), read the title of this thread...
I am not twisting your words, you are changing tacts to preserve your attempt to trash VLS...
Federal regulations are as complex as tax codes...clean air/water etc...they are distinct paradigms like tax...
you dont need law school to read and understand a contract either so what is your point again?
Its a marketing nitch that becomes a nich market...whats so hard to understand?
Read the headline again and think about if it were your school...
then someone may recognize the pice of paper you have on the wall?
#12 Jan 20, 2011
The lie wasn't the headline it was the content of the article. You are the one changing tactics. Give it up. VLS is a third tier school and if that bothers you then I feel sorry for you because that is where you went and that is that.
#13 Jan 20, 2011
and you are hear AGAIN to spout out about VLS based on what sounds like little to no facts...
it doesnt raise my estimation of you either...
BTW, the coop program is just a marketing tool to let students feel like they are playing lawyer but teach no practical skills...for which the student pays for the privilege of doing firm filing...
see how easy it is?
#14 Jan 21, 2011
What coop program are you talking about?
Coop programs aren't really on the same page are they. First they don't cost the student and excessive tuition for a mythical benefit and second it does open the door to some actual contacts that might hire them. And it gives the cooping student some bucks along the way. And if it was in a particular career they wanted to go into it might give them some sense of whether or not they would like to spend their life in that business.
Why do you mention coop programs? Does VLS have one. If it does that is a benefit and a good thing for them.
#15 Jan 21, 2011
yes, they are on the same page...
Coop programs provide a marketing niche...
they take a student out of the classroom and let them pretend to play lawyer...
this is not real experience..its just a ploy...
instead of learning the law, they learn how to file and write memos no one will ever read...
I am merely applying your logic to another law school niche...
and of course...you see those benefits...
but I dont see any school getting national or INTERNATIONAL recognition for such a program...
or huge federal grants...
point is, while you downplay the school's focus and recognition for their nich you are missing the very big advantages to the state and to those that attend VLS...
For a school 30 years old...having INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION is amazing and makes MY degree look great...
It is a boon to the area and the reputation of the state...
again, whats your problem? That they pay a bunch in tuition? Pretty common at all schools now...
That they are niched in one of the fastest growing areas of law?
That students come here spend money and then get jobs elsewhere?
That VLS is creating momentum for the alumni within the field and acroso the globe?
I honestly dont understand your gripe here...
#16 Jan 21, 2011
No gripe just a discussion of the truth. I don't see the comparison to coop so we'll have to agree to disagree.
The environmental movement is composed of many elements practical and political. Some of the political is more like fashion than practicality. VLS is trading mostly in the fashion part of it. For your sake I hope they can hold on once the fashion changes.
For students who are thinking of becoming lawyers I hope they don't choose to become "environmental lawyers" and choose Vt Law School for that reason. If they choose VLS because it is a good school to become a competent lawyer then that is great. As I said it is a good law school for third tier students. It is the environmental part that I think is a bit of a scam.
For Vermont's sake I hope we don't think things are doing well here because we believe a puff piece like the one we are talking about.
#17 Jan 21, 2011
its a puff piece and the whole world is wrong and you are right. feel better?
in short, you have a chip on your shoulder and it is blinding you to a good thing in the state. period.
I hope everyone who wants to be an environmental lawyer goes to VLS, gets a great education and networks with a whole cast of people who built environmental law in this country...
they will find an international network already within the field...hands on learning in the best setting in which one could attend law school...and a focus on learning substantive law in the areas they will likely be practicing...
they will also encounter old fuddy-duddy's like you but thats life...
there a saying around VLS...you dont need a law degree to tie yourself to a redwood...
it means env law students focus on corporations, land use, bankruptcy ( a huge environmental concern if you knew). In other words, they are actively against what you claim is the problem...a focus on environmental to the exclusion of others...its simply untrue and undercuts your entire rant...
#18 Jan 21, 2011
I'm 41 so that qualifies me as an old fuddy duddy only if you are a young and inexperienced puppy. I can already tell you are by your emotion laden posts. Name calling.
Sounds to me that there are a few law students at VLS who have figured out that the environmental law sham is weak ...hence the saying about the redwoods. Unfortunately as reported..they are all still mostly getting jobs in government and making their $43 k on average. Corporations won't ever buy into the argument that you need an environmental law degree to work on their legal issues.
#19 Jan 21, 2011
right. as opposed to taking shots at a school unrelated to you?
and yah right...after they wrok in DC and help draft the statutes, no company would want them to inetrpret them?!?!?!
What part of the fact that VLS is on the cutting edge of a GROWING field are you missing?
Name one field where companies dont try to hire the clasmsates of the regulators?
your whole premise is flawed...
BTW...age is a state of mind, not a number...and you sound like you were probably acrotchety when you went to school...
if fuddy dudy is an insult you are definately OLD!
so you chose your course and a non-environmental law school...
whats your beef with this school again?
That the school is not churning out local lawyers (a previous claim by you) or that they are not churning out corporate lawyers ? what?
that they graduates seek public service? is THAT your problem?
FYI...public service means forgiveness of your loans....add that to the list of things you dont know about this school...
So lets total the list:
Number 1 national rank...
cutting edge and growing field...
Boon to area..lots of cash then students leave...
recognition for quality with the state...
public servie to the area and state while here...
putting out quality lawyers in every other field in every state...
whats your problem again?
I simply dont see why you have to carry on your declaration that this whole thing is a charade...in the face of an article talking about national and international recognition!
Your statements are accurate about ALL lawschools right now...ALL OF THEM! You get paid squat and they charge a buttload...why attack just VLS who is creating a nich for their future?
I ask again...WHY attack VLS?
To make yourself feel better about YOUR choices?
#20 Jan 22, 2011
The original poster had a point. Vermont Law School generally does attract second or third-tier students. If it weren't in Vermont, and it didn't claim the mantle of the "environmental" law school, it would be nowheresville. There is a very serious question to be asked whether it's right for this law school to take the money of 2/3 of the bottom students it admits, when they are unlikely to get jobs, or at least jobs that can pay off their loans. There are already WAY too many lawyers in both the US and Vermont.
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