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JD/Master of Environmental Law and Policy

Vermont Law School offers students the opportunity to earn both a JD degree and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) degree in three academic years, the period of time ordinarily required to earn the JD degree alone.  To earn both degrees on this accelerated schedule, JD/MELP students are permitted to count up to nine credits of environmental course work toward both degrees.  In addition, MELP students take classes in the VLS Summer Session and/or pursue an externship during the summers after their first and second years.

The JD/MELP degree program is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in environmental law, take full advantage of the large and diverse environmental law curriculum at VLS, and supplement their study of environmental law and policy with interdisciplinary training in science, economics, communications, and public advocacy.

Students may seek enrollment in the JD/MELP joint degree program at the same time they apply for admission to the JD program. But the option to enroll in the JD/MELP program remains open to students through the end of their first year. Students enrolled in the JD/MELP joint degree program can choose to take Environmental Law in the spring of their first year.

Graduating with two degrees from Vermont Law School is an attractive path for students who are passionate about environmental law and policy. The joint degree program offers a deeper and richer educational experience. It also opens up additional employment options by equipping students with a deeper understanding of environmental law and credentials demonstrating a strong commitment to the field.

Career Pathways

The JD/MELP program prepares students to pursue a wide variety of careers in environmental law and policy, including practicing environmental law with a private law firm, working as an environmental attorney for an advocacy group, leading a non-profit organization, or serving as legal counsel for a corporation or government agency.


The curriculum for the JD/MELP joint degree program combines the curriculum for the JD degree with the environmental and other courses and experiential opportunities of the MELP degree.

What Students and Graduates Say

Vermont Law School graduates go on to influential careers in the United States and abroad, with governments, non-profit organizations, and leading private firms.

Faculty   New window icon

The faculty at Vermont Law School includes dedicated teachers, scholars, litigators, policy makers, and mentors for our students.

Admissions   New window icon

An excellent general education, along with an inquiring, disciplined, and cultivated mind, are the most important qualifications for the study of environmental law and policy. Vermont Law School looks favorably on undergraduate and graduate programs that give students an opportunity to analyze critically and think creatively. Precision, fluency, and economy in speaking and writing are the most vital skills for success at Vermont Law School.