Success of Environmental Public Policy Graduate Program Proves the Future is Here

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Vermont Law School has established an Energy and the Environment Institute through its extensive environmental public policy graduate program that, with the help of a state-of-the-art blog, and the shift in worldview toward the important of protecting the environment, is part of the reason Vermont Law School saw an 8% rise in admissions when the rest of the country saw a 3.9% drop.

As many have predicted, a shift is occurring in worldviews toward more concern for the environment. The popularity of Vermont Law School’s environmental public policy graduate program and their groundbreaking new Institute for Energy and the Environment are evidence that this shift is further along than expected.

Vermont Law saw an 8% increase in admissions while the national trend for law schools was a 3.9% decline. This came after the school created a new Institute for Energy and the Environment, headed by Michael Dworkin, a national leader in energy and environmental law and former chair of the Vermont Public Service Board, which houses a popular environmental public policy graduate program.

The purpose of the institute is to serve as a world resource on energy law and policy while offering advanced curriculum on energy and regulatory law. The institute will also distribute scholarly, technical and practical publications, produce forums and conferences for professional education and issue development and serve as a center for graduate research on energy issues, with an environmental awareness.

Nora Brownell, Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner, says, “Our economic and social well-being depend on better and more coordinated approaches to energy and the environment. They are not mutually exclusive as we have treated them, but require an integrated approach. I commend Vermont Law School for recognizing this and creating this institute.”

Having Michael Dworkin head up the institute is expected to raise the level of the environmental public policy graduate program. The co-director of the Energy Program at Natural Resources Defense Council, Ralph Cavanagh, says, “Michael Dworkin is the universally acknowledged environmental superstar of utility regulators. If I were looking to build a world class law school center to address these crucial issues, he would be at the very top of my list.”

The environmental public policy graduate program, a Master of Studies in Environmental Law degree (M.S.E.L.), is designed to meet the needs of students from a range of areas, including science, government, journalism, law and education. The M.S.E.L. degree program is distinguished by an interdisciplinary curriculum that encompasses environmental law, policy, ethics and science. The program offers the widest range of environmental law and policy courses of any law school in the nation and is open to environmental professionals and non-law students who seek to broaden their expertise.

Marc Mihaly, Acting Associate Dean for the Environmental Program and Professor of Law, reports, “The study of environmental policy and law gives students the fundamental tools to address the nation’s and the world’s environmental crises. Environmental law brings together policy, science and economics to address these pressing issues.”

The vast success of the environmental public policy graduate program is a testament to its quality and its relevancy in today’s evolving world. As a further sign that Vermont Law School and its students are looking to the future, a blog has been incorporated at VermontLawBlog.com that chronicles the lives of environmental law students. The goal is to function as a communication tool, allowing current students to interact with each other and prospective students to see firsthand what it is like to study at Vermont Law School.

As more young people follow the blog, it shows the continued shift in the concern for the environment. Many people predicted that worldviews would change. That change has already happened, and the future of the environment is already here.

Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center

Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center was founded in 1978 and is the largest environmental law program in the country. Consistently ranked as one of the top law schools by students and educators, the Vermont Law School Environmental Law Center offers the widest range of courses in this study area of any law school in the country. For more information, go to http://www.vermontlaw.edu.

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Kathy Hartman
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