Elon Law and Vermont Law School announce JD/Master of Environmental Law & Policy dual-degree program

Elon University School of Law and Vermont Law School will offer a dual-degree program that enables students to earn two graduate degrees in two-and-a-half years, beginning in the fall of 2015. 

Students in the program will earn the Juris Doctor degree from Elon Law and the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) from Vermont Law School.

We at Elon Law are delighted to partner with Vermont Law School to equip students to address many of the most pressing challenges facing businesses, governments and international institutions today,” Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman said on April 22, the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. “We are not only broadening opportunities available to Elon Law students through this partnership, we are also creating more avenues for future lawyers to address major societal challenges, and we’re excited to do so in this instance with the nation’s premier environmental law school.”

“JD/MELP program graduates address vital issues on behalf of their clients and society, including climate change, sustainable agriculture, energy policy and natural resource management,” said Marc Mihaly, president and dean of Vermont Law School. “We look forward to welcoming Elon Law students, and the unique skills and perspectives they bring from one of the nation’s most innovative law schools, to our exceptional environmental law program.”

The Elon Law and Vermont Law School JD/MELP dual-degree program announcement included a ceremonial planting of a Natchez Crepe Myrtle tree in Elon's green space near the law school in downtown Greensboro. 
Students in the program will build professional networks at two nationally recognized law schools. Elon Law is recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative law schools (The National Jurist) and honored for excellence in professionalism education by the American Bar Association. Vermont Law School is the top-ranked law school for environmental law for six consecutive years, including 2014-2015 (U.S. News & World Report).

“Reflecting Elon Law’s experience-based approach to legal education, the JD/MELP dual-degree program will be infused with on-the-job learning, including full-time residencies in environmental law organizations,” said Faith Rivers James, associate dean for experiential learning and leadership at Elon Law.

“Vermont Law School’s Summer Session includes over 30 cutting-edge courses on a broad range of environmental law and policy topics. The academic opportunities for Elon Law students are exceptional. And there’s no place like Vermont in the summertime for hiking, biking or tubing down the White River that flows through our beautiful campus,” said Anne Linehan, associate director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School. “We are excited about our partnership with Elon Law and the opportunity to welcome Elon students to Vermont.”

“Elon Law is characterized by professors and administrators who want to build a school that can serve as the launchpad for it students,” said John Dow, member of the Class of 2016 and president of the Environmental and Animal Law Society at Elon Law. “This new partnership with Vermont Law see two forward thinking schools working together to open up exceptional new opportunities for students at Elon Law, and I am very excited to see the school grow.”

Quick facts about the Elon Law and Vermont Law School JD/MELP dual-degree program:

  • The Elon/Vermont partnership provides the most expedient JD/MELP dual-degree program in the country, achieved in as little as two-and-a-half years, although students will have up to five years from the date of matriculation to complete the MELP degree.
  • The recognition of Elon credits (up to nine) toward the MELP degree will save students approximately $12,105 off the cost of pursuing the MELP degree separately.
  • The dual-degree program enables graduates to develop expertise in law and policy in areas of global significance, including climate change, sustainable agriculture, energy policy and natural resource management.
  • Students participating in the dual-degree program will be able to develop concentrations within the MELP degree in energy regulation and law, as well as food and agricultural law, both highly relevant to industry sectors in North Carolina, the United States and the world.
  • Elon students will take environmental classes in Vermont Law School’s “Summer in Vermont” session on a campus connected to premier trails and rivers. The program enables Elon Law students to work in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic during their second summer at Vermont Law School and to take advantage of additional offerings through Vermont Law School online courses.
  • Students in the dual-degree program will participate in full-time, course-connected residencies-in-practice in environmental law organizations.
  • Elon Law students will be eligible to apply for admission to the dual-degree program during their first year of study. Those interested in enrolling in the dual-degree program should first apply to Elon Law at law.elon.edu/admissions.

Information about the program is available online at: law.elon.edu/jd-melp.

Elon Law is leading innovation in legal education by integrating exceptional classroom instruction with highly experiential learning throughout the curriculum, including distinctive full-time, course-connected residencies-in-practice, nationally recognized leadership preparation and attorney mentors for all students. Elon offers exceptional value through a two-and-a-half year program with significantly lower tuition. Learn more about Elon Law on the webFacebook and Twitter

Vermont Law School (VLS), a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. VLS offers a juris doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three master’s degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. For more information, visit www.vermontlaw.edu, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.