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Vermont Law School to expand graduate programs, change name

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 3:04 PM EDT
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SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont Law School is expanding and rebranding to become the Vermont Law and Graduate School.

The creation of the graduate program comes after the institution received its largest donation ever, an anonymous $8 million gift. That money is going towards adding three new degrees.

In the fall of 2023, students will have the ability to graduate with a master of climate and environmental policy, an executive master of climate and environmental policy, and a master of animal protection policy. The programs will be offered in residential and online formats. The school also hopes to expand more operations in Burlington, but most activity will continue at their South Royalton campus.

“There’s been a period of declining enrollment. So, hospitals over the last several years and a growing interest in things like environmental law and justice reform, and so we tried to come up with a plan that would help us in that regard and build upon those strengths. We also, frankly, learned quite a bit from the COVID pandemic,” said VLS’ Beth McCormack.

The school currently has around 450 residential students and 150 online students. They hope to increase enrollment by around 100 students over the next several years thanks to the addition of these programs.

The VLS announcement is the latest in a series of personnel and operational changes, including the appointment earlier this spring of a new president, Rodney Smolla, who is set to take over next month.

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