Vermont Law School seeks a Faculty Director for its Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC) to commence in the Summer or Fall of 2019. Vermont Law School’s highly ranked environmental program includes a curriculum of over 50 environmental law courses, as well as six advanced degrees in environmental law.
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic
The ENRLC is effectively a public interest environmental law firm embedded in a mission-driven environmental law school. The ENRLC gives students the opportunity to develop their lawyering skills by working with clients on real cases and projects. The ENRLC engages primarily in strategic impact litigation on critical environmental and land use issues. We have also worked on administrative agency proceedings, client counseling, and other forms of environmental advocacy. Our clients are community groups and environmental organizations, and we partner with a wide variety of organizations at the local, regional, and national level. Our signature cases have included:
Protecting the Gray Wolf: the Clinic filed a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service challenging the Bush Administration’s attempt to walk away from a multi-year effort to restore the endangered gray wolf in the Northeast.
Stopping the Otter Creek Coal Mine in Montana’s Powder River Basin: the Clinic represented the Northern Plains Resource Council before the Surface Transportation Board resulting in cancellation of the license to construct the Tongue River Railroad designed to serve the mine.
Saving Passamaquoddy Bay: The Clinic represented members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe in a successful lawsuit challenging a Bureau of Indian Affairs lease to construct a liquefied natural gas terminal near a sacred site on the Pleasant Point Reservation.
Protecting the Connecticut River: The Clinic represented the Connecticut River Conservancy in challenging the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Powerplant’s thermal discharge and convincing the State of Vermont to impose more stringent controls which contributed to the utility’s decision to close the plant.
Stopping the Via Verde pipeline in Puerto Rico: the Clinic represented a number of low income communities in challenging federal permits for construction of a pipeline that threatened over 300 acres of wetlands, numerous streams and surface waters, ancient archaeological sites, and more than 40 federally listed endangered species.
The ENRLC offers students three enrollment options during the fall, spring, and summer. The ENRLC staff currently consists of a director, two supervising attorneys, part-time senior counsel, and a litigation paralegal. The ENRLC selects approximately 12-16 students each semester. More information about the clinic is available on the ENRLC website: http://www.vermontlaw.edu/academics/clinics-and-externships/ENRLC.
Duties and Responsibilities
The ENRLC Director is charged with administering the ENRLC and supervising its faculty, staff, and student clinicians, including the following general duties and responsibilities:
Teaching students the practice of public interest environmental law, including in weekly ENRLC classroom seminars.
Supervising all ENRLC attorneys and staff.
Evaluating and selecting new cases and projects in consultation with other ENRLC faculty and staff.
Serving as lead attorney in several cases and projects and providing close supervision and feedback to student clinicians involved in those matters.
Supervising staff attorneys and student clinicians involved in other cases and projects.
Cultivating and tending relationships with other environmental clinics and clinical organizations, the public interest environmental law community, and potential clients.
Overseeing student recruitment and assessment.
Cultivating a cohesive clinic identity through case selection, client relationships, visibility in the environmental law community, and marketing.
Overseeing the development of public relations materials including the website, newsletters, social media, and reports to faculty and trustees.
Managing the program budget for administrative approval, and monitoring income and expenditures.
Raising funds for the program through grants and donations, with the assistance of the Development office.
Participating in broader academic life at Vermont Law School, including faculty meetings and committees.
Act as a public ambassador for the ENRLC externally, such as at conferences.
A candidate’s qualifications should include:
A minimum of 10-15 years of leading public interest environmental litigation, preferably at both the state and federal levels;
Substantial experience supervising staff attorneys and other personnel;
Experience with office management and fundraising preferred;
A demonstrated commitment to and temperament for teaching and mentoring;
Experience in clinical legal education or supervising law students is desirable;
Admission to the Vermont bar or eligible for admission without examination pursuant to the rules of Admission to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court.
About Vermont Law School
Located in central Vermont, Vermont Law School is a private, independent law school, with a committed staff of 80 professionals and 51 full-time and part-time faculty members, who teach 375 juris doctor (JD) students and nearly 200 residential and online master's students. The faculty are dedicated teachers and scholars who believe that their teaching, service and scholarship are important to address a wide range of local, national, and international issues.