​​​​​​​​Food is a basic necessity of human life. But at Vermont Law School, we also believe that food is a unique vehicle for change, as it is intimately tied to human health, the environment, poverty, immigration, animal welfare, law, politics, and culture, on every step of its journey from farm to plate.

Growing and distributing food that is good for the people and for the planet will require new markets, innovative business models, and new federal and state rules governing land use and water rights, food labeling and school food standards. Based out of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems​ (CAFS), Vermont Law offers a dynamic curriculum to law and policy students who want to specialize in the business of feeding a growing population sustainably in a world impacted by climate change. 

Students specializing in Agriculture and Food Systems will have access to a robust and growing list of food and agriculture classes. But lawyers and advocates-in-training can also take courses in environmental law and sustainable business; develop farmer toolkits in VLS's Food and Agriculture Clinic; and explore opportunities created by our position in the Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium.

And, of course, students will want to spend some time visiting the many sustainable farmers and food entrepreneurs in Vermont. There are 22 small farms and orchards dotting the landscape within just a 10-mile radius of campus--the exact type of small producers that CAFS aims to support. Even Vermont Law School's cafe is doing its part: 85 percent of the food served on campus is local and organic. Come take your seat at the table.​ Courses Include:

Key Faculty in this specialization include Professor Laurie Ristino who was a senior counsel with the Office of the General Counsel, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C. Professor Laurie Beyranevand  teaches Food Regulation and Policy and Legislation and Regulation and directs several grant funded projects for CAFS. Aurora Moses directs the Food and Agriculture Clinic ​and teaches a Food and Agriculture clinical seminar. In the clinic she guides students in using law and policy to make food production more just, sustainable, and humane.


 

 

Agriculture & Food Systemshttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/agriculture-food-systemsAgriculture & Food SystemsFood is a basic necessity of human life and a unique vehicle for change, as it is intimately tied to human health, the environment, poverty, immigration, animal welfare, law, politics, and culture, on every step of its journey from farm to plate.
Business Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/business-lawBusiness LawA targeted suite of classes for students who want to specialize in business. Courses include corporations, bankruptcy, nonprofit management, white collar crime and more.
China & Southeast Asiahttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/china-and-southeast-asiaChina & Southeast AsiaAs the challenges posed by climate change grow in urgency, the power that massive developing countries like China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar can leverage to effect change cannot be overstated.
Climate Change Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/climate-change-lawClimate Change LawIn a time of broken global temperature records, increasing natural disasters, emerging U.S. and international law and policy will be key to governing mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
Criminal Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/criminal-lawCriminal LawThe certificate in criminal law provides broad-based, comprehensive training and skills needed by students to become prosecutors, defenders, or to practice criminal law in a private firm setting.
Dispute Resolutionhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/dispute-resolutionDispute ResolutionIn an increasingly complex world, dispute resolution offers a way to find solutions that allow all parties to move forward without entering a courtroom.
Energy Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/energy-lawEnergy LawVermont Law School courses and clinics consider the relationship between energy and the environment in the context of its legal, scientific, commercial and human implications.
Environmental Justicehttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/environmental-justiceEnvironmental JusticeStudents who specialize in Environmental Justice will develop their personal and professional environmental ethics.
Environmental Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/environmental-lawEnvironmental LawVermont Law School offers a multidisciplinary array of environmental courses in law, policy, science, economics, and ethics to students studying for any one of our degrees or certificates.
International Environmental Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/international-environmental-lawInternational Environmental LawEnvironmental issues are global issues. The unique opportunities at Vermont Law School prepare our graduates to be leaders in international environmental law and policy.
International & Comparative Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/international-comparative-lawInternational & Comparative LawPrepares students for careers with international organizations, NGOs, law firms, multinational enterprises, and government agencies. We offer study experiences that broaden knowledge and skills, add new perspective, and open opportunities.
Land Use Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/land-use-lawLand Use LawIncluding smart growth principles, ecological planning, affordable housing, flood hazard mitigation, energy and land use regulatory decision-making, permitting processes, and land conservation strategies.
Legal Writinghttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/legal-writingLegal Writing
Sports Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/sports-lawSports Law
Tax Law and Policyhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/tax-law-and-policyTax Law and PolicyWe know that improving the environment requires changing the way we run our businesses, use our resources, and act as citizens. But how do we actually make that change occur?
Technology & Legal Innovationhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/technology-legal-innovationTechnology & Legal InnovationDigital technologies create a wealth of new possibilities around how we define, deliver, and teach law. What does government become as legislation and regulation open to digital means of access and participation?
Water Resources Law | Vermont Lawhttp://environmentallaw.vermontlaw.edu/academics/specializations/water-resources-lawWater Resources Law | Vermont LawLearn about local, national, and global efforts to secure water supplies through research, education, and policy development. Focus on water law, environmental justice, and policy initiatives to further wise, judicious use of water as a public resource.

Laurie Ristino, far left, professor of law and director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, speaks with Suzanne Long, far right, of Luna Bleu organic farm in South Royalton, Vt. Joining them are to Vermont Law students, Emma Hempstead JD '14 and Deliah Griswold MELP '13.​