Vermont Law School

Today begins Vermont Law School Orientation for new first-year students, and faculty are introduced and mingle with the students.  Admittedly, after a year in China, I’m finding it all a bit overwhelming.  In China, despite the 14.5 million people in Guangzhou, I was a cultural outsider, did not speak the language fluently, and, thus, could and was often expected to be quiet and on the sidelines.  Today, during our opening convocation, I was in a room with more English speakers than I have experienced in a year, and students and faculty alike sought me out to say hello and ask me about my travels.  I’m enjoying be back and everyone’s kindness, but a little reverse culture shock is setting in.

Vermont Law School has been named one of “The Greenest law Schools” by preLaw magazine.  See here.

An article about my family’s experience in China is now available here.

After we’ve only been back from China for less than two months, I’m amazed that my friend and colleague David Mears and his family are off to China for their Fulbright experience at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.  David has started a blog–Middle Earth Law.  In Chinese, China is “Zhong Guo” or “Middle Kingdom/Country.”

He desribes the goals of his blog this way:

“Middle Earth Law” is my effort to capture three themes that I hope to address over the coming year on this page:  (1) my adventure to a strange and wonderful far away land; (2) my effort to understand the state of the ecology of China, its landscapes and natural systems; and (3) my examination of the way in which law is being used or could be used to address the major environmental challenges confronting the People’s Republic of China as it copes with the consequences of its rapid economic expansion.

For folks still interested in my family’s Fulbright experince, our old blog Vermont2China is still up.

It’s official.  Vermont Law School is hiring new faculty this year.

Vermont Law School is seeking several colleagues to join our dynamic and committed faculty. Our curricular needs are varied and include first-year and advanced subjects. We will consider experienced faculty, entry-level candidates, and candidates with significant experience in government, consulting, business, NGO management, or law firm administration and leadership.

Candidates should show a commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. Vermont Law School is committed to establishing and maintaining a diverse faculty and encourages applications from members of historically underrepresented groups.

Faculty at Vermont Law School take seriously our mission to educate lawyers for the community and the world and believe that our scholarship, teaching, and service should be meaningful and relevant to the local, national, and international communities. VLS is unique among law schools. We are on the cutting edge of environmental and international law and social policy. We embody the spirit of Vermont—independence and diversity in people and in politics. We have the good fortune to be located in a state and region that offer numerous opportunities for engaged participation in civic life as well as a life style found at few, if any, other law schools.

Applicants should provide a cover letter and resume. Electronic applications are preferred and should be e-mailed to: Hard copy applications should be sent to: Coordinator, Faculty Appointments Committee, Vermont Law School, P.O. Box 96, South Royalton, VT 05068.

We’d love to get some great applicants, and then you can join me and my colleagues on our afternoon hikes up Kent’s Ledge.

Professors Czarnezki, Nolon and McCann on Kent's Ledge

Professors Czarnezki, Nolon and McCann on Kent's Ledge

Perhaps one of the best things about being a faculty member at Vermont Law School is my weekly afternoon hike to Kent’s Ledge.   Without ever needing to get in a car, I walk directly from my office to the top of Kent’s Ledge.  It’s about 1.5-2 hours roundtrip.

Once again Prawfsblawg is compiling a list of Law School Faculty Hiring Chairs.

Vermont Law School is hiring this year.  Our Faculty Appointments Commitee (entry and lateral) is chaired by Michael McCann of sports law fame.  Other members of the Committee include Jason Czarnezki (me), Stephanie Farrior, Oliver Goodenough, Cheryl Hanna, Mark Latham, and Marc Mihaly.  If interested, please send an email with cover letter and CV to

My friend and Vermont Law School Professor David Mears has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and to assist the environmental law clinics at Sun Yat-sen University and the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims at the China University of Political Science and Law during the 2010-2011 academic year. He also intends to reach out to other universities across China that are interested in establishing environmental law clinics.

Read the full press release here.

David actually lives down the road from me in Montpelier, and will be living in the same apartment building in Guangzhou where I lived last year while on my Fulbright.

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