The Center for Agriculture andFood Systems (CAFS) at the Vermont Law School is inviting eligible candidates to apply for a two-year Fellow position from August 2013 through July 2015. The fellowship combines the opportunity to obtain an LLM degree in Environmental Law from one of the leading environmental law programs in the nation with the opportunity to work in the cutting edge field of Agriculture and Food Law with experienced environmental, agriculture, and food law practitioners and students in a setting focused on promoting sustainable agriculture and food systems. The fellowship includes a full tuition waiver, provides a $30,000 stipend, and diverse, marketable experience in teaching, curriculum development, advocacy work.

 Center for Agriculture and Food Systems


 The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems has a dual mission: 


 (1) To train the next generation of sustainable food and agriculture law and policy advocates and practitioners in support of robust local and regional food systems; and 


(2)  To develop legal tools, disseminate information, and advocate for sustainable agriculture and food systems.  


For more information about the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, please click here:


 LL.M in Environmental Law


The LLM in Environmental Law degree is designed for a select group of post-JD candidates seeking to specialize in the practice of environmental law, or pursue careers in teaching, research, or public policy.  Candidates include recent law school graduates and practicing lawyers who wish to develop an environmental law specialty.  The cornerstone of the LLM program is the Graduate Seminar.  A minimum of 30 academic credits are required to complete the program. For the CAFS Fellow,this 30 credit program is spread over two years.  Vermont Law School’s environmental law curriculum includes more than 50 courses in environmental law, policy, science, and ethics. For more information about the LLM program, please click here.


Description of the CAFS Fellow Position


In addition to pursuing the LLM degree, the CAFS Fellow will work part-time (at least 20 hours per week) on CAFS projects.  The Fellow will work closely with the CAFS Director on both aspects of the Center’s mission.   The Fellow will work with and mentor students.  The Fellow will also work with clients (farmers, government, and non-profits) to develop legal tools and trainings such as legislative proposals, legal and policy analysis, template agreements, and famer and producer workshops.   The Fellow’s responsibilities will include,but are not limited to:


•  Working with and supervising student clinicians to provide legal assistance to help farmers, producers, and NGOs, including developingtemplate legal instruments for food production, distribution, and marketing; legislative and regulatory analysis and reform proposals;   developing and conducting training and workshops on legal issues impacting farmers andfood producers;


•  Engaging in outreach to the food and agriculture community, including representing CAFS at food and agriculture events;


•  Assisting the Director in identifying grant opportunities and drafting grants to accomplish projects of the Center; and


•  Assisting in the development of innovative legal and policy ideas for promoting sustainable agriculture regional and local food systems.

The Fellow may also develop and teach a sustainable agriculture law course.

Summary of CAFS Fellow Qualifications


 •  JD from an ABA accredited law school


 •  Minimum of two years of relevant legal experience, including experience practicing agricultural or environmental law is preferred


 •  Strong legal research and writing, interpersonal, and communications skills


 •  Demonstrated commitment to sustainable agriculture and local/regional food systems, including work in food and agriculture settings is preferred


 •  Admission to the LLM in Environmental Law program at Vermont Law School (application for LLM admission can occur concurrently with application for CAFS Fellow) 


 •  Admission to Vermont Bar (can be obtained within first year of CAFS Fellow position)

How to Apply

Applicants interested in the CAFS LLM Fellowship mustsubmit the LLM application to the Vermont Law School admissions office by March 1. In addition to the materials required for the LLM applications, applicants must submit a brief statement (not longer than one single-spaced page) explaining the applicant’s interest in the fellowship. Decisions on the CAFS LLM Fellowship will be made by May 1.

For questions about the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems LLM Fellowship, please contact Laurie Ristino, Director of the Center at

For general admissions questions, please contact the admissions office at