Vermont Law School Offers Free ‘Hot Topics’ Lectures on Environmental Issues

CONTACT:  Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell:

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., May 19, 2016––Throughout the summer, Vermont Law School faculty, distinguished scholars, media fellows and others will deliver one-hour “Hot Topics” lectures on a variety of current issues inenvironmental law and policy. Free and open to the public, the lectures will be held from noon to 1 p.m.Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 2-August 4, in Oakes Hall Room 007 on the VLS campus. Vermont Bar Association Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit is available.

The 2016 Hot Topics are:

Thursday, June 2: “Utility 2.0: Making the Transition to a Sustainable & Distributed Energy Future” with Steve Letendre, professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Green Mountain College

Tuesday, June 7: “State of the Vermont Transmission Grid with High Levels of Renewable Resources” with Chris Root, chief operating officer, Vermont Electric Power Company

Thursday, June 9: “Restoring Power to Hawai‘i: (Missed) Opportunities for Energy Justice on the Road to 100% Renewable Energy” with Shalanda Baker, Environmental Law Program faculty advisor and associate professor of law, University of Hawai’i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law

Tuesday, June 14: “From Science to Law—Transboundary Ground Water Resources and Emerging International Law” with Gabriel Eckstein, professor of law, Texas A&M University School of Law; director, International Water Law Project

Thursday, June 16: “Beyond Blackfish: The Ethical, Animal Health, and Legal Considerations for Coastal Sanctuaries for Captive-Held Cetaceans” with Heather Rally, wildlife veterinarian, PETA Foundation; Don Baur, partner, Perkins Coie

Tuesday, June 21: “Disaggregating Preemption in Energy Law” with Hannah Wiseman, professor, Florida State University College of Law

Thursday, June 23: “The Arctic: Shrinking Ice, Emerging Implications for National Security” with Thomas Leary, deputy legal counsel, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Pentagon

Tuesday, June 28: “Using the Ethics Rules to Improve Access to Legal Services” with Michael Kennedy, bar counsel, Vermont Professional Responsibility Program, State of Vermont

Thursday, June 30: “Climate Change and Indian Media” with Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times

Tuesday, July 12: “The Exxon Papers: Legal and Journalistic Implications” with John Cushman, InsideClimate News

Thursday, July 14: “China and Climate” with Hanling Yang, director, China Program, Environmental Defense Fund

Tuesday, July 19: “Safeguarding Community Rights to Forests in a REDD+ World” with Kristyna Bishop, senior social development specialist, World Bank

Thursday, July 21“Protecting Land in Perpetuity: The Practitioners’ Perspective” with Jessica Jay ’97, founding partner, Conservation Law, P.C., and panelists from Vermont Land Trust, Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Upper Valley Land Trust, and The Nature Conservancy

Tuesday, July 26: “The Clean Power Plan in the Courts” with Sean Donahue, partner, Donahue & Goldberg LLP

Thursday, July 28: “Understanding Ag-Gag” with Justin Marceau, professor of law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Tuesday, August 2: “Drought in the American West:  Reflections on Law, Policy and Science” with Adell Amos, professor of law and associate dean, University of Oregon School of Law

Thursday, August 4: “Climate Change Litigation After the Paris Agreement” with Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, and Brent Kendall, The Wall Street Journal

For more information about the Hot Topics series, visit, call Courtney Collins at 802-831-1371, or email


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three Master’s Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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