Vermont Press Releases

Vermont Law School Offers Reduced-Residency JD Program

News Release — Vermont Law School
March 22, 2016

Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593, [email protected]

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., March 22, 2016––Continuing its commitment to providing students with flexible options, Vermont Law School now offers a Reduced-Residency Juris Doctor (RRJD) program that enables students to earn a portion of credits toward their JD online, school officials announced today.

Qualified RRJD students spend 18 months on campus before completing the remainder of their degree requirements off campus through a combination of a Semester-in-Practice (SiP) externship and upper-level, online JD courses.

“Higher education in the 21st century is becoming more and more about flexibility and finding ways to balance academic goals with careers and family life,” said VLS Vice Dean Jackie Gardina, who developed the RRJD program. “We’re pleased to offer students the Reduced-Residency JD path as it helps to strike a balance between traditional campus life and a student’s responsibilities off campus, such as work. Further, RRJD students may potentially reduce costs associated with attending VLS by living and working elsewhere while taking online JD classes.”

Of the 87 credits required to graduate with a JD from VLS, RRJD candidates may earn 28 credits off campus—13 credits during the SiP and 15 credits in online JD courses. RRJD candidates must spend their first 18 months of study on campus in South Royalton. While on campus, RRJD students establish a solid foundation in first-year doctrinal courses, are able to participate in student groups and activities, and have access to a variety of clinical and other experiential opportunities.

Reduced-residency JD students may not be able to take advantage of all VLS opportunities offered on campus. In those cases, candidates may decide that the RRJD’s flexibility outweighs the limitations associated with not being on campus a full three years.

“The RRJD may not be for everyone, but it may be the right fit for those students seeking flexibility and who wish to get a jump-start on building their professional network,” Gardina said. “We’ll work with students individually to chart the best course for them based on their academic and professional goals.”

In addition to the RRJD, students may earn a master’s degree by completing the majority of the master’s coursework online. VLS offers a Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP), Master of Energy Regulations and Law (MERL), and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP).

For more information about the Reduced-Residency JD program at Vermont Law School, including degree requirements, call 802-831-1239, email [email protected], or visit

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