Environmental Justice Clinic Director/Professor of Law

  • Vermont Law School
  • South Royalton, VT
  • Apr 09, 2021
Full time Environmental Studies Law & Criminal Justice

Job Description

Vermont Law School (VLS) seeks to hire a new Director for its Environmental Justice Clinic (EJC), one of just a few law school clinics in the United States devoted entirely to environmental justice (EJ), an interdisciplinary practice at the intersection of civil rights and the environment.

Summary of Responsibilities:

The Vermont Law School (VLS) Environmental Justice Clinic (EJC) strives to further the EJ movement by representing and partnering with environmentally overburdened BIPOC and low-income communities. The clinic seeks to enforce civil rights in the environmental context while providing technical assistance and sharing resources to develop and implement other legal strategies.

The EJC provides VLS students practical legal training in representing and partnering with disenfranchised communities fighting racial and economic disparities in the distribution of polluting sources, while also demanding a say in decisions affecting their future. Founded in 2019, the clinic is open to JD, LLM, and master's students.

Establishing the EJC was an initial step toward substantially increasing VLS' offerings and work on environmental and climate justice, as well as deepening the role of EJ within our existing programs. The Director of the EJC will be central to this ongoing programmatic transformation.

The position will direct all aspects of the EJC. The position also includes teaching the multi-disciplinary Climate Justice Practicum (CJP), which is co-taught and cross-listed with the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of the Environment.

Essential Functions and Principal Accountabilities:

  • Classroom teaching for EJC and Advanced EJC students in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • Classroom teaching for the CJP in conjunction with co-faculty in the fall and spring.
  • Identifying potential clients and partners and stewarding these relationships.
  • Overseeing case intake and docket.
  • Leading and/or reviewing casework.
  • Supervising EJC staff attorneys, fellows, and any other staff.
  • Supervising and teaching student clinicians on cases and in a clinical learning environment (often around 12 students per semester in the EJC).
  • Developing and managing positive relationships with co-counsel and partners.
  • Developing and executing media strategies for cases, including being a spokesperson for the clinic, clients, and partners.
  • Working to seek out and develop collaborations and partnerships that can lead to foundation or government funding; working with the VLS grants office in developing grant proposals; connecting with foundation representatives to promote the EJC and other EJ work at VLS.
  • Being an active participant in a dynamic law school environment, including collaboration with other law school clinics and programs and other committee assignments and meetings.
  • Mentoring students, including advising student groups.
  • Administering the EJC and CJP, including managing the EJC budget, overseeing appropriate management of files, client materials, and other sensitive and/or confidential information; overseeing student enrollment in the EJC and CJP; participating in personnel decisions with the Vice Dean of Faculty, Associate Dean of Environmental Programs, and Human Resources.

Required Education and Experience:

  • Juris Doctorate (JD) degree.
  • At least 8 years of relevant experience, with weight given to experience in community lawyering, civil rights law, litigation, and/or policy advocacy.
  • Enthusiasm for working with law students who are eager to learn practical skills.
  • Fundraising and/or grant writing experience in an academic or nonprofit setting.
  • Communications and/or marketing experience, or the willingness to learn and apply these skills.
  • Admission to the bar (in any jurisdiction), as well as admission or willingness to apply for admission to the Vermont bar.
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Law school clinical or teaching experience preferred.
  • Exceptional leadership skills and good judgment
  • At least 5 years of management experience.

Other Requirements:

  • Must be able to use technology as established and communicated by the law school to carry out the administrative duties associated with teaching.
  • Communication - talk and/or listen to convey or exchange information; communicate effectively and efficiently in written correspondence and technical correspondence; process and comprehend written material; exchange ideas, information, and opinions with others to formulate policies and programs and/or jointly arrive at conclusions, solutions, or dispute resolution.
  • Professional Discretion - exercise thoughtful judgment and meet deadlines; develop and maintain effective professional relationships with others; function effectively under stress; adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; and function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities.
  • Instruction - teaching subject matter to others or training others through explanation, demonstration, and supervised practice: or making recommendations on the basis of technical disciplines. Assessing audience to determine best available methodologies for transfer of knowledge.
Vermont Law School is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and connectedness. We are able to grow and learn better together with a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students. In recruiting for faculty, we seek unique backgrounds in education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran's status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and beliefs. As part of our commitment to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, candidates who meet the qualifications for this position and who require accommodations to apply should contact Human Resources at jobs@vermontlaw.edu. Vermont Law School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Interested applicants should apply through this link, attaching a cover letter and their C.V. and two professional references. Applications received by April 30, 2021, will receive first consideration; the position will remain available until filled.
PI133311233

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