Environmental Law

JD/MELP in Environmental Law with Vermont Law School

Combining Northeastern’s top ranking for practical training with Vermont Law School, home to the country’s premier environmental law program, this partnership is uniquely positioned to train problem solvers equipped not only for today’s challenges, but also tomorrow’s crises.

This joint program offers students an array of environmental courses with a strong foundation in law, policy, science, economics and ethics. This multidisciplinary approach constructs the critical skill-sets that will be required for the next generation of environmental leaders.

The carefully sequenced JD/MELP three-year curriculum allows some courses at each school to count for credit in both programs. JD/MELP students take the regular course of law study at Northeastern during their first year. MELP classes at Vermont Law School will generally occur during the summer following the student’s second year. Students must satisfy the law school's co-op requirement and one co-op may count as a MELP internship.

Examples of Northeastern Courses in the Program

  • Administrative Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Environmental Law
  • Land Use
  • Legal Interviewing and Counseling
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Negotiation


Examples of Vermont Courses in the Program (course offerings vary from year to year)

  • Advanced Energy Writing Seminar
  • Bankruptcy and Environmental Law
  • Ecology and Environmental Sciences
  • Energy Law and Policy in a Carbon-Constrained World
  • Environmental and Constitutional Law
  • Environmental Issues in Business Transactions
  • Extinction and Climate Change
  • Federal Natural Resource Law
  • International Environmental Law and Policy
  • Land Transactions and Finance
  • Native Americans and the Law
  • Water Resources Law
  • Watershed Management and Protection


Examples of Co-ops in the Environmental Law Field

  • US Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section, Washington, DC
  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Environmental Crimes Strike Force, Boston
  • Conservation Law Foundation, Boston
  • Communities for a Better Environment, Oakland (Calif.)
  • Earth Justice, Seattle
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Boston
  • New Mexico Environmental Law Center, Santa Fe
  • Alternatives for Community Environment, Boston
  • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, New York
  • US Department of the Interior, Oakland (Calif.)
  • US Environmental Protection Agency, Boston



To be admitted to the dual-degree program, students must be admitted to both the Northeastern University School of Law JD program and to the Vermont Law School MELP program. Admission to Northeastern University School of Law does not guarantee admission to the Vermont Law School MELP program.

Students should apply online to Northeastern through LSAC in accordance with normal admissions procedures and deadlines. Students seeking a dual degree may simultaneously file an application to the Vermont Law School MELP program, or they may wait to submit an application to Vermont Law School until the fall term before they wish to attend the VLS summer session (after enrolling in law school, during the first or second year of JD studies).  The application for the MELP program at Vermont Law School is available at www.vermontlaw.edu. Once admitted to the dual-degree program, the student should confer with the Office of Academic and Student Affairs about credit transfers.

For additional information and program guidelines, please see the Vermont Law School description of the dual-degree program.