Ink-Stained Wretch: NY Times takes a look at VLS in ’88

Each month, Ink-Stained Wretch scours the Forum archives in search of forgotten VLS history.

By Blake Weinard, Lifestyle Editor

Reading this New York Times article about Vermont Law School from 1988 feels like experiencing an episode of the Twilight Zone. Every line is something I have heard or said about VLS. Some of my favorite examples are: “The only town in America with a law school and no stop light,” a quote attributed to former Dean Jonathon Chase. Students spoke with the NYT about the long winters and the lack of distractions. They also talked about the sense of camaraderie and community you feel in South Royalton. They spoke to the supportive atmosphere that one typically does not feel at law school. My favorite sentiment in the article was that VLS is preparing lawyers for “Main Street, not Wall Street.” We will be the people’s lawyers.

While reading this article, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Does anything ever really change?” It’s easy to say no. But I think that answer is too easy. VLS has changed a lot since the NYT article came out in 1988, and even more since the law school opened in 1972. The timeline below gives a quick snapshot of exactly how the make-up of VLS has changed.

Over the next few months, the Ink-Stained Wretch will delve into these time markers and discover how these structural changes have affected the VLS students, faculty, staff, and local community.

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