Fall 2021 student organization updates

Animal Law Society

The Animal Law Society started the semester strong with the success of Pet-A-Palooza! As a student chapter, ALS strives to further the purposes and goals of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. ALS provides a forum for education and advocacy aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interest of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law. The ALS E-Board is utilizing being together once again by holding formal meetings and social gatherings. The next formal meeting is on 10/13, while the next social gathering is on 10/27. Coming up in November, ALS will have its annual pot-luck Vegan Thanksgiving on 11/18.
This year ALS has implemented a weekly newsletter into the organization. The purpose of the ALS Newsletter is to ensure that members are staying up to date with actions happening locally and around the country in the ever-evolving realm of animal law. The ALS Newsletter will contain updates, reminders, event information, animal law in Vermont and around the country, bills and cases to watch, and more. While the first issue of the ALS Newsletter was sent out to all VLS students, only those on the ALS Listserv will receive future issues. If you are interested in receiving further issues, please contact Co-Chair Kelly Cook. 

Barrister’s Book Shop

Barrister’s Book Shop is an independent, student-run nonprofit bookstore. Each year, we look for three new 1Ls to join our Board. Our mission is to support VLS students and the greater South Royalton community through accessible school materials. We have fun events, usually on the first Thursday of the month! Join us this year for Open Mic Night, Craft Night, and a Spelling Bee! Follow us on Instagram @Barristers to stay in the loop.

Black Law Students Association

Following the success of our first General-Body Welcome meeting on September 24th, the BLSA E-Board has heightened their efforts at engaging Black student voices and narratives in any way possible with the guidance and leadership of our President, Kaci Stewart (2L).

Our Historian, Aiden Black (2L), has revived the VLS-BLSA social media pages in an effort to highlight member accolades, visions, and events, in addition to creating a more fruitful networking forum for members to connect with other chapters throughout the country.

Our Treasurer, Bobby Turner (2L), has taken the initiative of cultivating a Financial Literacy and Awareness space for BLSA members to engage in virtually, allowing them to access budgeting tools and advances finance management resources.

This Teams Channel and others under the BLSA Page are managed by our Secretary, Tayla Fauntleroy (JD/MARJ), who will also be restarting BLSA’s Black Wellness Channel on Teams. These sessions will be held biweekly on Fridays beginning the week of October 22nd. Dates for BLSA’s Saturday Academic Sessions will be shared (along with information on additional Academic Bootcamps), as developments around on-campus event procedures advance.

Energy Law Society

The Energy Law Society (EGLS) held its first open house September 23rd where staff and faculty of the Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE) came out to speak at the meeting. Students who attended heard about the MERL Degree, how to get involved in the IEE, Energy Clinic, and the robust VLS Energy Alumni network. EGLS recently elected new members to the e-board. Joining co-chairs Sasha St. Juste and Kevin McElfresh this year will be; Treasurer: Linsday Rostron, Secretary: Isabella Montoya, 1L Senators: Morgan Pace and Nicolas Harris, 2L Senators: Matthew Bakerpoole, Carlynne Toomey, Masters Senator: Kelt Wilska, and AJD Senator: Emily Clay. EGLS is currently putting together an event with Professor Arturo Brandt in collaboration with the IEE on October 27th at 5pm. This event will facilitate discussions on bridging the gap between renewables and fossil fuels. Professor Brandt will also be around campus on from 27th to the 29th of October for any students who would like to chat with him about career advice. Keep an eye out for emails about future events and EGLS meeting details!

Native American Law Student Association

Paakwin8gwzian! Greetings, in Western Abenaki. Welcome back everyone, NALSA is so excited to see you IN PERSON this semester! To start the ball rolling, we will have a table from 12:30 to 2:30, October 15th in the Chase Breezeway providing resources for engaging with Indigenous causes. Be sure to stop by and sign up for our 5K next month! Come out and run/walk/roll with us at the Land Back 5k for the Koas Abenaki Nation. Tickets are 10$ and the run begins at 11 AM on November 13th. There will be a raffle, running prizes, plus food, drinks, and socializing. Join us again for a screening of Dawnland at 6PM November 22nd in the Chase Auditorium. Dawnland is an Emmy award-winning film, addressing the removal of Native American children from their homes to “save them from being Indian.” Bruce Duthu, the producer of Dawnland, will be joining us for a question & answer session after the film (trigger warning). If you are at all interested in the history of our nation, you won’t want to miss it! Join our next bi-weekly meeting November 1st at 7PM in Oakes 110.

Phi Alpha Delta

Phi Alpha Delta is the world’s preeminent law fraternity because of its dedication to service to the student, the school, the profession, and the community. This semester we are seeking new members and we are actively recruiting. We have plans to grow and expand this year. We want to have meetings and activities where members can help steer the organization in directions that will help them academically and with their career growth while having fun! Some of the suggestions that have been made have been a movie marathon, a pub crawl, a Blue booking seminar, a Red booking seminar, a resume writing seminar, a mystery room/escape room event, and much more. In the early spring we have the International Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial that we would like to attend, so we need to get ready for that and at the end of the semester we hope to sponsor or co-sponsor a big celebration/party to kick off the winter break! Come join the law fraternity that is more than just a fraternity, we’re a family!

Phi Alpha Delta members at Trunk or Treat in 2020. Photo courtesy of Carlynne Toomey.

Students for Community Outreach and Education

The Vermont Law School Students for Community Outreach and Education (SCORE) is a community-service student organization that partners with the South Royalton and surrounding areas. SCORE facilitates two main affairs:

First, the Mentoring Program. We partner with elementary and middle schools around the area. Via this partnership our volunteer Mentors meet with their mentee weekly, usually one-on-one. A mentor demonstrates positive, healthy life choices in a caring, respectful manner. A mentor engages their mentee through safe, legal and fun activities, opening the mentee’s eyes to new experiences. Mentor volunteers have a desire to spend fun-filled time with children in need of a special friend and are fully committed to the needs of their mentees and to youth mentoring in general. A mentor’s goals are to develop a close friendship based on trust, respect, and communication, promote fun and healthy life choices through safe, creative activities, increase the mentee’s self-esteem, and foster awareness and accountability for his or her actions. We are in the process of gearing this program up again, since COVID affected the program last year. Be on the look out for communication about this program in the near future.

Second, the annual South Royalton Trunk-or-Treat event. Every year around Halloween, we host a make-shift trick or treating event in the town square for the local children. SCORE would love to have continued participation from all the student organizations here at VLS. An email will be going out on 10/13/2021 on how to further get involved with this event specifically. Trunk-or-Treat will occur on Sunday, October 31, 2021 1-4pm.

This year we are also hoping to host an end of year party and a tree lighting in December to celebrate the winter holidays too. As well as partnering with the town for other volunteering activities promoting a cleaner, better South Royalton.

If you are interested in serving the South Royalton community and want to participate in either of the aforementioned activities, please contact us at lindsayrostron@vermontlaw.edu. Any questions or comments should be directed to that address as well. We look forward to working with each of you and hope to hear from you soon!

Environmental Justice Law Society

The Environmental Justice Law Society is super excited for this upcoming year and the things we have planned. We hold monthly meetings that will be centered around various discussion topics this year. We will use our general body meetings as a deep dive and safe space regarding important topics within environmental justice, occasionally having speakers to provide expertise to these discussions. We also have a couple of events planned for this year, including our fundraiser that took place on October 1st to raise money for mutual aid relief for Hurricane Ida victims. At the end of October we are also hosting a film screening where we plan to show a movie regarding environmental justice and hold a discussion afterwards. We are also co-sponsoring a 5k with NALSA in support of indigenous rights. The proceeds of this event will go to the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation, a Vermont State recognized tribe, to help purchase a Tribal land base. In the spring we will be organizing our annual environmental justice conference in collaboration with Duke, Yale, and Howard. It has not been decided yet whether this event will be held in person or virtually, but stay tuned for more details!

Environmental Law Society

The Environmental Law Society has already been hard at work this semester promoting environmental issues and connecting the community. We have already held our first event organized by our legislative committee in which climate advocate Dan Galpern gave a talk about his carbon fee initiative and how he is biking from Oregon to D.C. to hand President Biden his petition. Our events committee has also been hard at work planning our annual 5k, to benefit the South Royalton Food Shelf, and this years Oktoberfest that we are cosponsoring with SBA. These events will take place on October 30th and more information should be going out soon! Our alumni committee is currently working on an annual newsletter to send out to ELS alums and planning our alumni mixer that will take place in the spring. We also will be hosting our annual Lorax event for Earth Day and our community outreach committee will work with the local school on this. Overall we have a lot of fun things planned this year to further our mission of promoting environmental awareness and providing a forum for student participation in projects and action concerning current environmental issues.

Vermont Law Review

After a year of online production, Vermont Law Review editors ambitiously plunged into our new, post-lockdown world. We started this academic year by welcoming our new Staff Editors at orientation. VLR also launched a Blog on our website last year, where our journal educates the public and remains involved with current social and political developments around the country. If you are interested in submitting a piece for VLR’s Blog, please email lawreview@vermontlaw.edu. 

We are currently in the throes of production for books 1 & 2 of our 46th volume, which will be published early next year. Book 1 is a compilation of articles from Vol. 45’s symposium, “The Legitimacy, Legality, and Legacy of the 45th President of the United States.” Book 1 also includes the winning article of the 2021 Vermont Law Review Notes Competition, written by Ashely Monti, whose article focuses on FDA regulation of ractopamine. Book 2 is a compilation of articles from a conference that VLS professors hosted earlier this year entitled, “After NAFTA: The U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement and Sustainability.” Books 3 & 4 are a compilation of legal scholarship on different topics, and they will be published during the Spring of 2022.

Our Staff Editors are also deep into their note-writing process, exploring some fascinating and important legal issues. We look forward to publishing some of their work in Vol. 47!

Finally, our annual symposium, “Balancing Corporate & Activist Interests: Clean Energy, Wildlife Protection, and Land Use Reform,” is coming up on Friday, November 5, 2021, from 9:15 AM to 5:15 PM. This year’s symposium will shed light on how environmental activists and corporations can cooperate to care for the planet. Anyone can watch our symposium on VLS’s live stream. For students and faculty still on-campus, we will have an in-person viewing party in Chase with light refreshments.  

Cheers to another great year, and good luck with the semester!

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