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Little gems

I will admit that I did not do a lot of research on VLS before coming. I didn’t do a campus tour, I didn’t read many of the brochures. I knew I wanted to be in New England, and was really excited about the flexibility and length of the master’s program. So, during my first few weeks here, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by many things here at VLS. One of those things is the food. The meals during Orientation were outstanding, and the food in the café is really incredible. Most of the food comes from local farms and businesses, and there are a lot of wonderful Vermont food businesses, including Cabot. In addtition to good food, almost all of the plates, silverware, etc. are compostable/biodegradable. There are also incredible composting toilets that don’t smell, and printers default to double-sided printing.

Another thing I didn’t exactly realize is that as MELPs, we get to take classes with second and third year law students. I wasn’t really sure if we’d have our own classes, but it turns out that most of our classes are mixed JDs and MELPs. This is excellent, because I sort of feel as though I’ve skipped the first year of law school (torts, contracts, civil procedure, constitutional law, etc.) and gone right onto the second and third year electives of water resources, land use regulation, natural resources, etc. There are definitely some legal terms and concepts that I don’t know. It feels like the first couple weeks will involve more work to get comfortable reading cases and speaking out in classes, but it doesn’t feel like we’re hopelessly behind the second and third year law students in the class. In fact, it’s helpful to listen to some of them to see how I might better prepare for class.

Another complete surprise for me was the town of South Royalton (SoRo), which is very charming. I especially like the SoRo Market. The atmosphere there is great — you can go in and grab a cup of coffee or tea and a muffin with fresh, local berries (at a VERY reasonable price), and sit at the tables to read. It’s a nice break from the library. They also have the best deal around on bulk 25 lb. bags of King Arthur flour, if you’re a baker. Although it’s nice to know what you’re getting yourself into, I’m really enjoying discovering things are VLS and in SoRo. It makes each day exciting, and makes me even happier about my decision to come here.


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