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The Team

Faculty

Photo of Teresa ClemmerTeresa Clemmer

Associate Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and Assistant Professor of Law

Professor Clemmer specializes in environmental and natural resources law. She has expertise in air quality, water quality, wetlands, oil spill prevention and response, contaminated site cleanup, solid and hazardous waste management, and community right-to-know obligations. In addition, she has extensive experience with laws relating to public lands and natural resource management, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, National Forest Management Act, and Endangered Species Act. As Associate Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, she works closely with students on real-world cases in the federal courts. Her goal is to help them improve their litigation skills while addressing important environmental issues.

Professor Clemmer received her AB degree in 1994 from Princeton University, cum laude, and her JD degree in 1999 from Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude. Before joining the faculty of Vermont Law School in 2008, she practiced with Trustees for Alaska, a non-profit environmental law firm based in Anchorage, Alaska, as well as with the Environmental Practice Groups of Perkins Coie LLP in Anchorage, and Cooper, White and Cooper LLP in San Francisco, California.

Photo of Tracy BachTracy Bach

Associate Director of the Climate Legacy Initiative and Professor of Law

Professor Tracy Bach specializes in three areas: 1) legal research, analysis, and writing; 2) health care law; and 3) international human rights, especially concerning genocide. The courses she has taught at Vermont Law School include Appellate Advocacy, Legal Writing in Environmental Health Law, Health Law, Health Law and Public Policy, Genocide, Legal Profession, and Dispute Resolution.

Professor Bach received her BA degree in history, cum laude, from Yale University in 1984 and her MA degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota Hubert Humphrey Institute in 1994. In that same year, she earned her JD degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was article editor for the Minnesota Law Review and director of the 1992 Jessup International Moot Court Competition Team, and where she received the Steven M. Block Prize for Best Paper in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. From 1984 to 1990, Professor Bach worked in health care finance and management for a midsized New York City consulting firm, a large midwestern hospital chain, and as a self-employed consultant. Before joining Vermont Law School’s faculty in 1996, Professor Bach interned for the trial and appellate courts of the Non-Removable Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians and clerked for the Honorable Harriet Lansing of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Professor Bach’s presentations include “Bringing Legal Writing ‘Out of the Box’ and Into the Mainstream: A Marriage of Doctrinal Subject Matter and Legal Writing Doctrine” at the 11th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute, “The Potential for Digital Institutions in Post-Genocide Rwanda” at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research/Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, and “The Law of Abortion” at Dartmouth College Medical School. Professor Bach is a member of both the New Hampshire and the Vermont Bar Associations (VBA). She cochairs the VBA’s Health Law section. During the 2002 academic year, Professor Bach was a visiting professor at the National University of Rwanda Faculty of Law, Butare, Rwanda, and at Petrozavodsk State University, Petrozavodsk, Russia.

Photo of Laurie BeyranevandLaurie Beyranevand

Assistant Professor of Legal Writing

Laurie Beyranevand is an assistant professor of legal writing at Vermont Law School, specializing in teaching legal research and writing to students in the Master of Environmental Law and Policy program. Before joining the faculty at VLS, she was a staff attorney with the Disability Law Project of Vermont Legal Aid, Inc., where she represented clients with disabilities in matters involving discrimination due to disability, protection of rights, and access to services. Professor Beyranevand has served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Marie E. Lihotz, PJFP, in New Jersey and in the Office of the Vermont Attorney General, Environmental Unit. Her article, “The Importance of the Right to Representation in a Guardianship Proceeding,” was published in the Vermont Bar Journal.


Students

Photo of Dustin BrucherDustin Brucher

Dustin Brucher grew up in Germany, Colorado, and Wisconsin and is now completing his third year at VLS. He is currently living in Washington, D.C., serving as a legal intern for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Administrative Litigation. This semi-independent office is charged with protecting the “public interest” in settlement negotiations and administrative trials between gas, oil, and electricity companies and their customers. As part of a team of economists, engineers, and lawyers assigned to each case, Dustin works with general and FERC-based administrative law and practices while researching issues of cost-of-service
ratemaking, transmission facility-siting, ancillary service pricing, Independent System Operator tariffs, and market manipulation.

Dustin spent last summer working for the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic in South Royalton, Vermont, working with national environmental non-profits on state and federal cases addressing issues such as coal plant effluent, endangered aquatic life, industrial greenhouse gas emissions, and nuclear plant licensing. At VLS, Dustin has researched regulatory aspects of carbon capture and sequestration technologies. He brings his interest and perspective on energy law to the Environmental Law Society as its Treasurer and serves as Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the VLS branch of the Dartmouth Energy Collective. Dustin continues to research energy and regulatory law for a forthcoming paper on international electric transmission and generation outsourcing.

Prior to attending Vermont Law, Dustin obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin—Madison with history and theology majors, specializing in modern Middle Eastern political history and Islam. His senior thesis analyzed the rise of the Lebanese Shi’a in the 20th century. During and after his undergraduate studies, Dustin was a preschool teacher and a grassroots organizer for several state and local third parties.

Temporary Tower ImageJessica Scott

Jessica Scott grew up in Vermont and is a third-year law student at VLS. She serves as the Senior Notes Editor for the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (VJEL), as an extern for the Honorable William K. Sessions III, Chief Judge of the United States District Court in Burlington, and as a Dean’s Fellow, teaching Legal Writing to 1Ls. While at VLS, Jessica has also researched international and comparative environmental law as a research assistant for Professor Tseming Yang. This past summer, she worked on both domestic and international projects as an Honors Program law clerk at the EPA’s Office of General Counsel, where she’ll be working again after graduation.

Jessica graduated cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with an International Politics major, focusing on international law, ethics, and institutions, and studying abroad in Japan and France. While at Georgetown, an article she authored on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was selected for publication in Mentis Vita, Georgetown’s Undergraduate Journal of Scholarship. Between college and law school she taught English abroad, researched for Environmental Health Sciences, and served as the PR Coordinator for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Based on her interest in both international environmental law and refugee and immigration issues, she authored her Note for VJEL on possible protections for environmental “refugees” in environmental human rights law.

Photo of Anna EllisAnna Ellis

A love of the outdoors and a passion for environmental causes have been core tenets of Anna’s life for over 20 years, tenets demonstrated by such actions as donating her first real earnings (babysitting money) to the World Wildlife Fund at the age of 13, and taking a 3-month sabbatical at the age of 28 to volunteer with a small forestry NGO in Kenya.  After a successful post-undergraduate career in the insurance industry, Anna decided it was finally time to heed the calling to pursue environmental conservation from a professional standpoint and applied to Vermont Law School.  She is now pursuing a JD and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy.

Attending Vermont Law has provided endless opportunities for Anna and she has been fortunate to study and work on environmental issues in such diverse places as Alaska and China.  She has focused on sustainable development, ecology, environmental justice, policy and alternative dispute resolution.  Anna will be attending COP15 in the hopes of witnessing first-hand the intricate and sometimes frustrating world of large-scale international environmental treaty negotiations.  She will be writing a paper on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the current Kyoto agreement, researching the efficacy of existing CDM projects and determining whether the CDM is the best mechanism for technology and financial transfer to developing countries (and particularly to the most vulnerable, underrepresented populations in developing countries), or whether a modified instrument should be developed and implemented in a new post-2012 climate treaty.

Photo of Ashley SantnerAshley Santner

Ashley Santner (JD/M1 ’10), a dual degree student at Vermont Law School, is currently living in Paris where she is working toward a Masters in French Business and Ethics Law with a specialization in energy and environment at Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

Prior to moving to France, Ashley worked as a summer law clerk at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C. In 2008, she worked in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance’s Administrative Litigation section where she prepared for and participated in moot court and oral arguments in a Clean Water Act case before the Environmental Appeals Board, as well as analyzed trial and appellate administrative decisions. In 2009, Ashley returned to the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, specifically, the International Compliance Assurance Division, where she developed case investigation regarding transboundary hazardous waste shipments and analyzed enforcement issues in pending climate legislation. Ashley also clerked for the International Negotiations Program of the Office of International Affairs where she prepared legislative, economic and policy analysis regarding various climate change and marine issues, including trade measures, financial impacts and carbon market fraud.

At VLS, Ashley completed coursework in international environmental law particularly focusing on climate change and European law. She also acted as a staff editor for the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and co-chair of the International Law Society. Prior to law school, Ashley worked as an International Trade legal assistant at the Washington, D.C. office of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Ashley received her bachelors degree from American University in Washington, D.C. and Université Paris IV Sorbonne. She is fluent in French.

Photo of Michael Cote.Michael Cote

Michael Cote is an environmental urban planner, specializing in coastal, climate adaptation, smart growth and sustainability planning. He assists communities with their sustainability, climate change, historic preservation, and land-use conservation plans. A rising scholar in climate adaptation for coastal cities, he has lectured at the local, regional, national, and international levels to lawyers, planners, and academics.

Mike is the George Perkins Marsh Conservation Fellow 2010-11 at Vermont Law School; Outreach Coordinator for the American Planning Association’s International Division; and an active member of many environmental and climate change organizations. For more information about Michael’s work, visit umass.academia.edu/MichaelCote.

Photo of Lillian KortlandtLillian Kortlandt

Lillian Kortlandt grew up in Pittsburgh, PA before moving to Vermont to attend Bennington College.  She majored in Biology with an emphasis on animal behavior and evolutionary psychology.  She also spent a semester of her undergraduate education completing a wildlife management program, and conducting original research on land use practices in southern Kenya.  Here she was exposed, first-hand, to the effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa while studying the increasing conflict between local communities and wildlife populations.

After college she began her first career as a zookeeper in Pittsburgh and then in Memphis, working with a variety of endangered and threatened species such as the western lowland gorilla and the giant panda.  Deciding that she wanted to work in policy, she then moved back to Vermont to earn a JD and a Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy.  During her time at VLS, Lillian has focused her coursework on wildlife law, climate change, and international law.  She spent her second summer as a law clerk with Earthjustice in the Rocky Mountain office located in Denver, CO and then this fall as a full time extern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont. Both experiences have exposed her to environmental cases, many involving the regulation of greenhouse gases.

Lillian also serves on the Senior Executive Board for the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law as the Administrative Editor, was a T.A. for both Constitutional Law and Legal Research , and was the Co-chair of Alliance during her second year.

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