Attorney Kristin Connors works with a group of Quinnipiac University School of Law first year students Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2015, during the School of Law's January Term which gives law students hands-on experience with practicing attorneys. (Autumn Driscoll/Quinnipiac University)

JD/MELP (Master of Environmental Law and Policy)

Tomorrow’s environmental challenges will require a new generation of leaders with a mastery of the law and a foundation in public policy, economics and science. Our innovative JD/MELP program gives you the breadth of knowledge you need to make a difference.

Program Overview

This unique program, a partnership between the Quinnipiac School of Law and the Vermont Law School, will teach you to channel your passion for the environment and apply a versatile set of skills working in government, business, or the nonprofit world. As climate change becomes an increasingly serious global issue and state and federal responses grow more complex, lawyers who specialize in environmental law and have a familiarity with policy and the legislative process will be attractive to employers in a diverse range of areas.

In three years you’ll receive your law degree from Quinnipiac and your master’s in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School. You'll take courses at both campuses, including Land Use Planning, Real Estate Transactions and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Our externship program offers opportunities to shadow professionals in the field and gain insight into how environmental law and policy makes an impact in the real world.

As a JD/MELP student, you’ll benefit from our extensive career development resources and a vast network of successful alumni, including those who graduated from this program and secured exciting positions with the EPA, Department of Justice, Sierra Club, and other state environmental agencies, nonprofits and prominent law firms that specialize in environmental law. 

Curriculum and Requirements

Degree Requirements


  • 30-credit program (including required courses)
  • Vermont Law MELP courses: 14 credits
  • Vermont Law MELP externship: 7 credits
  • Quinnipiac Law courses (from approved course list): up to 9 credits

About the MELP Externship


A requirement of the MELP program is for students to participate in an approved MELP externship during their 2L summer. The externship can be scheduled anywhere in the United States or at an international location. Vermont Law has substantial resources for assisting students with arranging their MELP externships and can offer as much help as is needed or desired by the individual student.  MELP externship credit is applied to the MELP portion of the dual degree only.

QU Law Approved Courses


Credits from these QU Law courses can be used toward the MELP portion of the dual degree. 

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution*
  • Administrative Law
  • Negotiation
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Land Use Planning

*JD/MELP candidates should consider satisfying their dispute resolution course requirement with the QU Law dispute resolution course. QU Law courses are offered on campus only.

Admission to the JD/MELP Program


To be admitted to the dual-degree program, students first must be admitted to Quinnipiac University School of Law. Once admitted to Quinnipiac, JD/MELP applicants then can apply to the VT Law MELP Program during their first year of law school at Quinnipiac. The MELP application deadline is March 1.

Important note: Prior to starting the MELP application process, students should contact the associate dean for academic affairs at Quinnipiac School of Law.

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