White River Environmental Law Writing Competition

Sponsored by the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law

and Vermont Law School

Contest Information 

The winning essay will receive a $1000 cash prize and an offer of publication with the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. At the discretion of the reviewing editors, additional submissions may also receive offers of publication. The winner of the competition will be announced in Spring 2020.

The White River is a perfect representation of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and this writing competition.

The White River flows through the village of South Royalton and borders the campus of Vermont Law School. The idyllic waterway embodies the Journal’s view of the field of environmental law. The wide-channeled River brings the local community together, while also flowing through the heart of the State of Vermont, until finally connecting to a larger river system progressing through many other states to reach the Atlantic Ocean. So too, the Journal’s broad view of environmental law is meant to illuminate environmental matters and issues at the local, state, federal, and international levels.


Applicants are invited to submit original essays addressing any relevant topic in the fields of environmental law, natural resource law, energy law, environmental justice, land use law, animal law, and agricultural law.

Eligibility and Judging Criteria

The competition is open to all students currently pursuing a degree (J.D. or LL.M) at an accredited law school in the United States. Submissions written as a class component, as a journal requirement, or otherwise for academic credit are acceptable. All submissions should:

  • Address a relevant topic in environmental law
  • Be between 15-30 double-spaced pages in length
  • Contain accurate Blue Book citations in footnote form
  • Adhere to standard conventions of American grammar and spelling
  • Display original work and research that has not been previously published

All submissions will be reviewed by the editors of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. Criteria for reviewing submissions include originality of ideas, depth of research, timeliness and relevance of topics addressed, and writing quality.

Submission Requirement

Please email submissions in either PDF or word format to vjel@vermontlaw.edu by 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on March 15, 2020. Please include “Competition Submission” in the e-mail subject line. To ensure anonymity and impartiality in the judging of submissions, please include with your submission a cover page that includes your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, law school, and year of graduation. Do not include your name or any other personal information in any other part of your submission.

As the environmental law journal of Vermont Law School, home of one of the nation’s top ranked environmental law program, the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law’s purpose is to foster discourse and provide meaningful commentary on contemporary issues and developments in the field of environmental law. We invite you to subscribe to our quarterly issues and EcoPerspectives blog at http://vjel.vermontlaw.edu. As well, please keep your ears tuned for the podcast Hothouse Earth.