The Vermont Bar Association has a long-term focus on developing a diverse, knowledgeable, and vibrant bar. In furtherance of this goal, the VBA announces a new program of CLE courses focused on the basics of law: “The Brown Bag Law Study Program” (BBLS).
Vermont is famous for being one of the few states where people can still study for the bar exam under an apprenticeship model. Vermont’s law office study (LOS) program allows participants to study 25 hours a week for four years with a Vermont attorney or a judge instead of going to law school. The parameters and requirements of the program are set out in Rule 7 of the Rules of Admission to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court.
The BBLS was inspired by the need to enhance learning opportunities available to candidates in the LOS program. It will also be useful for licensed attorneys with gaps in their knowledge, or who need a refresher on fundamental principles in specific areas of law practice.
In most cases, LOS participants get detailed training in the areas of law in which their sponsor practices. It is unlikely, however, that most will get an introduction to, much less an actual course of study in, those areas in which the sponsor doesn’t practice.
The BBLS is not intended to be a bar review course. Instead, volunteer presenters, all experienced practitioners, will offer one or two zoom webinars each month focusing on key terminology and concepts that are fundamental to attorney competence and which form the basis for testing areas of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). Note: because the bar exam doesn’t test Vermont local law, that will not be the subject of the courses offered.
The UBE tests in some combination of these areas of: Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Real Property, Secured Transactions, Torts and Trusts and Estates. Ethics is also tested in a component of the exam. Students at the BBLS will be provided with an introduction to the key terminology and concepts in each of these areas.
Courses will be offered for $25 each for LOS students and at the regular rate ($35 per credit hour for VBA members, $90 per hour for nonmembers). Registration for the classes is through the CLE calendar on the VBA website.
Several courses have been presented and are available to view on our Digital Library. To locate the courses, go to the CLE Calendar and choose “Self Study” from the “Event Type” dropdown and filter by using the key word “Brown Bag”.