First-Ever ‘Legithon’ at Vermont State House Nov. 13-15
General Assembly, Vermont Law School, Gruter Institute, Kauffman Foundation present hands-on weekend for legal innovation in support of economic development
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —
CONTACT: Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., Oct. 1, 2015––Vermont Law School, in partnership with the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the Vermont General Assembly, will hold a first-of-its-kind “Legithon” Nov. 13-15 at the Vermont State House in Montpelier. The Legithon, open to students and professionals alike, is modeled after a successful hackathon or startup weekend and will challenge participants to create law and policy innovations that support economic development while protecting the public interest.
Specifically, coaches and mentors from academia, business, and the Vermont General Assembly will guide participants as they draft model legislation that could create a productive legal climate for fostering technology-based business in Vermont. Their goal is to inspire law changes that “will not require significant public expenditure or subsidy” and that “will respect the general good of society.”
“The Legithon is a brand-new idea for education and policy development,” said Professor Oliver Goodenough, co-creator of the Legithon and director of the Center for Legal Innovation at VLS. “The collaboration of the Vermont General Assembly and Vermont Law School with national actors like the Kauffman Foundation and the Gruter Institute gives us the chance to be innovators ourselves even while we talk about the legal underpinnings of innovation and entrepreneurship.”
In addition to Goodenough, Legithon presenters will include Senate Pro Tempore John F. Campbell, D- Windsor, and Speaker of the House Shap Smith, D-Morristown, as well as other policy professionals and members of the Vermont General Assembly.
“I am continually impressed by the cutting-edge programs developed by our Center for Legal Innovation in partnership with business leaders, other academics—and now legislators and future legislators,” said Jackie Gardina, vice dean for faculty at VLS. “Experiential learning is a priority at Vermont Law School, and it’s exciting to see it applied so intensely to the design of the Legithon. I look forward to seeing what Legithon participants are able to achieve and how their models might inspire real change to support economic development in Vermont.”
The Legithon will be centered in the Vermont State House, with plenary portions in the House Chamber and breakout sessions in committee rooms and other meeting spaces around the building, and in nearby Montpelier venues when work extends into evening hours. For more information about the Legithon,
including registration and a full schedule, visit vtlegithon.org or vermontlaw.edu/legithon or legithon.eventbrite.com, email email@example.com, or call 802-831-1264.
The Center for Legal Innovation at Vermont Law School is dedicated to helping create a future where innovation and entrepreneurial energy redefine legal education, the practice of law, and law itself. CLI provides both a scholarly and practical environment for an exploration of what law is and a platform to influence help shape what law will be, including a summer Hacktivist program open to technology- proficient undergraduates and law students interested in technology. For more information about the Center for Legal Innovation, visit vermontlaw.edu/cli.
The Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research is an independent, nonpartisan think tank headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley. It seeks to use knowledge drawn from the science of human behavior to inform our response to the challenges and opportunities facing law and other institutions.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, located in Kansas City, Mo., supports educational initiatives to develop innovative, research-based programs leading to practical, sustainable solutions that can be widely accepted and implemented.
The Vermont General Assembly has a history of innovative approaches and an attention to public education that goes back to its founding in 1778. The General Assembly’s home is the Vermont State House, one of the nation’s oldest and best preserved state capitols.
Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three Master’s Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit www.vermontlaw.edu, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.