Director of the Food and Agriculture Clinic, Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS)/Assistant Professor
Subjects: Food and Agriculture Law, Clinical Legal Instruction, Clinical Masters Instruction
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Summary of Responsibilities:
Housed within the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS), the Food and Agricultural Law and Policy Clinic provides an experiential offering for students to work alongside and provide assistance to our food system partners. The Clinic is one of a handful of law and policy clinics in the country exclusively devoted to providing expertise and assistance to food system stakeholders across the globe. This position leads the Clinic and reports directly to the CAFS Director. In the Clinic, the Director and Professor identifies, connects with, and collaborates with project partners in need of law and policy assistance, and trains and guides students to provide this assistance. As an integral member of the CAFS team, the Director and Professor works closely with the other team members to help identify, oversee, and implement grant-funded law and policy projects focused on the food system. Applicants should have enthusiasm for working with law and masters’ students who are eager to learn practical skills.
Essential Functions and Principal Accountabilities:
- Supervise and teach students on cases/projects in a clinical learning environment.
- Manage grant-funded projects to develop innovative legal tools to improve food and agriculture in response to client/partner needs and funder deliverables and translate those tools for broad use; such tools include but are not limited to legal reports, policy briefs, fact sheets, and online toolkits.
- Provide direct representation to clinic clients/partners, and maintain responsibility for case/project management and completion during transitions between semesters.
- Manage the clinic, including identifying potential clients and project partners and stewarding those relationships, overseeing Clinic case/project intake and docket, handling Clinic case/project work, and supporting and ensuring cohesion for Clinic projects led by other CAFS faculty and staff.
- Administer the Clinic, including: overseeing appropriate management of files including potentially sensitive and/or confidential information, overseeing related curriculum and student enrollment, and participating in personnel decisions with the CAFS Director, Vice Dean of Faculty, Associate Dean of Environmental Programs, Associate Dean for Experiential Learning, and Human Resources as they deem appropriate.
- Oversee the activities and operations of the Vermont Legal Food Hub, a collaboration between CAFS and Conservation Law Foundation, and represent the Vermont Legal Food Hub to the community.
- Actively participate in a dynamic law school environment, including collaboration with other law school clinics and programs, and meet other faculty service expectations.
- Mentor students, including advising student groups.
- Assist with development and teaching of classroom courses offered in conjunction with the Clinic.
- Deliver talks and trainings to food policy groups and government officials, and present on the Clinic’s and CAFS work at conferences and other events.
- Work with the CAFS Communications Manager to develop and execute media strategies for Clinic work, including being a spokesperson for the Clinic and CAFS.
- Develop and teach the Clinic seminar.
- Support efforts to secure and maintain funding for the Clinic, including providing information for grant proposals, budgets, and grant reports.
- Collaborate and work with technical experts as needed.
Required Education, Skills, and Experience:
- Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an ABA-approved law school.
- Understanding of and appreciation for inclusion, including the ability to work with students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds, identities, and viewpoints.
- Admission to the bar in any jurisdiction, and admission or willingness to apply for admission to the Vermont bar upon acceptance of the position.
- Demonstrated leadership experience.
- At least 3 years of management experience.
- Demonstrated experience and interest in mentoring and supervising students.
- Strong research, writing, and communication skills.
- Demonstrated experience writing policy papers, issue briefs, draft legislation, and various legal documents.
- Strong organizational, time and project management skills.
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
- High degree of professionalism.
- Strong academic credentials.
- Communications and/or marketing experience, or the willingness to learn, apply, and teach these skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
Preferred Education, Skills, and Expertise:
- A minimum of 8-10 years of relevant legal and policy advocacy experience, with significant weight given to food and agricultural law and policy or related fields experience.
- Law school teaching experience with significant weight given to clinical teaching experience.
- Respect – Understanding and interest in incorporating VLGS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion values into the classroom and workspace.
- Adaptability and Flexibility – Must be able to adapt to new and emerging technology as established and communicated by the school to carry out the administrative duties associated with teaching. Willingness and ability to work remotely in emergency situations. Ability to work the occasional after-hours and weekend hours required to support students in this position. Ability to prioritize multiple tasks and deadlines and reorganize under pressure.
- Communication – talk and/or listen to convey or exchange information; communicate effectively and efficiently in written correspondence and technical correspondence in English; process and comprehend written material; exchange ideas, information, and opinions with others to formulate policies and programs and/or jointly arrive at conclusions, solutions, or dispute resolution.
- Professional Discretion – exercise thoughtful judgment and meet deadlines; develop and maintain effective professional relationships with others; function effectively under stress; adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; and function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities.
- Collaboration – This position requires collaboration with peers and colleagues as well as students, and ability to independently manage deadlines and multiple projects.
- Service – Faculty and staff at VLGS provide service to students, the community, and one another through service on committees and appropriate volunteer opportunities both on- and off-campus.
- Scholarship – Faculty at VLGS are encouraged to pursue research and scholarship opportunities as a critical part of their own continuous learning process.
- Safety – Willingness to participate with the VLGS faculty and student community and follow Covid19 safety policies and guidelines as laid out by the One VLGS Action Team based on the changing landscape.
- A demonstrated commitment to public interest work – a background in food and agriculture is desirable but not required.
- Must be able to work legally within the United States without sponsorship.
- Physical ability to perform all essential functions of the job with or without basic accommodations.
Note: All job requirements are subject to possible revision to reflect changes in the position requirements or to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a threat or risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees. Employees may be required, from time to time, to follow other job-related duties as requested by their Department Head, Supervisor, Dean, President, or as outlined in the Faculty Handbook (within guidelines and compliance with Federal and State Laws). Continued employment remains on an “at-will” basis.