Cy pres awards—the residual funds in class action settlements or judgments that are unclaimed or cannot be distributed to the intended recipients—can be awarded to a nonprofit organization whose work advances the public interest and indirectly benefits the class members. Vermont Law School is an ideal recipient of cy pres funds and Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) to support the non-profit work of our law and graduate programs, law clinics, and research centers.
While ultimately the judge will determine whether the cy pres award, residual fund, or SEP is fair and reasonable and if the recipient is appropriate, plaintiff and defense attorneys each play an important role by recommending to the court that Vermont Law School is an appropriate beneficiary.
We have many options for use of funds and have a flexible approach. In addition to scholarships, fellowships and a host of other initiatives, cy pres and SEP awards may be used to fund any of our four clinics engaged in a wide variety of public interest work in New England and throughout the US including:
The South Royalton Legal Clinic (SRLC) serves Vermont residents who are unable to afford counsel and who need assistance with issues such as bankruptcy, children’s rights, domestic violence, housing, family-based immigration, family law, landlord/tenant, social security disability, wills and now veterans issues. LEARN MORE HERE.
The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC) works directly with leading conservation organizations around the US and community groups in New England to promote access to justice on important environmental issues.LEARN MORE HERE.
The Food and Agriculture Clinic works with local, regional and national partners to develop and disseminate legal resources that provide support and solutions for legal, business and policy initiatives of new food movement stakeholders, including farmers, food producers, food entrepreneurs, consumers, health care professionals, legislators and advocates. LEARN MORE HERE.
The Energy Clinic undertakes projects to resolve energy policy challenges, in a sustainable and socially equitable manner, for both the local community and the world. This includes projects that expand solar capacity, exploring the development of microhydro, promoting energy efficiency options, advocating for low-income access to renewable and affordable energy, and expanding electric vehicle infrastructure. LEARN MORE HERE.
For more information, please contact Melissa Scanlan, Associate Dean of Environmental Programs.
Office for Institutional AdvancementPO Box 26, Chelsea Street South Royalton, VT firstname.lastname@example.org@vermontlaw.edu802-831-1312800-227-1395, ext. 1312802-831-1143 (fax)