Career Environmental Lawyer


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Career Environmental Lawyer

  1. 1. The Environmental Lawyer
  2. 2. The road to the profession <ul><li>Undergraduate Degree (B.A.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental Studies major </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law & the Liberal Arts minor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Law School (J.D.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LSAT required to apply </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some law schools specializing in Environmental Law: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vermont Law School </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lewis and Clark College: Northwestern School of Law (Oregon) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Other useful degrees <ul><li>LL.M. in Environmental Law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Master of Laws in Environmental Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually requires one additional year (in law school) after J.D. is completed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many lawyers have other doctorates in addition to a Doctorate of Jurisprudence </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Bar Exam <ul><li>Bar Exams are administered by state government agencies </li></ul><ul><li>“ Passing the bar” is required to practice law in that state </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only a minimum score is required </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What does an environmental lawyer do? <ul><li>The four main employers of environmental attorneys are: business/industry, government, private practices, and public interest groups </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the type of employer, environmental lawyers do many different things </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize legislation such as Clean Air and Water Acts, National Environmental Policy Act, etc. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Corporate whores <ul><li>Represent corporations in civil cases (often in defense) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide legal council and consulting to corporations </li></ul><ul><li>Employed by corporation itself (e.g. Dominion) </li></ul><ul><li>You pretty much sell your soul to the company </li></ul>
  7. 7. Lawyers in government <ul><li>Many environmental lawyers are employed by the Department of the Interior, and litigate mainly on behalf of the EPA </li></ul><ul><li>Enforce NEPA, Clean Air/Water Acts thru threat of lawsuits </li></ul>
  8. 8. Private practice <ul><li>Environmental attorneys who work for private practices usually practice all areas of law but specialize in environmental law </li></ul><ul><li>These lawyers can be involved in cases varying from representing plaintiffs in class action suits to providing legal defense for at-fault corporations </li></ul><ul><li>Typical firm: Day, Berry & Howard (Hartford, CT) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Public interest <ul><li>Special interest groups such as the Sierra Club Earthjustice, and PIRGs employ lawyers to sue environmentally unfriendly corporations breaking statutes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sierra Club v. Morton (Mineral King Supreme Court Decision) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PIRG v. MEI </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Usually fight vehemently against pollution and destruction of habitat </li></ul>
  10. 10. Salary and hours <ul><li>Environmental lawyers working for the government can expect to work 40-50 hrs/week and start with a salary of $40,000-$50,000 </li></ul><ul><li>In the private sector, environmental attorneys may have to work 80+ hour weeks but may start with salaries of $80,000-$90,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for salary increase depends on the employer, but many environmental lawyers earn $120,000+ </li></ul><ul><li>Average income for lawyers employed by federal government: $98,790* </li></ul><ul><li>Average income for lawyers in private practice/ corporations: $131,970* </li></ul><ul><li>* according to US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics </li></ul>
  11. 11. Job outlook <ul><li>According to the Department of Labor, employment of environmental lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as the average through 2012 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Questions questions