How to Achieve a Career in Environmental Law

Issues like climate change, fossil fuels, and eco-friendly lifestyles dominate the media these days, and as the surrounding industries grow, environmental law jobs become more in-demand. If you are passionate about the environment and possess strong critical thinking, writing, and public speaking skills, a job in environmental law might be for you. However, you can’t become an environmental lawyer overnight. By following these four steps, you’ll gather the necessary tools to pursue your dream in the field of environmental law.

Snag a Bachelor’s Degree

Law schools require applicants to first obtain a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate schools help students develop strong reading, writing, and verbal skills, all of which contribute to students’ success in post-graduate studies. To establish a firm foundation in your desired field of study, consider a major that aligns well with environmental law. It will prepare you for future course work and cement your desire to study environmental law.

A few popular undergraduate degrees for students who are interested in environmental law include environmental engineering, geophysics, environmental engineering, and economics. Concentrate on maintaining a high GPA so your application will appeal to law school admissions departments.

Attend Law School

The best law schools for your particular focus offer stellar courses that are specifically geared toward environmental law. While law schools all teach the same basic courses, you’ll want to attend a school that can prepare you for your chosen career. When researching potential law schools, consider the quality of the education you will receive, the geographical location of the school, and the intensity of the workload.

If you don’t want to relocate to another part of the country, consider distance education programs such as those available through Vermont Law. These types of institutions allow you to pursue the career of your dreams from the comfort of your home. You can also maintain a full- or part-time job while you study, avoiding the costs of travel, moving, and commuting.

Pass the Bar Exam

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Image via Flickr by scui3asteveo

To become an environmental lawyer, you must pass a bar exam to prove your suitability and preparation for the field. Most law students take the bar exam after they graduate. While some suggest studying early for the bar exam, others claim it can burn you out. Since most students only require six to seven weeks of preparation, focus on studying after you graduate so you can maintain focus without draining your mental reserves.

Participate in an Internship

Environmental law offers several options for graduates with little experience. One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is to find an internship in environmental law. Start a local search for opportunities in your community. If you’d like to travel, search online for more environmental law internship programs. Sites like Internships.com allow you to tailor your search to a specific sector, location, or type of environment.

If the thought of becoming an environmental lawyer excites you, these four tips will help you achieve your goals. Obtain an extensive education, then launch your career through an internship program or entry-level job.