Environmental law is a term that encompasses a number of different disciplines when it comes to practicing law. It relates itself to certain fields that lawyers can focus on specifically, including hazardous waste, biodiversity, species protection, air quality, water quality, sustainability, wetlands, green initiatives, waste management and so much more. It takes a deeper look at the different regulations in place that command our usage of natural resources, putting laws in place that regulate everything from chemical discharge to noise levels and beyond. As an environmental lawyer, cases that you will take up include common themes of transport, containment, cleanup and resource management.
Becoming an environmental lawyer is a different process for everyone depending on what exactly it is you want to accomplish in the field. The programs differ, but all come together under the Bar or Law Society exams to begin practicing law all the same. Usually, you will walk out with a BA in Law or a BSc in Law depending on how you focused your studies. When it comes to graduate law degrees, those who possess them will usually be putting a higher level of focus on the academic research aspects of environmental law instead of taking up cases in the court rooms, and these particular types of degrees are known as PhDs in Law.
With any law degree, your programs will begin with a set of compulsory core classes as well as various opportunities that will let you choose different topics of law that you are most interested in to begin concentrating on early on. Teaching often comes in the form of lectures, group work, seminars, presentations, law training in courtrooms, class debates and more. All of these help students immerse themselves in the realities of being an environmental lawyer and help you to obtain crucial legal skills, argument formation skills and public speaking skills.
Entry requirements to become an environmental lawyer usually require that you at least have a bachelor’s degree in a subject that is relative to law if not law itself. Those who do not have such a degree when entering higher education institutes will be taught basic modules in law, so that you can be on the same page as the other students. Because you will have to pass the Bar exam to become a lawyer, you need to pay attention to the information that the exam is going to ask you, so that you are prepared for the ultimate test at the end of your schooling.
Once you have succeeded, there are plenty of placement options for you to start interning at firms or other institutes to get some experience under your belt. Careers in environmental law will stem from that, and there are many opportunities due to sustainability being a huge priority in many parts of the world. You can opt for working in private business, multinational corporations, law firms or government agencies. It’s all about following your passions at that point to make the environmental impact you aim to.