Should I Pursue a Career in Environmental Law?
Environmental lawyers work in private practice, for environmental protection groups or for the government. They may ensure that regulations protecting the environment are enforced or persuade officials to generate new environmental laws. The increasing focus on environmental protection makes this an exciting and rewarding occupation for those who have the proper skills and interests. Answer these questions to determine if it is the right career for you:
|Are you interested in science?||Yes or No|
|Is protecting the environment important to you?||Yes or No|
|Are you committed to lifelong learning?||Yes or No|
|Are you persuasive?||Yes or No|
|Do you have strong interpersonal skills?||Yes or No|
|Do you have a strong work ethic?||Yes or No|
|Are you analytical?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy research?||Yes or No|
|Do you write well?||Yes or No|
|Are you dedicated to your education?||Yes or No|
Why Do I Need to Consider These Questions?
Are you interested in science?
Because environmental lawyers regularly collaborate with biologists, chemists, and other scientists who work on environmental issues, an understanding of scientific subjects is helpful.
Is protecting the environment important to you?
Environmental laws are in place to preserve and protect natural resources. To enjoy your work in this field you should have a fundamental interest in the well-being of the environment.
Are you committed to lifelong learning?
Ongoing learning will be required throughout your career as an environmental lawyer both because you will need to stay abreast of changes to environmental laws and because continuing education is typically required to maintain a license to practice law.
Are you persuasive?
Environmental lawyers need powerful persuasion skills to lobby government officials when advocating for clients and to convince juries when representing them in court.
Do you have strong interpersonal skills?
As an environmental lawyer, you will interact with a variety of professionals in the legal, business, scientific and engineering fields. To be successful, you should be adept at building relationships and comfortable around people of all backgrounds.
Do you have a strong work ethic?
Like most attorneys, environmental lawyers often work long hours and may need to be available evenings and weekends to accommodate the schedules of their clients.
Are you analytical?
To practice in this area, you will need to have a thorough understanding of complex environmental laws and be able to interpret those regulations alongside the technical data that relates to each case.
Do you enjoy research?
Environmental lawyers spend a great deal of time researching regulations, cases, and precedents to develop arguments and advise clients properly.
Do you write well?
In this career, you will need exceptional writing and editing skills to compose and review correspondence and legal documents.
Are you dedicated to your education?
To become an environmental lawyer, you will need to dedicate about seven years to postsecondary education. This includes earning a bachelor's degree and a law degree.
What Do My Answers Mean?
Did you reply affirmatively to more than half of these questions? If so, you could be an excellent candidate for a career in environmental law! You'll want to next explore the many law schools around the country that focus on this specialization. Keep in mind that, depending on whether you choose a state or private university, tuition for the top environmental law programs can range from about $26,000 to nearly $60,000 per year.