WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL LAW?
Environmental law is a relatively new legal specialty. Since the 1970s, the United States Congress has passed on number of major environmental statutes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies have adopted hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations under those statutes. State and local governments have also enacted regulations in response to environmental concerns. Thus, a vast range of environmental issues intersects with the law - from the generation and disposal of hazardous waste to the transfer of property that may be contaminated to the protection of land, water, and air from future contamination.
Environmental law practitioners perform myriad functions: negotiation, litigation, administrative practice, lobbying, organizing, and advising. These attorneys often shape and devise both governmental and corporate policy. Since federal statutes drive much of environmental law, attorneys often work for or with administrative bodies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and their state-level equivalents.
Environmental law practice often requires extensive knowledge of administrative law, as well as some aspects of tort law, property, legislation, constitutional law, and land use. Environmental lawyers work in a variety of settings, including government, environmental groups and other non-profit organizations, private law firms, and corporations.
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW...
1. Take Loyola's Environmental Law course.
2. Take an Administrative Law course in preparation for dealing with the numerous regulatory agencies involved in this field.
3. Take courses that will sharpen your litigation and oral advocacy skills or participate in Loyola's moot court program.
4. Sharpen your writing skills and gain valuable experience by externing for a judge during law school.
5. Consider working as a law clerk or legal intern for a firm or organization that does environmental work.
6. Do volunteer work related to environmental issues. See our list of environmental agencies for ideas.
7. Join student groups dedicated to environmental issues.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW RESOURCES