As a lawyer you could have the power to work within the legal system to defend the innocent and prosecute offenders–you could be a pillar of justice. In the environmental sector, workers unite to protect the environment from those who would recklessly destroy it for convenience or personal gain. The ultimate unification of these two professions brings the additional power of defending the environment from a legal standpoint–this is often the way real change is made. A career in environmental law can be exciting in its flexibility and fulfilling for workers who strive to uphold a noble cause. Finding work in this field may be difficult, but you can help yourself along the way.
First, be sure to have the necessary background and education. An undergraduate degree in environmental science, geology, or other related fields may be enough to secure some sort of foothold in the world of environmental law. Geologists work closely with litigators and other professionals in this industry to analyze the effects of human consumption on our environment, in the field of global climate change for example. Those who specialize in biology may work to protect endangered species and document new ones. These can all be exciting career opportunities, and almost any job in the environmental sector will have some relationship with environmental law.
Those who really want to be the movers and shakers in the field will, of course, have to obtain a law degree after finishing an undergraduate program. Law school graduates with backgrounds in environmental studies open themselves to a world of possibilities. They may work with the Environmental Protection Agency, or the World Wildlife Fund to protect animals and their habitats that are at risk of destruction, for example. They may also work with legislators and multinational corporations to ensure that sustainable development and production is being exercised all over the world.
The world of careers in environmental law is as vast and deep as the ocean. The best way to get your feet wet is to focus in on something that lights a fire in your heart and start looking for opportunities as early as possible. Get involved in volunteer work or internships while studying in college. Your college years are the perfect time to start gaining valuable experience and making connections in your field. Don’t laze about and expect opportunities to simply fall into your lap. The environmental law world is the domain of activists, so get active and get involved any way you can.
A masters in environmental law and policy alone won’t guarantee you a career. The only sure way to achieve success is to go out a seize it. The most successful individuals in any profession are the self starters. If you lack passion, you can be sure that even the most impressive credentials won’t carry you far. Break into the field as early as possible, in any way you can. You will learn new things, make connections with significant people, and gain valuable real world experience that will last a lifetime.