If you care a lot about the environment and natural landscape of your country, why not put those feelings to use by practicing environmental law? If you know you want to practice environmental law, you should attend one of the environmental law schools.
In the United States, the environment is still a big deal. Everyone has an opinion about the state of the environment, from politicians to your neighbors. As you might have guessed, there are a lot of laws about the environment. There is also a growing need for lawyers who know the ins and outs of environmental law.
This article contains the 15 top environmental law schools. The schools have a fair acceptance rate. You would also find accurate information about their admission requirements and scholarship aids. If you want to study environmental law, then this article is for you. Keep reading.
Are the top environmental law schools Worth It?
Environmental law is a broad area of law that looks at a wide range of environmental issues. They teach topics such as water and hazardous waste. When you are wondering whether the environmental law schools are worth it, you should think of what they teach.
In the top environmental law schools, you should learn about air quality, protecting species, wetland areas, biodiversity, agriculture, and green initiatives. Waste management, strategies for sustainability, and finding alternative sources of energy are not left out. These schools should also be able to look at how to best manage and use natural resources.
Did you know that there are laws all over the world and in your area that control the environment? These laws cover noise levels, chemical releases, and cleanup. Many of the cases you will be working on have to do with pollutants. You would learn to keep them in check, move them, and clean them up. Without these laws about the environment, the government would not be able to punish people who hurt the environment.
Also, the use of fossil fuels like oil and gas is highly regulated and falls under an environmental lawyer’s job. Even though students can take environmental law classes at a lot of law schools, there are a few that stand out.
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What is the Cost of the top environmental law schools?
Every school has its price range. The more prestigious a school is, the more costly it tends to take on. The cost also depends on the quality of your environmental law degree. Can you use the degree anywhere? Is it recognized?
However, for the 2021–22 school year, the on-campus environmental law program costs $1982 per credit. It could also be $51,532 for 26 credits or $55,496 for 28 credits. The amount you would pay also depends on how many credits you take. You would pay a fee of $42.50 per semester and $1,678.50 per semester.
Health insurance costs $1,860.50. You should also add a book allowance of about $800 per semester to the cost of the school. Students should also plan on spending $10,000 per semester on living costs. Every year, all tuition and fees are subject to change. U.S. students who qualify can get loans from the federal government to help pay for school.
Students who want the awards should send a letter with their application materials explaining why they need help. If you want to get federal financial aid, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can find it at fafsa.ed.gov.
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What are the Requirements of the top environmental law schools?
Every Environmental Law School has its requirements. The general requirements are-
- Personal Statement. You would need to include a two-page statement that talks about important or unusual things about yourself
- Optional Essay. The Admissions Committee also takes into account how important it is for the school to have a diverse group of students.
- Optional Additional documents- depending on the school.
- Résumé. Include a one- to two-page resume with information about your school, extracurricular, and work activities.
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What is the Application Process for the top environmental law schools?
Step 1: Get a good GPA and score on the LSAT.
It’s not a secret that you need good grades to get into these law schools. You should choose a major you like and do well in your classes. You should also try to get a high LSAT score.
Step 2: Make your application materials interesting and show how you fit each program.
Admissions officers will look at your application if you have good grades and test scores. However, a strong personal statement will help you seal the deal.
You’ll be able to tell your story and explain why you’d be a good fit for a certain program. You’ll also be able to show that you can write well, which is an important skill for future lawyers.
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Step 3: Get your recommendation letters and apply
You should also send at least two letters of recommendation from people who can talk about how smart you are. They can also talk about how well you can work under pressure.
At least one of your letters should come from a professor whose class you’ve taken and gotten a letter grade. You can then go ahead to apply for the school of your choice.
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15 top environmental law schools in 2024
Climate change affects the world around us. The entire environment affects the world around us.
Would you not what to know what laws protect all of the natural forces? You would need to go to schools that teach environmental law for this.
The 15 top environmental law schools in 2024 are:
- 1. Lewis and Clarke Law School
- 2. Harvard University Law School
- 3. Vermont Law School
- 4. Berkeley School of Law – University of California
- 5. University of California – Los Angeles School of Law
- 6. University of Oregon School of Law
- 7. Georgetown University School of Law
- 8. Columbia University School of Law
- 9. The University of Colorado—Boulder School of Law
- 10. New York University School of Law
- 11. University Of Utah (Quinney)
- 12. Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law
- 13. University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law
- 14. George Washington University Law School
- 15. U.Chastings college of law
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#1. Lewis and Clarke Law School
The first environmental law program in the United States was at Lewis & Clark Law School. The program includes an LL.M. in E. Law and a Master of Studies in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. It also has 26 courses and 18 seminars. In addition to a full-time externship, students can get hands-on experience through internships.
In Lewis and Clarke Law School, you would learn animal law, environmental justice and civil rights, and natural resources law. The school is also home to the National Resources Law Institute and the Green Energy Institute. The Green Energy Institute runs projects and makes policies about renewable energy.
The Law Institute coordinates more than 20 education programs. This includes training for judges, lawyers, and domestic and international agencies on environmental law. Also, the school puts out two respected law journals: Environmental Law Review and Animal Law. On a global scale, Lewis and Clarke Law School is one of the top environmental law schools.
Students can choose from a wide range of courses in the year-long, in-depth environmental curriculum. In a medium externship, students can earn academic credit. Recent placements have included law firms and government agencies in Oregon, the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
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#2. Harvard University Law School
The environmental law program at Harvard Law School is one of the most unique and well-known in the world. It is one of the top environmental law schools. The Environmental & Energy Law Program at the school leads policy discussions. These discussions are on environmental, climate, and energy issues and prepare students to do the same.
The school has a lot of courses about environmental law. It also pays students to work in the public interest environmental law field during the summer. At Harvard Law School, there are chances to put what you learn in class to use right away.
Through the school’s Student Practice Organizations, first-years can try out their legal skills by, helping local musicians understand copyright laws. HLS has more legal clinics than any other school in the world, so older students can take part. Before they can graduate, every student must do at least 40 hours of pro bono, or free, work.
At Harvard University Law School, instead of letter grades, students get honors, pass, low pass, or fail. Students can live in dorms, suites, and apartments on campus, but more than 60% of them live off-campus. For a global perspective on their legal education, students can look into the joint J.D./LL.M. program. They can also study abroad for three weeks or a semester.
Harvard’s Emmett E. Law and Policy Clinic gives students a rigorous, hands-on education that prepares them to do real legal and policy work. Harvard University Law School is one of the top environmental law schools.
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#3. Vermont Law School
The Vermont Law School campus is in Royalton, Vermont. It is in the South Royalton Historic District. VLS has one of the largest and most well-known environmental law programs in the country.
In VLS, there are more degrees, certificates, faculty, and research centers than in any other school that specializes in environmental law. It is one of the top environmental law schools.
Students at VLS learn about important environmental issues like climate, energy, and land use. They also learn a lot through the Environmental Law Center. Vermont’s Environmental Law Center offers regular classes during the school year. It also has a summer session that focuses on environmental law and policy issues.
VLS also has a Master of Environmental Law and Policy program in addition to its J.D. program. This program focuses on advocacy, regulations, legislation, and markets. VLS is one of those schools. This law school has a lot of different programs, such as health law and tax law.
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#4. Berkeley School of Law – University of California
Berkeley Law is one of the top environmental law schools. The program is still as strong as it was when it started. The Environmental Law Program gives students the chance to take a wide range of classes in environmental law.
It also gives you the chance to look at the environment from different fields of study. You get important hands-on experience and connect with the innovative Bay Area environmental law community. In 2018, US News and World Reports put our environmental law program third overall. It was the highest-ranked environmental law program among the top 10 law schools.
The Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment, is part of the Environmental Law Program. It gives students the chance to work with faculty and staff on cross-disciplinary research (CLEE). CLEE tries to come up with smart, workable answers to important environmental and energy problems. This includes climate change, renewable energy, clean water, and healthy oceans.
Through the Environmental Law Clinic, students also have the chance to get hands-on legal experience (ELC). Ecology Law Quarterly (ELQ), the best environmental law journal in the country, is another way for students to get involved. This is the best student-run journal, and students can join and eventually become editors. They can write articles and edit works written by leaders in the field.
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#5. University of California – Los Angeles School of Law
The UCLA School of Law is a well-known public school that is only about 60 years old and has a high ranking. It ranks #5 on our list of the top environmental law schools. Law students can focus on areas like Business Law and Policy, Critical Race Studies, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property Law.
Students can also get joint degrees through programs offered by different parts of UCLA. The School of Law has almost 20 clinics where students can get real-world legal experience. It also has a unique deposition course where students and faculty take depositions in real cases.
There are about 20 research centers and programs, such as the PULSE Program on Understanding Law, and Science. There are more than 10 law journals, such as the Entertainment Law Review and the Journal of Law & Technology. About 70% of the students at the UCLA School of Law are from the state of California.
Students can live in homes owned by the university that is close to the Los Angeles campus. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law has a full program in environmental law. Courses include E.Law, the E.Law Clinic, International E.Law, Land Use, Public Natural Resources Law and Policy, and more.
#6. University of Oregon School of Law
The University of Oregon School of Law also has an environmental law program that thinks ahead. Some of the most important environmental lawyers in the world went to this school because of its long-running program and strong curriculum. It is one of the top environmental law schools.
Oregon Law students can choose from seven multidisciplinary research projects. Students can learn more about environmental law and improve their research. They can also improve their writing, and editing skills by using the Journal of E.Law and Litigation. The Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENR) Center in Oregon focuses on environmental law that is in the public interest.
It gives students hands-on experience and lets them know about the latest environmental law issues. If you want to study environmental law, you should consider the University of Oregon School of Law.
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#7. Georgetown University School of Law
The Georgetown Law Center is close to the center of the federal government. The Law Center also offers joint degree programs like the J.D./Ph.D. in Government program. It looks at how the law affects the American government and political processes.
Georgetown University also offers joint degree programs with other well-known schools. These include a J.D./MBA program with the McDonough School of Business. And a J.D./M.P.H. program with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. The E.law curriculum at Georgetown University School of Law is very extensive.
Since the school is in Washington, D.C., the Environmental Law & Policy Program gives students unique chances to practice. Georgetown offers courses at different levels in both domestic and international environmental law. This includes energy, natural resources, land use, historic preservation, and food law.
The Georgetown Climate Center has a big impact on how people talk about climate change all over the country. The school offers both an Environmental Law J.D. They require an Environmental Law LL.M. Core course for the Environmental Law J.D. program.
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#8. Columbia University School of Law
U.S. News reviews more than 700 graduate schools every year. Columbia University is one of them. Columbia University has always had a well-rounded program in environmental law. The Environmental and Energy Law program at the school teaches students about the latest environmental issues.
Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Environmental Law Clinic studies trends. It also tries to find solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental problems.
Students at Columbia Law Clinic learn about important environmental law issues like water, protecting wetlands, and endangered species. Also, students can take part in activities outside of school that help protect the environment.
Equally, students can get scholarships and fellowships in environmental law and learn how to advocate through the E.Law Society. It is one of the top environmental law schools.
#9. The University of Colorado—Boulder School of Law
At the University of Colorado—Boulder Law School, students can get their J.D. in as little as 2.5 years. Students can focus their legal education on areas like atmospheric and natural resource law, intellectual property, technology, and communications. There are also several dual degree programs.
In addition to a traditional legal curriculum, the school has an Experiential Learning Program. The program puts students in clinics, externships, and a voluntary public service program. They have to do at least 50 hours of pro bono work before they graduate. Students can also get involved in school centers like the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship.
The way they teach environmental law at Colorado Law is different from what other schools do. This makes it one of the top environmental law schools. The school gives out several joint degrees, such as a Doctor/in Master’s environmental studies (JD/ENVS), a Juris Doctor/Doctorate in Environmental Studies (JD/Ph.D.), and a Juris Doctor/Master of Urban and Regional Planning (JD/MURP).
A Graduate Energy Certificate Program and an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program in Environment, Policy, and Society are also available to students. Colorado’s Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law program helps students get ready for work in law firms, corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies.
#10. New York University School of Law
The NYU School of Law prepares students for careers in environmental law. It works with an innovative curriculum taught by some of the best scholars in the country. It is one of the top environmental law schools in the country.
In the seminars at NYU Law, students learn about some of the most important environmental problems. They learn about food and agricultural law and policy, animal law, and international environmental law.
Students can also get training and experience in the real world through the Institute for Policy Integrity. The Frank J. Guarani Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law is also available at NYU.
The students run the school’s Environmental Law Society. It is another great way for students to get involved. They can also make connections, and host events that are good for the environment.
Students can get joint degrees from other schools at NYU. You can join one of more than 50 student groups, and you can live on the residential campus. The school also has exchange programs for foreign students, giving law students a chance to study abroad. The school is one of the top environmental law schools.
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#11. University of Utah (Quinney)
The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law offers a JD Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Quinney also provides an Environmental Dispute Resolution Program.
It trains students in mediation in the field of environmental law. It recognizes the need for dispute resolution skills for future lawyers.
The class of 2024 at Quinney College of Law had a median LSAT score of 160 and a 3.60 undergraduate GPA. It is one of the top environmental law schools.
#12. Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law
Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law is in White Plains, New York. JD, LLM, and SJD are some of the most popular degrees.
Some programs have made a name for themselves by devoting resources to studying climate and energy concerns and practicing environmental law. Pace University’s Environmental Law Program is well regarded for each of these reasons.
Pace University is the place to go if you want to be close to the activity in Washington, DC, and New York City.
Your potential to make an impact in the world of environmental regulation and policy depends on your externship opportunities. Pace connects students with excellent ones both inside and beyond the Beltway.
#13. University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law
This school assists students in choosing a set of courses that provide a solid basis for practicing environmental law. Students will get a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of Administrative Law. This controls environmental agencies’ procedures, in addition to studying significant federal environmental statutes.
The classes also give essential basic information in key constitutional theories like takings, standing, and separation of powers laws. In small classes, students can go deeper into many specific themes.
They would also better understand the policy choices and regulatory tools. Experiential learning opportunities, such as an externship with environmental groups are available to students.
#14. George Washington University Law School
The Environmental and Energy Law Program at George Washington University is the vanguard of environmental law for 50 years.
The curriculum has grown over the last decade to include a stronger concentration on energy law. It has also added additional classes and the creation of the Sustainable Energy Initiative.
Today, the program is rapidly expanding to equip the next generation of environmental and energy lawyers.
This school equips you with the skills you’ll need to address the local, national, and international challenges.
They include climate change, fisheries depletion, air pollution, water scarcity, and the development of new energy sources.
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#15. U.C Hastings college of law
UC Hastings environmental law students address legal and public policy concerns affecting the planet’s future.
They do this through a combination of rigorous academics and real-world job experience.
With leading commercial and public law firms, within walking distance of the campus, it is one of the top environmental law schools.
Environmental law students are taught by some of the field’s most innovative thinkers. Some of the core faculty members have The Rutter Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Can you get an Environmental Law Degree Online?
The American Bar Association says that most of the 83 hours for a J.D. must be in a classroom. The ABA does allow 16 hours for online classrooms.
However, this is only for four hours per semester. Also, most ABA-accredited law schools don’t let students take classes from home during the first year.
There are, however, a lot of online law schools you can get your environmental law degree from. Since becoming an attorney in some places does not require an ABA-accredited law degree.
Also, the ABA is likely to change its rules about online education because students use it for advanced degrees.
The University of Syracuse College of Law for instance offers an environmental law degree online. It shows what online Juris Doctor programs may look like in the future.
This program has the approval of the American Bar Association (ABA). It is a mix of online and on-campus classes.
An environmental law online program is more flexible than traditional legal education. However, it still takes more than 3 years to finish and requires a mix of live classroom and online learning.
What Jobs are available After Attending the top environmental law schools?
Over 90% of law school graduates go on to practice law, and most find jobs within 10 months of graduating. But practicing law is very different, and there are many different kinds of jobs and pay scales. Environmental law isn’t left out of this list.
Most of the time, there are jobs in the private sector and jobs in the public sector. In the private sector, you can work in a law firm or in-house for a big company.
In general, private sector jobs pay more, making it harder to get these jobs. Most graduates who took jobs in the private sector started with a salary between $60,000 and $85,000.
Nearly half of them made more than $85,000, and a much smaller number of them made more than $150,000. Jobs in the public sector pay less than jobs in the private sector.
Some of these jobs are as prosecutors, public defenders, and advocates for non-profits. Most first-year salaries in the public sector are less than $60,000.
It’s also important to know that lawyers’ starting salaries increase quickly as they gain more experience. In 2019, the average salary of a lawyer was over $120,000.
Also, many environmental law school graduates go into jobs that don’t require a license to practice law.
They use their legal training in other ways. When you finish law school, you can work in law enforcement, finance, or several other fields.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the best programs on environmental law: the University of California—Berkeley and the University of California—Los Angeles. Lewis & Clark University (Northwestern), The University of New York, and Vermont School of Law are not left out.
The University of Stanford is currently the best law school in the world.
Yes. At Harvard Law School, the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic gives students the chance to work on a variety of projects that involve environmental law.
Yes. The Cornell Environmental Law Society (ELS) is a student group at Cornell Law School that works on its own. ELS tries to get people at Cornell University interested in and aware of environmental law. ELS works to improve courses and research in environmental law.
Yes. Demand for environmental lawyers is growing about as fast as average. Over the next 10 years, they expect it to grow by 9 percent. By 2028, there will be about 71,500 more jobs for lawyers.
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You can be sure that if you chose to work in environmental law, you would make a difference in the world. You’ll also become an expert in an area that more and more people want to learn about. E.law lets lawyers and people who want to become lawyers combine their love of the law with their love of the environment.
Imagine being directly involved in making rules to protect the environment and enforcing the rules that are already in place by going to court. Environmental lawyers deal with a wide range of problems. They also often help both people and businesses with environmental problems.
Problems with the environment aren’t going away any time soon. With more people talking about climate change, the environment will be a popular topic for years to come.
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