Job Facts for Environmental Lawyer Jobs

Environmental lawyer jobs are some of the most important legal professions in the industry. Environmental lawyers play a vital role in our society as a whole. Here are the basics of being an environmental lawyer and what you should expect to get out of the job.

Becoming an Environmental Lawyer

In order to become an environmental lawyer, you will have to go through quite a bit of formal training and education. You will need to get your bachelor's degree from an accredited university. During college, you will want to make sure that you become well-versed in environmental science. This will give you knowledge that you need in order to eventually become an environmental attorney. After you graduate from college, you will need to take the Law School Aptitude Test. You will need to get a solid score on this test in order to get into law school. Once you get into law school, you will have to attend for approximately 3 years. After you graduate from law school, you will have to pass the bar exam in your state. This will allow you to become a practicing attorney. You may also need to gain experience by providing pro bono service in the public sector.

Basic Tasks

An environmental lawyer could perform a variety of different tasks that have to do with environmental law. As an environmental lawyer, you will typically work with community groups in order to file legal actions to protect the environment. Many of these lawyers will file lawsuits against corporations that are not treating the environment in a safe manner. Many times, environmental lawyers will also play a role in large real estate transactions. For example, if a company is worried about an environmental factor, they can consult with an environmental attorney in order to determine liability. If they do not want to get stuck with a large environmental cleanup bill, they can get the opinion of an environmental attorney first.

Work Schedule

In most cases, an environmental attorney will try to stick to a 40-hour work week. However, they may be required to work more as the situation warrants. If they are in the middle of a big case, they could easily put in 50 or 60 hours a week.


The median salary for an environmental lawyer in 2010 is approximately $78,000 per year.

Opportunities for Advancement

The field of environmental law presents you with numerous opportunities for advancement. Many environmental lawyers will eventually get the chance to move up to a district attorney position or the head of a legal department. Many of them also will run for a judge position. Since environmental law is such a popular topic these days, many large law firms will have entire departments dedicated to this area of law. Therefore, if you are good at what you do, one of these companies might decide to bring you on as the head of the environmental law department.