Literally Save the Planet: An Environmental Lawyer Career Profile
The world needs us to give a darn. The climate crisis, ecological collapse, and political inertia have brought the planet to a precipice. We need to overhaul a toxic system. This can be done collectively through various means, from voting for progressive game changers to reconsidering our lifestyles. Environmental law is an exciting field of law that is setting new precedents with one groundbreaking case after another. Becoming an environmental lawyer is a powerful way to make a difference in a world that desperately needs it.
In this particular world of law, you act as both an advisor and legal advocate for environmental and natural issues. You prepare and are involved in cases against corporations and individuals that are neglecting or harming the environment in different ways. This means assisting investigators, providing legal advocacy to different agencies in need of help, partaking in lobbying for environmental causes, and presenting your cases in trials. You must be ready to work in legal and government offices, as well as out in the field alongside clients, conducting research, and appearing at hearings.
The work gives you the satisfaction of making a critical difference in one of the great challenges of our time. You get to work alongside a variety of people and help those in need. In order to do all of this, you must have strong communication and critical thinking skills. You must also be prepared to take on the long hours, as well as the emotional toll of legal cases and challenging other parties equipped with their own team of skilled lawyers. This is a career path of high rewards but also high stress.
As environmental law is a highly specialized field, it can be difficult to determine accurate numbers for salaries. Lawyers who are at the beginning of their career can expect to make around $60,000 to $75,000 annually. Once you have gained a number of years of experience, this can increase to an overage of $172,000 per year. Many jobs in the environmental field are in the salary range of $50,000 to $90,000, with the vast majority being full-time. Quite a few opportunities can be found in major cities such as Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia.
The path to becoming an environmental lawyer starts with your undergraduate program. It is recommended to focus on areas of study such as environmental studies or sciences, as well as business or commerce. From there, you must complete a three-year Bachelor of Laws degree through law school. Admittance depends on your academic record and Law School Admission Test score. Furthermore, depending on the province you live in, you may have to work one year as a student-at-law before becoming a licensed law practitioner. It is a more arduous path than many other careers, and therefore requires passion, perseverance, and persistence. It is a path that can lead to the way to groundbreaking legal cases and being the head of your own law firm. You could also transition into other environmental or governmental roles.
The planet is dying. It needs our action. There are steps you can take right away, such as lifestyle choices and supporting progressive politicians. You can also direct your career goals towards fields such as environmental law. It takes a tremendous effort, but can come with great rewards. This career choice gives you the chance to make a colossal difference by challenging corporate destruction and shifting laws and practices into a greener direction. Becoming an environmental lawyer means not only a brighter future for you, but for future generations as well.
Academic Invest. “How to Become an Environmental Lawyer.” https://www.academicinvest.com/science-careers/environmental-science-careers/how-to-become-an-environmental-lawyer
Eco Canada. “Environmental Lawyer.” https://www.eco.ca/career-profiles/environmental-lawyer/
Indeed. “Environmental Lawyer Jobs.” https://ca.indeed.com/Environmental-Lawyer-jobs