Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

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EnviroLaw23
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Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby EnviroLaw23 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:30 pm

$15,000 per year scholarship at Lewis and Clark, Hastings' tuition is sky rocketing. I know that I want to go into environmental law. Would either give me better prospects for public interest environmental jobs in California, or does it just come down to where I want to spend the next 3 years?

Have lived in the Bay my whole life, would like to leave for a little bit to experience something new, but ultimately want to end up back in San Francisco. Thoughts?

Headybrah
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Re: Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby Headybrah » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:32 pm

good questions I am in same boat....

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kalvano
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Re: Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby kalvano » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:41 pm

Isn't L&C the best environmental law program in the United States?

I would imagine that that fact makes it a better bet.

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flyingpanda
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Re: Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby flyingpanda » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:28 pm

I think Hastings is better than Lewis and Clark for California, no matter what field.

jazzluvr
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Re: Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby jazzluvr » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:24 pm

All the enviros in CA know that L&C is top in environmental law. My sources tell me they're all headed up there next month for the environmental law conference. So it seems if that's the area you want to practice in, AND you got money at L&C (I got in there with zero money, want to do animal law), AND you want a new experience (Portland is a great city), L&C is the way to go. I can't see how it could do anything but help you in the environmental law job market, no matter what state you want to practice in, to have gone there. They even have an env law journal, I think (you'd have to check it out) and I'm not sure Hastings does. You could work on that and gain even more cred/employability in the field...my two cents...

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ccs224
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Re: Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby ccs224 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:31 am

jazzluvr wrote:All the enviros in CA know that L&C is top in environmental law. My sources tell me they're all headed up there next month for the environmental law conference. So it seems if that's the area you want to practice in, AND you got money at L&C (I got in there with zero money, want to do animal law), AND you want a new experience (Portland is a great city), L&C is the way to go. I can't see how it could do anything but help you in the environmental law job market, no matter what state you want to practice in, to have gone there. They even have an env law journal, I think (you'd have to check it out) and I'm not sure Hastings does. You could work on that and gain even more cred/employability in the field...my two cents...


L&C actually has one of the first environmental law journals, and, I believe, the first animal law journal. They are amazing in both disciplines. However, I'm a bit conflicted about how much pull they might have when seeking environmental law jobs in the public/nonprof sector. Those jobs are hard to come by and nonprofs do seem to value the lay prestige of schools a lot when dealing with outsiders (for example, I work for an educational nonprof currently and my employers often mention my generally highly regarded undergrad and competitive alternative-ed program when speaking to outsiders and never mention my coworker's [it's a very small org, only two of us are full time besides the ED] non-traditional undergrad and greater experience in our particular field). There's a great post about the importance of lay prestige in the the "Is t14 worth it for environmental law" thread. My guess would be that L&C would be better than Hastings for those in the know (that is, those who will hire you), but won't beat out a school that will impress outsiders who don't know about L&C's reputation in environmental law.

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observationalist
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Re: Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby observationalist » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:40 pm

Keep in mind that journals are usually competitive to get on and you can't guarantee you'll make it onto one, particularly for a school where most of your classmates will also be aiming for the same. You'll want to know how many spots are available and how many people apply for them each year in figuring that out. Vandy has just 10 spots open each year for our enviro law & policy journal done with the Environmental Law Institute in DC, and for the past year competition to get on our journal was greater than it was for the other three journals. Environmental law is a rapidly growing field and there are plenty of job opportunities out there, but just be prepared to factor in the odds you'll face coming from each school. For L&C, you will need to place higher in your class to get the same job as someone with a T14 law degree who also specialized in environmental law. I don't know how much higher you'd have to be, but just keep that in mind. Everyone attending L&C will be looking at similar work (mostly PI or gov't enviro), so on the balance the expanded course offerings and networking opportunities may not outweigh the increased competition. I would say this is less important for regional nonprofit orgs where less of the class may be aiming, and more important for the large ngos like Earthjustice, NRDC etc (which can choose to stock their ranks exclusively with enviro students from the top 10 law schools).

UCHastings probably isn't competitive enough at the national level to worry about but it's worth looking into. Also, I recommend contacting the schools to see what the job placement is looking like right now (for the Class of 2010 and Class of 2011). G'luck in making the decision.

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observationalist
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Re: Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby observationalist » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:47 pm

jazzluvr wrote:All the enviros in CA know that L&C is top in environmental law. My sources tell me they're all headed up there next month for the environmental law conference. So it seems if that's the area you want to practice in, AND you got money at L&C (I got in there with zero money, want to do animal law), AND you want a new experience (Portland is a great city), L&C is the way to go. I can't see how it could do anything but help you in the environmental law job market, no matter what state you want to practice in, to have gone there. They even have an env law journal, I think (you'd have to check it out) and I'm not sure Hastings does. You could work on that and gain even more cred/employability in the field...my two cents...


I've been wanting to go to that conference for years but it's too far from Nashville to fly without the school reimbursing... maybe we'll try and send some students next year. And jazzluvr is right about L&C's recognition, just know that you don't get that recognition automatically by going to L&C. You will have to do well there in order for the aforementioned sources in CA to take a look at you as a potential hire.

Like most schools, job placement in a flooded market is taking a beating. The PI enviro litigation groups I know up in NY have had to reduce their legal teams over the last year because of drops in funding, and their associated groups out in CA are facing the same obstacles. Even with environmental law growing as a portion of the overall legal market, entry-level jobs at ngos will be more difficult to obtain until fundraising gets a boost. I was told an ngo needs about $100,000 to hire one PI attorney with overhead, which can be a lot for smaller orgs that may not have a budget exceeding $1mil. You can look up ngo tax forms online to get a better idea of how some of them operate. If you were going to be really thorough, I suggest contacting a few employers and just ask them for some advice on what they like to see in considering a potential L&C law grad for an internship or a full-time hire. You'd be surprised how many are willing to give you an answer.

[edit to clarify 'enviro litigation groups' refers to public interest orgs, not firm practice groups.]
Last edited by observationalist on Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

CaliKid
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Re: Lewis and Clark vs UC Hastings for CA Environmental Law

Postby CaliKid » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:03 pm

bump




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