Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

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jmtyner11
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Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby jmtyner11 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:15 am

Trying to make a final decision. I am trying to study environmental law and have a deposit in at Denver U Law. However, I am also waitlisted at Maryland and am from there as well, hoping to end up in the area eventually. Should I go to Denver, or take my chances and hope to get off UMD's waitlist?

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Br3v
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby Br3v » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:22 am

jmtyner11 wrote:Trying to make a final decision. I am trying to study environmental law and have a deposit in at Denver U Law. However, I am also waitlisted at Maryland and am from there as well, hoping to end up in the area eventually. Should I go to Denver, or take my chances and hope to get off UMD's waitlist?


1) you can put down deposit and still wait for UMD, even if they playfully make you think you can't, you can unless you ED'd (check me on this however)

2) don't go to law school to study a certain section of the law like enviro law, const law, or space law. It will not matter when it comes time to land a job. Every school has some claim to fame tha they are best at (ex. #2 in nation Athletes foot malpractice law) ignore that.

3) what is your gpa/LSAT? Would you consider taking a yr off if you could attend a top school?

2012JayDee
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby 2012JayDee » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:24 am

You want to work in Maryland and you're considering attending law school in Denver?
Why? If it has something to do with some environmental law ranking of Denver--then don't go there!!!

If you want to live and work in Maryland you need to make your way over to the east coast and go to school somewhere in the MD/DC/VA area. Whatever specialty Denver (or any other school) may claim to have will have very little bearing on an employer's decision to hire you. If you want to work at a law firm you will likely have to go through OCI. Generally, OCI begins the summer after your first year of employment and you're applying to firms with only 1L grades. By the end of 1L it is probably unlikely that you've even taken 1 environmental law class, let alone been able to take advantage of any so-called specialty the school has to offer.

Now if Denver has some kind of incredible environmental law clinical program and you desperately want to be a part that's fair, but realize that will probably get you nowhere with the Maryland market. Again, I can't see a law firm sending out partners or associates to Denver to interview because the school has a clinical program.

If you want to work for some government agency that has offices all over the country the maybe a degree from Denver law doesn't really matter that much. If you truly don't mind living in Denver for a while then Denver is probably not that bad of an idea. But again, if your main purpose in going to Denver law is to study environmental law and try and get a job in Maryland I don't see this working out at all.

What are your other options (besides WL at Maryland)?

jmtyner11
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby jmtyner11 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:28 am

I am URM, 3.2, 155. I have considered taking a year off and trying to get a job or internship doing policy work but I would prefer to be going this school this fall. I am not against staying in Denver, but after a few years may want to be back in Maryland. Another option would be to get of Baltimore's waitlist and attempt to transfer in to UMD.

Is it really that farfetched that I would have zero chance to get some sort of employment in the VA/MD/DC area going out to Denver?

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Br3v
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby Br3v » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:32 am

jmtyner11 wrote:I am URM, 3.2, 155. I have considered taking a year off and trying to get a job or internship doing policy work but I would prefer to be going this school this fall. I am not against staying in Denver, but after a few years may want to be back in Maryland. Another option would be to get of Baltimore's waitlist and attempt to transfer in to UMD.

Is it really that farfetched that I would have zero chance to get some sort of employment in the VA/MD/DC area going out to Denver?


Gen advice: top 14 school or best local school in region you want to work after grad.


How long did you study for LSAT?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:34 am

jmtyner11 wrote:I am URM, 3.2, 155. I have considered taking a year off and trying to get a job or internship doing policy work but I would prefer to be going this school this fall. I am not against staying in Denver, but after a few years may want to be back in Maryland. Another option would be to get of Baltimore's waitlist and attempt to transfer in to UMD.

Is it really that farfetched that I would have zero chance to get some sort of employment in the VA/MD/DC area going out to Denver?
Generally, you need either prestige (T14), or a local reputation and alumni network to have a decent shot at getting a job in a market.

jmtyner11
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby jmtyner11 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:38 am

Hmm okay. As far as studying, I definitely could have studied longer. I was preoccupied with other school work and responsibilities when I previously took it.

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Br3v
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby Br3v » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:45 am

jmtyner11 wrote:Hmm okay. As far as studying, I definitely could have studied longer. I was preoccupied with other school work and responsibilities when I previously took it.


How long did you study for LSAT?

2012JayDee
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby 2012JayDee » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:59 am

jmtyner11 wrote:I am URM, 3.2, 155. I have considered taking a year off and trying to get a job or internship doing policy work but I would prefer to be going this school this fall. I am not against staying in Denver, but after a few years may want to be back in Maryland. Another option would be to get of Baltimore's waitlist and attempt to transfer in to UMD.

is it really that farfetched that I would have zero chance to get some sort of employment in the VA/MD/DC area going out to Denver?




It's not farfetched at all to think you would have no chance of employment on the Atlantic coast coming from Denver. It's a near certainty! There must be more to this story. I've never heard of anyone pulling for Denver so hard when the ultimate goal is the east coast region.
Is Denver giving you a full ride?
You're a URM (are you AA) with a 3.2 155---have you considered Howard? I don't know much about Howard but it's in DC and the sheer number of employers that recruit there put it on par with any T14 around (just in terms of OCI numbers). Granted, most firms are pretty much there to check the diversity box but so what, they're there. But if you can do well at Howard (and that's a big if because success is not guaranteed at any school) you can probably land a decent firm gig. If not, at least you're still in your region of choice and DC has more jobs for lawyers than any other place in the country. I would bet your chances of going to Howard and getting a job in Maryland are greater than your chances of the same coming from a school west of the Mississippi River. I don't know anything about Baltimore. UMD seems like it would be a pretty solid choice for post-grad options. Maryland is a small state with few other schools in competition in the state, the market is not flooded with JDs (of course, there probably is a much smaller pool of available JD jobs, but it's all relative). The surrounding schools in ~DC (GULC, GW,UVA) have grads that are going for large firm jobs and government work in DC/NY.

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thelawyler
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby thelawyler » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:46 pm

jmtyner11 wrote:Hmm okay. As far as studying, I definitely could have studied longer. I was preoccupied with other school work and responsibilities when I previously took it.


There is nothing you could be doing right now that brings a higher rate of return per hour than studying for the LSAT. Let's say you spend 5 hours of studying five days a week for eight weeks. That's 5 x 5 x 8 = 200 hours. Let's say that 200 hours turns into a $100,000 scholarship at better schools because you raised your score 10-15 points, and that school gave you opportunities to increase your lifetime earnings by over 2million dollars. Without calculating the life time earnings, just from scholarship savings you'd have just made $500/hour for studying for the LSAT. Now I don't claim to know what you do for a living, but I highly doubt you make $500/hour if you are contemplating law school.

Basically, it's worth it and to not try your hardest on the LSAT is the silliest mistake you could ever make.

NOTE: even if you double the study hours, that's still $250/hour. Yeaaah.

Sincerely,

Man who took it three times and applied twice.

abc12345675
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby abc12345675 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:58 am

If you are dead set on doing Environmental Law, I'd go to DU. They have a Water Law Review, the Rocky Mountain Land Use Foundation, and just have an overall GREAT presence in the Environmental community. Most of the big firms in Denver have a large Env. presence and the community as a whole is very large in Denver. Also, most Fed Agencies have regional offices in Denver, with the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service having particularly large offices.

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spleenworship
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby spleenworship » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:12 pm

Don't go into environmental law.

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top30man
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby top30man » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:13 pm

abc12345675 wrote:If you are dead set on doing Environmental Law, I'd go to DU. They have a Water Law Review, the Rocky Mountain Land Use Foundation, and just have an overall GREAT presence in the Environmental community. Most of the big firms in Denver have a large Env. presence and the community as a whole is very large in Denver. Also, most Fed Agencies have regional offices in Denver, with the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service having particularly large offices.

None of this equals full time employment in the field.

abc12345675
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby abc12345675 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:15 pm

top30man wrote:
abc12345675 wrote:If you are dead set on doing Environmental Law, I'd go to DU. They have a Water Law Review, the Rocky Mountain Land Use Foundation, and just have an overall GREAT presence in the Environmental community. Most of the big firms in Denver have a large Env. presence and the community as a whole is very large in Denver. Also, most Fed Agencies have regional offices in Denver, with the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service having particularly large offices.

None of this equals full time employment in the field.


No. But it does equal a better shot at full time employment in the field than Maryland does.

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flem
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby flem » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:25 pm

Environmental law is a flame, unless you work biglaw and are cool with defending oil companies from tort litigation

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spleenworship
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby spleenworship » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:49 pm

spleenworship wrote:Don't go into environmental law.

abc12345675
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby abc12345675 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:51 pm

I'm not sure I understand this no Environmental Law sentiment. I do not want to go in to it, but it's a valid field. In the arid West, it is probably one of the top 3 fields than non-ambulance chasers do. So if OP wants to work in a place like Nevada, Colorado, or Utah there are opportunities.

2012JayDee
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby 2012JayDee » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:14 pm

abc12345675 wrote:I'm not sure I understand this no Environmental Law sentiment. I do not want to go in to it, but it's a valid field. In the arid West, it is probably one of the top 3 fields than non-ambulance chasers do. So if OP wants to work in a place like Nevada, Colorado, or Utah there are opportunities.



1st: Environmental law is one of those imaginary practice areas that law students actually think offer opportunity...like Entertainment law.
If you want to do either of these things what you're really saying is, "I want to work at a law firm and preferably one that has ____ as clients." Where _____ is either some company liable to be in litigation because they dug where they weren't supposed to. Or _____ is a company that does media, film, or tv. Either way those companies are going to deal primarily with law firms. And if you want to practice that kind of law you really just need to go work at a law firm.

2nd: OP has stated he wants to go to Denver but want to work in Maryland (not in Nevada, Colorado, or Utah).

3rd: "It's probably one of the top 3 fields that a non-ambulance chasers do." Warrants a huge...umm...what?!?!?
By ambulance chaser I assume you mean one of the following: tort litigators or personal injury attorneys.
Which means that you think Environmental law trumps things like: Bankruptcy, Tax, Intellectual Property, Real Estate, General Litigation, or I don't know...50 other practice areas that are more popular than environmental law.

Denver law (with a full tuition scholarship) is fine if you want to work for a firm in Denver that practices environmental law. If you plan to leave Denver just after law school with a Denver Law degree you should be moving to a state that has reciprocity with Denver in order to work at a firm that does environmental law. Otherwise there is no good reason to attend Denver law just because you think you want to practice environmental law and especially if you want to work 1000 miles away.

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romothesavior
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby romothesavior » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:14 am

Uhh... environmental law absolutely exists. Hell, its one of the biggest areas of practice at my firm. Never understood why people say its on par with entertainment or international and "doesnt exist." Energy law, environmental litigation and regulation, toxic tort, etc. are all very hot fields. To say it doesn't exist or don't do it is asinine.

But I think most law students don't get what it means. Wanna litigate CWA, CERCLA, CAA, RCRA, etc. cases? Wanna get involved in insurance disputes over liability for environmental cleanup costs? Then its right up your alley. Some people, myself included, get off on that stuff. And it isn't necessarily all environmental defense at a firm. At least where I work, almost all of our clients in most practice areas are as defendants, but environmental actually has a split.

But if you think you're gonna go to the EPA or the Sierra Club and take down the big corporations or save the whales? Not gonna happen, at least not out of law school. But not because "environmental law doesn't exist." More because environmental government and PI jobs have dried up, just like most other government and PI jobs.

OP, as for your question, do NOT pick a school because of their "environmental program." Go to the best school you get into or the top regional in the area you want to practice in. I'd say if you are a non-corporation/firm type of guy, you're going to have a hard time breaking into environmental work. I'd maybe shoot for like state government, say at the AG's office or something, and try to get work in their environmental unit. But agencies like the EPA, and organizations like Sierra, Audubon, etc. have smallish legal teams, aren't going to hire you out of law school, and even if they did, they'd want people with experience in the field before law school.

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Mce252
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby Mce252 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:56 am

Google Superfund and you will quickly find that environmental law does exist and it employs many attorneys. You just need to be comfortable working for both sides (to get experience if you want to work for the EPA or something). In many environmental situations, you aren't exactly "defending" against environmental suits. You're just helping the company make sure they only pay their share of the cost. The EPA is not an entity you can bargain with very well.

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spleenworship
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby spleenworship » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:36 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Wanna litigate CWA, CERCLA, CAA, RCRA, etc. cases? Wanna get involved in insurance disputes over liability for environmental cleanup costs? Then its right up your alley. Some people, myself included, get off on that stuff.


Thank gawd you do.... Because that stuff makes me want to cut myself, and makes most people want to too, which is why I was telling OP not to do it. Most 0Ls who want to do environmental law are all bunny hugging idealists with no real idea of two vital facts: 1) administrative law (which is really what environmental law is) is, for 80% of law students, incredibly boring, painful, and hideous, and; 2) most of the jobs that actually pay a living wage (as opposed to a "driving an '87 Hyundai and living in a studio while buying suits at ThriftTown" wage) are on the defense side, which most of the aforementioned ducksqueezing idealists don't want, and even the hippie non-profit wage jobs are a bitch to get on the "good-guy's" side (not that I think they are necessarily good automatically per se, I like oil, gas, and electic in a general way, and think somone needs to keep the tree-huggers from putting us back into the stone age).

2012JayDee
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby 2012JayDee » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:29 pm

romothesavior wrote:Uhh... environmental law absolutely exists. Hell, its one of the biggest areas of practice at my firm. Never understood why people say its on par with entertainment or international and "doesnt exist." Energy law, environmental litigation and regulation, toxic tort, etc. are all very hot fields. To say it doesn't exist or don't do it is asinine.

But I think most law students don't get what it means. Wanna litigate CWA, CERCLA, CAA, RCRA, etc. cases? Wanna get involved in insurance disputes over liability for environmental cleanup costs? Then its right up your alley. Some people, myself included, get off on that stuff. And it isn't necessarily all environmental defense at a firm. At least where I work, almost all of our clients in most practice areas are as defendants, but environmental actually has a split.

But if you think you're gonna go to the EPA or the Sierra Club and take down the big corporations or save the whales? Not gonna happen, at least not out of law school. But not because "environmental law doesn't exist." More because environmental government and PI jobs have dried up, just like most other government and PI jobs.

OP, as for your question, do NOT pick a school because of their "environmental program." Go to the best school you get into or the top regional in the area you want to practice in. I'd say if you are a non-corporation/firm type of guy, you're going to have a hard time breaking into environmental work. I'd maybe shoot for like state government, say at the AG's office or something, and try to get work in their environmental unit. But agencies like the EPA, and organizations like Sierra, Audubon, etc. have smallish legal teams, aren't going to hire you out of law school, and even if they did, they'd want people with experience in the field before law school.


And at my firm entertainment law is huge! My point about environmental law being like entertainment law is exactly what you went on to mention. Most 0Ls, 1Ls (any law student that has never seen it in practice) thinks it's something that it definitely is not. They are fascinated by the idea of a practice area that is usually far from the reality. I see lots of people saying they want to go to X school because it has a good entertainment law program (i.e. every school in California not Stanford). They think by entertainment law they're going to be shooting ball with LeBron or trying on designer clothes for Burberry. The reality is that it's contracts, IP, tax, estate planning and immigration law all rolled up. Since that's the case any good law school would do. There's really no reason to dive head first into a random school in the middle of the nation for the idea that you want to practice enviro law.

I definitely didn't intend to imply the practice itself does not exist, just the idea most prospective students have about it are not accurate. And of course--it doesn't make Denver a good choice under any circumstance.

mowmissy
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby mowmissy » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:15 pm

Vermont Law School offers a summers-only master's program for environmental law. You take the same courses that could also count towards a J.D. (law classes with law students). They also allow it to be a joint degree with other law schools Masters/JD http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Academics/Deg ... egrees.htm

Edit: I only bring up VLS because you want to end up back on the east coast and I highly recommend this program :) I certainly enjoyed it! Some of what I took there: Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Ocean and Coastal Law, Land Use, Wetlands Policy, Watershed Management, Clean Water Act (yes a class dedicated to JUST the CWA -which is also a summer class **taught by an EPA lawyer**)

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romothesavior
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:38 am

mowmissy wrote:Vermont Law School offers a summers-only master's program for environmental law. You take the same courses that could also count towards a J.D. (law classes with law students). They also allow it to be a joint degree with other law schools Masters/JD http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Academics/Deg ... egrees.htm

Edit: I only bring up VLS because you want to end up back on the east coast and I highly recommend this program :) I certainly enjoyed it! Some of what I took there: Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Ocean and Coastal Law, Land Use, Wetlands Policy, Watershed Management, Clean Water Act (yes a class dedicated to JUST the CWA -which is also a summer class **taught by an EPA lawyer**)

I have a better idea: go to a school with respectable big law placement and learn most of it on the job.

I would go to school in a cardboard box taught by homeless people if it placed well before I went somewhere for the "good program" with terrible placement.

timbs4339
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Re: Environmental Law - Which Should I do?

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:41 am

mowmissy wrote:Vermont Law School offers a summers-only master's program for environmental law. You take the same courses that could also count towards a J.D. (law classes with law students). They also allow it to be a joint degree with other law schools Masters/JD http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Academics/Deg ... egrees.htm

Edit: I only bring up VLS because you want to end up back on the east coast and I highly recommend this program :) I certainly enjoyed it! Some of what I took there: Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Ocean and Coastal Law, Land Use, Wetlands Policy, Watershed Management, Clean Water Act (yes a class dedicated to JUST the CWA -which is also a summer class **taught by an EPA lawyer**)


Do you have a job in environmental law?




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