Trouble deciding where to apply?

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Trouble deciding where to apply?

Postby envirolaw2018 » Sun May 28, 2017 6:36 pm

I am applying to law school starting in September this year, and am having a bit of trouble determining where.
I want to practice environmental law, my question is: Is it better to attend a school such as Vermont Law, which is consistently in the top 3 "Environmental law" programs, or better to attend a T-14 school, such as UVA, that has environmental programs as well?
I have yet to take the LSAT, and scheduled to June 12th. On my practice exams I am consistently getting above a 169, my highest to date was a 173. My GPA is a 3.82 in environmental science B. S. major.
I don't really know what state I will end up practicing in, as my fiance is in the military. So we will be moving fairly frequently, and I can't necessarily pick a state! So I don't know how this factors into my choices as to where I should apply!
Thank you!

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Re: Trouble deciding where to apply?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun May 28, 2017 6:41 pm

Get an LSAT score before you start planning out your applications.

But to answer the general question, specialty rankings are meaningless. A T14 school will kick Vermont's ass in every single area of placement, including environmental law. In addition to focusing on your LSAT, though, I'd spend some time researching plausible career tracks. T14 schools give you a lot of flexibility in terms of where you practice, but that doesn't mean that there are a bunch of legal jobs out there where you can pick up and move on a moment's notice because of a redeployment. Additionally, environmental law is a super-competitive specialty area, so you might need to be prepared to practice more generally if you can't land a position in the same area where the military requires your family to be.

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Re: Trouble deciding where to apply?

Postby envirolaw2018 » Wed May 31, 2017 9:03 am

Thank you for your advice!

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Re: Trouble deciding where to apply?

Postby Nebby » Wed May 31, 2017 9:32 am

As an environmental attorney, I'll reiterate that specialty rankings are meaningless. I have colleagues that attended schools like Vermont and Lewis & Clark, but they were top of their classes and most of their classmates had no job offer wry graduation. I recommend using the employment scores available at as a general proxy for placement power. Also, my school didn't have a dedicated environmental law program and I did just fine.

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