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I've heard the spiel that most environmental law graduates end up working for corporations, but I've also heard that especially with environmental law, t-14 graduates are usually the ones with the most flexibility and opportunities out of the gate to jump into my preferred fields. However, I think for t-14 chances, my current numbers: 3.59 undergraduate GPA and 170 LSAT are not exceptional. I retook recently and I expect to hit the mid-170s, but I am not considering that for now. I would of course like to maximize financial aid. I also have a 1-year MSL degree in environmental policy and got mostly honours grades if that helps me at all
So I am wondering whether this sort of career-flexibility for environmental law graduates is limited to these top schools or whether 14-30ish ranked schools can offer anything comparable(schools like Vanderbilt, GWU, BU)? If so, are there any specific schools in this range that are particularly well positioned for those going into environmental law? I wonder because I feel like my numbers would be more likely to net me decent scholarships at those schools. I don't care too much about the regional/national gap as I would be thrilled to work for a regional environmental organization or state government, but I certainly do want to at least be well-positioned to at least be in the running for those at the very least.
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I began my career as an environmental litigator at a state/regional organization and did not go to a t-14 (except for that one time in 2017). I can't speak to more national orgs/federal jobs but in my experience, state/regional agencies and advocacy groups care less about the school you went to than your demonstrated interest in government/non-profit work. In that regard, I do think your MSL is helpful in terms of getting a job although LS admissions likely won't care all that much. I wouldn't worry about specialty programs at certain schools or base my decision on these at all. There is no school that has some special advantage in the environmental practice area, and most state/local governments and regional orgs are going to hire from the top schools in their region.
Hope that is helpful in some way. I realize my advice kind of tells you the best way to achieve achieve your backup goals.
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With a 3.59 GPA and a 170 LSAT, you should receive many full tuition & fees scholarship offers among Tier One (top 50) law schools.
Based on your career goals, it is best to attend law school on a full tuition & fees scholarship so that you have the financial freedom to accept a low paying position in your field of interest.
Nevertheless, it would be wise to apply to to all schools that are of interest to you from the lower half of the top 14 down.
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