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Environmental Lawyer

Job Snapshot: 
A passion for the environment and a strong sense of justice drives you. Environmental law is a new and challenging area where fresh ideas and determination really pay off. As an Environmental Lawyer, you may work with environmental disputes between parties, criminal cases, or perhaps in negotiating contracts and land claims for renewable energy developments.
Roles & Responsibilities: 
Environmental lawyers are responsible for upholding and protecting the environmental laws of the country. This can mean representing an NGO (non-governmental organization), working independently with individuals and groups impacted by pollution, being part of a larger legal firm, or working for the government. Environmental legislation in Canada is complex, and varies from province to province, so staying up-to-date on your particular area of expertise will be key. As stricter laws are passed, corporations and private businesses will also need legal expertise to ensure that they comply with the latest environmental regulations. Environmental lawyers are sometimes also called upon to help develop new policies.
Environmental Understanding and Essential Skills: 

Understanding: broad understanding of environmental laws and issues, though specialization in a specific area is beneficial.

Skills: problem solving, public speaking, critical thinking, organization, research, negotiation, report writing.

Education and Recommended Courses: 
A graduate law degree (called a J.D., or juris doctorate) is necessary to practice law, which requires articling with a law firm and successful completion of the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) following university education. Attending seminars and conferences can provide additional education. Useful courses include political science, sociology, philosophy, environment, business, psychology, and English.
Potential Earnings: 
Varies with education and experience; $60,000-$150,000+
Employment Atmosphere: 

Relationships: Connections will be made with a number of other lawyers, government agencies, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and businesses.

Atmosphere: Work will be in an office, in a courtroom, in a boardroom negotiating settlements, in the field interviewing witnesses, and visiting sites. Lawyers are often required to work very long hours.

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Policy advocate, policy analyst, policy maker, green business adviser/consultant