Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Top Environmental Law Schools  (Read 985 times)

kman999

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Top Environmental Law Schools
« on: May 27, 2008, 02:47:25 PM »
If I am interested in practicing Enviro Law, but it appears that my numbers should get me into into some top 20 if not T14 law schools, would I be wise to consider schools such as Vermont, Oregon, Utah, when applying? Also, what are other top enviro progams? What do they consider when a school is designated as having a top program?

Thanks for the help!

sinkfloridasink

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 722
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Top Environmental Law Schools
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 02:54:51 PM »
Conventional wisdom is to go to the best ranked school. If you're choosing between two similarly ranked schools, then go with the one that has the best selection of environmental classes/faculty. HTH
Tulane c/o 2011

snickersnicker

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 212
    • MSN Messenger - shinjikid@hotmail.com
    • AOL Instant Messenger - klutzonbroadway
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Top Environmental Law Schools
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2008, 11:39:03 PM »
Georgetown, Stanford, Duke and UC Berkeley are all within the top ten environmental law schools in the nation (http://prelawhandbook.com/law_school_ranking__specialties). When I was considering doing environmental law (which I still am, to some extent), Georgetown was my dream school. Apparently Boston College has a noteworthly enviro programme as well.
LSAT: 166 (:()
UGPA: 4
LSN

mathlete

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 467
    • View Profile
Re: Top Environmental Law Schools
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2008, 11:45:10 PM »
Yale, Harvard, Stanford. Feel free to use that for any other "Top X Law School" question you might have.

countbizaller

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
Re: Top Environmental Law Schools
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 09:09:40 AM »
If I am interested in practicing Enviro Law, but it appears that my numbers should get me into into some top 20 if not T14 law schools, would I be wise to consider schools such as Vermont, Oregon, Utah, when applying? Also, what are other top enviro progams? What do they consider when a school is designated as having a top program?

Thanks for the help!

I would rather put my stock in which schools have faculty that are making an impact in enviro law than which ones have good "programs."  USNews has responders rank schools by their programs and to be completely honest, I have no idea what these programs do.

That being said, Leiter compiled a couple of lists of school faculties by specialty area.  They're a few years old but should still hold reasonably accurate.

http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2002faculty_topchoices.shtml
http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2003faculty_adminlaw.shtml
UT Law '11

Clayton

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 225
    • View Profile
Re: Top Environmental Law Schools
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 09:47:02 AM »
Are you sure you know what it means to practice enivro law?

observationalist

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 323
    • View Profile
    • Law School Transparency
Re: Top Environmental Law Schools
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 08:46:30 PM »
If I am interested in practicing Enviro Law, but it appears that my numbers should get me into into some top 20 if not T14 law schools, would I be wise to consider schools such as Vermont, Oregon, Utah, when applying? Also, what are other top enviro progams? What do they consider when a school is designated as having a top program?

Thanks for the help!

You should go to Vermont, Pace, Lewis & Clark, etc if you're POSITIVE you want enviro law and you want to be surrounded by others with the same aspirations (and don't mind competing with them for the jobs that are out there). This probably means you have work experience that's exposed you to enviro law. If you have any doubts about your aspirations and you might be interested in something enviro-related (like energy law, or regulatory law in general) you should be doing the traditional see-where-your-numbers-get-you route.

One other school in the T-20 that the older Leiter study doesn't include, since neither the Dean of the school nor the Director was around in 2002, is Vanderbilt. The Environmental Law Program is tied in with the Regulatory Program, so you get a lot of professors with experience at federal, international, and local agencies teaching in both areas. The head of the Enviro program is the former chief of staff at the EPA and also runs the Climate Change Research Network, which is university-wide and deals with a lot of consumer behavior policy models. His spouse is a Director at the Environmental Law Institute in DC and they paired up last year to start up a new enviro journal (ELPAR), limited to 10 students per class and one externship offering in DC each semester at ELI. Students working on ELPAR attend a conference each spring in DC to discuss the relevant articles with policy leaders, academics and private practitioners.

You also have a lot of local opportunity to get involved in a New-South, Democratic city's attempt to go green, including internship opportunities at the Mayor's Office and the Land Trust (they mostly do conservation easements in urban and rural areas around Nashville, but their Director is former General Counsel for the EPA and also has ties to Washington). There's a lot of protected spaces around the city and regular hiking trips from the Ozarks to the Smokeys, but the proposed Greenway running through Davidson County has been slow going so far. And if you're not looking to do envirnmental advocacy or regulatory work, Bridgestone has a fairly strong presence in town and regularly takes interns, and firms like Vinson & Elkins and Beveridge & Diamond fly in to recruit. You also would take Regulatory law in your first semester of 1L year, which exposes you to a lot more statutory interpretation than you would find at schools with a more traditional curriculum. The other schools with first-year courses of that nature are Harvard, Michigan, and possibly Stanford this year. I'm not aware which schools outside the T-20 are following suit, but you can look at the studies being conducted by the Carnegie Foundation to see which schools are participating. More will be on board eventually once the casebook is developed at Harvard next year.

And FWIW the Pace Environmental Law Clinic is supposed to be amazing and is run by some of the most prominent environmental lawyers you can find. Going to school in NY has the added benefit of being able to litigate while still in law school, which TN and most other states won't allow. I'm working in NY this summer with students from Pace and Columbia... both schools seem to have a wealth of opportunities if you're positive you want to do something under the umbrella of Enviro Law.  Columbia obviously gives you plenty of other opportunities, too.... my advice is to apply everywhere, see who takes you, and go from there. G'luck.
Vanderbilt University Law School Class of '10

kman999

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Re: Top Environmental Law Schools
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 12:13:48 PM »
Thanks for the help,

I think I will have to apply to a range of schools, as I do not have the knowledge of enviro law to commit myself to an "enviro only" school just yet.