Law School Discussion

difference between ag law and enviromental law

difference between ag law and enviromental law
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:41:39 PM »
I will be graduating this fall with a bachelors degree in animal science. now i am a small town in Idaho and my family owns a large ranch. i would like to go to law school and specialize in something to do with agriculture. what schools specialize in Ag law or is there not much a difference between Ag and environmental law? i would not go east of the Rockies. any help is appreciated.   


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Re: difference between ag law and enviromental law
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 08:15:01 AM »
I'm no expert, but I have a couple friends who have gone into evironmental, ag, and water law.   They all gained experience and opportunities through internships.    So my advice would be to go to a school that is near a lot of employers who might be hiring environmental attorneys.  Then do everything you can to get an internship and gain some real experience.

Looking for a law school specialty is usually a bad decision.   You need to focus on which schools have the most agriculture law alumni.  Find a few firms that do agriculture law, email the attorneys and ask them whether it matters where you go to school.

Also, my impression is that a lot of agriculture law is contract and commercial law.  You deal with purchases and sales, acquisitions, and other contracts.   You also deal with some water acquisition and disputes.   Environmental law is generally more specialized and focused on disputes involving environmental impact.  A lot of environmental lawyers work for oil and manufacturing companies.

Re: difference between ag law and enviromental law
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 01:27:38 PM »
Law school isn't like undergrad in the sense that you won't really major in a particular field of law. At most law schools the total number of classes you'll be able to take in a specialty area is maybe three or four. It's typically very limited. Even at a school that boasts a particular concentration, you're still probably only going to get a few classes and maybe a clinic or internship.

I've never heard of a school that specializes in ag law, but Lewis & Clark, Vermont, Davis, Hastings, and Oregon all have better than average environmental offerings. Again though, be realistic about how little difference it makes when it comes to getting hired. I agree with Jack24 that specialty rankings are questionable, and I certainly wouldn't advise going massively into debt to attend a school based on a specialty ranking.

Re: difference between ag law and enviromental law
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 07:55:10 PM »
Both posters are correct and Maintain puts it quite while there is no major in law school. About 60 of your 88 or so units will be bar subjects Torts, Civ Pro, Contracts, etc.

If you really are interested in environmental law then look for schools that have an environmental law journal or environmental law clinic those are the guaranteed ways to get assistance. Also as Jack points out location will be important as for agricutural law go to a state with a huge farming community. I wouldn't recommend going to law school in New York City or L.A., but a school in the midwest or something might be better.

Also your from Idaho and if you want to remain there I imagine University of Idaho would suit your needs quite well. I believe it is the only law school in the State and I don' t think many people are activitly seeking to get licensed in Idaho. As a result I would be willing to bet University of Idaho has a great reputation in Idaho, because everybody in the state went there, but that is pure speculation.