Environmental Lawyer Job Description

Environmental Lawyer Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for an environmental lawyer job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an environmental lawyer. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an environmental lawyer.


Who is an Environmental Lawyer?

An environmental lawyer is a specialist who advises clients on environmental law issues such as climate change, poor air and water quality, sustainability, and waste management. They contribute to environmental protection by ensuring that businesses and individuals follow environmental laws. They may also work with clients to develop projects that have a low environmental impact.

Environmental lawyers use their legal expertise and training to develop policies and engage in litigation in order to prevent severe environmental damage, enforce environmental clean-ups, and ensure that those who have suffered harm or loss as a result of environmental contamination are fairly compensated.

Furthermore, they are critical to the system of checks and balances that prevents the government and large corporations from taking actions that harm the environment and people. An environmental lawyer’s potential duties include fighting legal battles, promoting eco-friendly legislation, and developing sustainable business practices. An environmental lawyer must collaborate with a wide range of natural scientists, including engineers, geologists, toxicologists, and experts in plants, animals, and biodiversity.


Environmental Lawyer Job Description

What is an environmental lawyer job description? An environmental lawyer job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of an environmental lawyer in an organization. Below are the environmental lawyer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an environmental lawyer job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of an environmental lawyer include:

  • Drafting business contracts and agreements such as partnership agreements, leases, and licenses.
  • Ensuring that case specifics and strategies are discussed with clients, witnesses, experts, and other legal professionals.
  • Acting as a legal advocate as well as an advisor for environmental and resource preservation.
  • Assisting and mentoring young environmental lawyers.
  • Promoting environmental safeguards and regulations, and prosecuting individuals and organizations who violate environmental laws.
  • Constantly negotiating agreements on clients’ behalf when there are environmental damage claims.
  • Organizing public participation in environmental advocacy programs and forums.
  • Taking over client representation in legal proceedings, such as court trials and administrative hearings.
  • Investigating relevant scientific research in relation to cases in order to develop persuasive legal arguments.
  • Composing court papers such as complaints, motions, and briefs, among others.
  • Researching relevant laws and regulations to build a strong legal case for each situation.
  • Interviewing clients and other potential witnesses to gather evidence for a case.
  • Representing clients in administrative proceedings before state or federal organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, or the United States Department of Agriculture (OSHA).
  • Teaching environmental law classes to students.
  • Working with government organizations to improve environmental law, policy, and regulations.
  • Examining cases to see if they are eligible for appeal.
  • Ensuring that environmental evidence is presented in court.
  • Keeping a close eye on laws and regulations for inconsistencies that may affect clients’ cases.



A list of qualifications for an environmental lawyer includes, among other things, the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, ecology, political science, or a closely related field.
  • Five years of experience in environmental law.
  • Proficient in managing large amounts of paperwork.
  • Analytical and creative thinking abilities are required.
  • The ability to transform complex information into informative and convincing content
  • Strong research abilities.
  • A relaxed demeanor.
  • In-depth knowledge of identifying trends in large bodies of evidence.
  • A strong sense of fairness and justice.
  • Proficient in solving problems.
  • The ability to deal with pressure and stress.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Proficient in explaining complex legal concepts concisely.


Essential Skills

Environmental lawyers must have the following skills to be successful:

  • Legal Research:

Environmental lawyers may need to examine current legislation or relevant case law relevant to their client’s circumstances when conducting research on environmental issues. When preparing for negotiations with opposing counsel, they may need to look back at previous agreements to see what kinds of compromises are possible.

  • Capabilities in Writing:

Because they frequently create correspondence and written documents, environmental lawyers must be able to write well. This category includes writing legal briefs, contracts, and other significant paperwork that requires a thorough explanation of the law and facts related to a case. A lawyer who is good at writing can help their clients understand complex subjects better.

  • Advocacy

Advocacy is an important part of environmental law. As a result of this, environmental lawyers must be able to persuade others of their viewpoint. As an environmental lawyer, you may have to defend clients accused of violating environmental laws or who want to build new structures on environmentally sensitive land. Your advocacy skills can be put to use in both mediation and negotiation.

  • Litigation:

Environmental lawyers frequently involve litigation because businesses and individuals can be sued for violating environmental laws or endangering the environment. Strong litigators can reach mutually beneficial agreements and present evidence persuasively.

  • Capabilities for Analysis:

Environmental lawyers use these skills when analyzing data, reviewing contracts, or researching environmental law. They also consult with them when deciding how to bargain with clients or other parties in legal cases.

  • Technical knowledge:

Environmental lawyers use technical expertise to analyze legal documents, conduct investigations and develop strategies for their clients. Working with clients and other lawyers requires the ability to communicate technically. Technical skills, for example, can assist you in drafting contracts and other legal documents, as well as in explaining the voluminous legalese to your clients.

  • Project Management


Project management skills are essential for environmental lawyers because they allow them to manage the numerous tasks and projects associated with their line of work. Project management skills, for example, can assist you in properly planning your schedule and completing all necessary tasks if you’re working on a case where you need to submit paperwork by a certain date or attend an in-person meeting.

  • Teamwork:

Environmental lawyers frequently collaborate with other experts to develop environmental policies, conduct environmental research, and develop environmental programs. By getting along with others, you can collaborate on projects and create practical solutions to environmental problems.

  • Business Acumen:

Environmental lawyers frequently help businesses understand and comply with environmental regulations. Negotiation, persuasion, and contract analysis are all business skills that environmental lawyers can benefit from.

  • Organizational Skills:

You might need to coordinate several projects at once as an environmental lawyer, and you’ll need to remember each project’s deadlines. You can stay on top of your workload and make sure you fulfill all the requirements for each case by having strong organizational skills. Additionally, being organized will help you present information in a clear and thorough manner when you’re getting ready for meetings with clients or other professionals.

  • Policy Analysis:

Policy analysis refers to the ability to interpret and evaluate laws, regulations, and other policies. Environmental lawyers frequently use policy analysis skills when conducting legal research on environmental law issues or writing case arguments. This skill set also includes an understanding of how different policies interact with one another and how they affect organizations and people.

  • Communication Abilities:

Clients, other attorneys, public figures, and other lawyers are among those with whom environmental lawyers interact. You can use effective communication skills to answer questions, resolve conflicts, and convey your ideas and information to others.

  • Problem-solving Skill:

Environmental lawyers frequently use their problem-solving skills to resolve environmental issues. They may conduct research on environmental laws and regulations in order to find solutions that are in accordance with the rules. They may also use their problem-solving abilities to find solutions to non-legislated environmental issues.


How to Become an Environmental Lawyer

If you are interested in this career, consider the steps below to become an environmental lawyer:

  • Pursue an Undergraduate Degree

All lawyers, including those who focus on environmental issues, must follow a set of rules before they can practice law. One of the first things to consider if you want to practice environmental law is how much education you need. To become an environmental lawyer, one must first complete a bachelor’s degree program at a college or university.

While majoring in political science, public policy, or environmental studies is not required to become an environmental lawyer, these are all excellent options. Pre-set course requirements are common in undergraduate programs. However, if your class schedule allows, consider enrolling in elective courses that interest you in order to deepen your understanding of specific environmental law topics such as environmental impacts and sustainability strategies.

  • Prepare, Study, and Ace the LSAT.

Using the information you’ve gathered, you can prepare for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), which students typically take when they finish their junior year of high school. Because there is typically a maximum number of times you can take the exam throughout the year, and it weighs heavily in the admissions decision, it is critical to thoroughly prepare for the LSAT and feel confident with the concepts tested.

  • Examine Schools and Submit Course Applications

After completing your undergraduate degree, you will most likely have a better idea of what specifically interests you in environmental law. Investigate universities and colleges and their specific programs to find a school that supports your career goals and allows you to study environmental law in some capacity. You should also look over the course options to ensure that you can enroll in the classes that most interest you and are relevant to the career you want.

  • Earn your Juris Doctorate

After earning your bachelor’s degree, you can go on to earn your Juris Doctor or JD. Despite the fact that some major universities offer JD programs, the majority of lawyers attend law school after receiving their bachelor’s degree from a traditional university. You may be able to take the bar exam while studying for your JD, but most students prefer to wait until they have earned this distinction.

  • Take the Bar Exam

To become a lawyer, you must first pass the bar exam in the state where you intend to practice. This is so that test takers understand that some states have state-specific bar exams, while others require them to write state-specific essays. Regardless of which state you take the exam in, the topics on it are likely to test both your legal knowledge and your analytical and critical thinking skills.

  • Send Applications to Environmental Lawyer Employers

One of the last steps toward becoming an environmental lawyer is to apply for jobs. Even If you have no legal experience, you can create a resume that highlights your unique skills and dedication to the industry. Legal drafting, research, negotiations, written and verbal communication, time management, legal procedure, and problem-solving are all necessary skills for the legal profession.

  • Consider Pursuing a Master of Laws Degree

Some law schools offer Master of Law (LL.M.) programs in environmental law as well as environmental and natural resources law to licensed attorneys. These programs may include courses in land use, wildlife law, oil and gas law, toxic substance risk regulation, and air pollution control. Working as an environmental lawyer may be made easier by having advanced knowledge of the subject.

To summarize, environmental lawyers must complete their undergraduate studies, graduate from law school, and pass the bar exam in order to obtain state licensure. A Master of Laws degree could help you advance your career in environmental law.

You can also include a longer education section in your essay to demonstrate your legal knowledge. This section can include your grade point average (GPA), relevant coursework, the name of your degree, and any awards or projects you completed while a student.


Where to  Work as an Environmental Lawyer

As an environmental lawyer, you can work in law firms, government agencies, and environmental organizations. They may also work as in-house counsel for businesses. In addition, environmental lawyers can travel frequently to attend conferences, meet with clients, and conduct research. Some environmental lawyers may devote a significant amount of time to investigating environmental issues or ensuring that environmental laws are followed. Many environmental lawyers work a lot of overtime, including on weekends.


Environmental Lawyer Salary Scale

The average total pay for an entry-level environmental lawyer with less than one year of experience is $51,749, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey. In a similar vein, the average annual salary for an entry-level environmental lawyer with 1-4 years of experience is $65,131. More specifically, a mid-career environmental lawyer with five to nine years of experience makes $85,253 per year. With 10 to 19 years of experience, an environmental lawyer can anticipate earning $108,534. The average annual salary for environmental lawyers in their late careers (20 years or more) is $131,179.

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