Man walking on a fallen tree in a forest.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Published April 27, 2018

Career Opportunities with an LL.M. in Environmental Law

Environmental law is about solving problems that arise as humans interact with the natural world around us. The natural world includes geological, biological, and atmospheric entities.

Environmental legal concerns cross jurisdictions, case types, and fields of study. Even corporate law, trade law, and other seemingly unrelated fields will butt up against environmental law issues. As an environmental lawyer, you’ll be on call to help resolve these issues.

An environmental law degree is the first step. For individuals who want to pursue additional education, an LL.M. in environmental law will provide more and better opportunities out of the gate.

What career opportunities are out there? Mix and match the items from the three columns below to get an idea of your options. Environmental lawyers are needed in more instances than you’d think!

Fields of Practice

  • Pollution control
  • Natural resources
  • Land use
  • Environmental justice
  • Sustainability
  • Food and water
  • Animals and biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Clean technology

Type of Employers

  • Government
  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit
  • Academic
  • Policy

Agencies That Employ Environmental Lawyers

Of course, private law firms are solid employment opportunities. Environmental organizations and nonprofits are always looking for legal experts as well.

But there are also a variety of government organizations and associations that need environmental lawyers. Some operate behind the scenes and aren’t very well-known, while others need legal counsel on tangentially related matters. All of the following agencies use environmental lawyers, and an LL.M. will give you a leg up as a prospective hire.

  1. Department of Justice
  2. DOJ - Environment and Natural Resources Division
  3. Environmental Protection Agency
  4. Department of Energy
  5. Department of the Interior
  6. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  7. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  8. Department of Defense
  9. Department of Transportation
  10. Department of Agriculture
  11. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  12. Army Corps of Engineers
  13. White House Council on Environmental Quality

An LL.M. will also give you a boost in academic work. If you’re interested in researching or teaching environmental law, a Master’s degree is almost always necessary.

Learn more about UB Law’s environmental LL.M. program!

Photo of Ashley.

Guest blogger Ashley Wilson-Rew is Content Strategist & SEM at protocol 80, Inc.


Office of Admissions
University at Buffalo School of Law
309 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260