The Best Schools and Programs For Environmental Law

Vermont Law School

Vermont Law School

So what makes Vermont Law School’s environmental law program so special? The school’s Environmental Law Center, which was founded in 1978, is the nation’s largest graduate environmental law program. Offering over 70 courses, the program boasts more than 110 faculty members, including 16 full-time professors. It manages eight institutes and offers two master’s degrees (policy and regulation), two LL.M.s (energy and environmental law), and an array of certificates and dual degrees. During the program, students can take part in clinics for environmental and natural resources or land use, where they can work with conservation organizations and represent clients. For additional experience, students can participate in a full-time,


semester-in-practice externship. Even more, Vermont Law School offers a robust summer program, where many classes are taught by visiting international scholars, practicing attorneys, and leaders of advocacy groups.

Lewis & Clark School of Law

Lewis & Clark Law School

Based in Portland, Oregon, the Lewis & Clark Law School was the first environmental law program in the United States. Offering 26 courses and 18 seminars, the program also includes an LL.M. in Environmental Law and a Master of Studies in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Along with a full-time externship, students can gain practical experience through internships in animal law, environmental prosecution, natural resources law, and environmental justice and civil rights. The school also hosts the Green Energy Institute, which manages projects and formulates policy on renewable energy, and the National Resources Law Institute, which coordinates over 20 education programs, including environmental law training for judges, lawyers, and domestic and international agencies. In addition, the school publishes two respected law journals: Environmental Law Review and Animal Law.

Pace University School of Law

Pace Law School

Established in 1978, Pace Law School’s environmental law program is best known for focusing on practical experience. And the program is packed with opportunities. For example, students can participate in the U.N. Environmental Diplomacy Practicum, where they can work on legal and scientific research in key environmental areas, along with attending meetings and negotiation sessions with ambassadors and foreign ministers. Or, students can gain experience by working with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or the Brazilian-American Institute for Law and Environment. Domestically, Pace Law students can be placed in externships with the U.S. Department of Justice, the EPA, the Department of the Interior, or other NGOs. They can also work locally with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation or the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. In addition, students can join six on-campus student environmental organizations or write and edit for the Pace Environmental Law Review.