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Environmental Law Majors

A degree in environmental law qualifies you to work in a legal position for organizations that have a stake in or influence the environment. Find out more about what programs are available, online study options, common coursework and career prospects.

What Degree Levels are Available for Environmental Law Majors?

Degree programs in environmental law are available as a Master of Laws (LLM) in Environmental Law and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. SJD programs in environmental law are designed to prepare you for careers in research and teaching, while LLM degree programs are geared for those who want to practice law. Each of these programs requires the completion of a Juris Doctor as a prerequisite for admission.

Juris Doctor (JD) programs are also available with a concentration in environmental law. Additionally, some JD programs offer students the opportunity to take environmental law courses and receive an additional certificate.

Degree Levels Doctoral
Online Options Only Juris Doctor programs are offered online
Common Courses Chemicals and waste regulations, comparative environmental law, international environmental law
Career Opportunities Legal positions in non-profit organizations, construction companies, government organizations, research
Job Outlook (2016-2026)8% growth (for lawyers)*
Median Salary (2018)$120,910 (for lawyers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are Programs Available Online?

LLM and SJD programs in environmental science are not available online. However, if you need to complete the educational requirements for admission, you may find online JD programs that you can complete through distance education.

What Courses are Required?

Courses in an environmental law degree program address a number of current environmental issues from climate change and commerce to the social, scientific and political factors that shape current laws and regulations. Programs may also require the completion of a thesis or an externship. The following are some of the typical courses found in an environmental law degree program:

  • Chemicals and waste regulations
  • Comparative environmental law
  • Environmental compliance and enforcement
  • International environmental law

What Can I Do with My Degree?

With an environmental law degree, you may find opportunities working in both the public and private sector for non-profit environmental organizations, construction companies or with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Job growth for lawyers in all industries is expected to increase at an average rate of 8% between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While salaries for lawyers depend on their specific job and employer, as of May 2018, the middle 50% of lawyers earned between $79,160 and $182,490, according to the BLS.