There are Many Paths To A Meaningful Legal Career – Energy, Natural Resources, And The Environment
There are a vast number of non-traditional legal careers that do not require a law degree. Based on data from the Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP), annually approximately 10-15% of law school graduates find jobs after graduation in non-traditional legal positions. Employment available in alternative fields varies and can depend on a law school graduate’s undergraduate education and prior work experience.
Many alternative careers are in compliance and regulatory affairs, management at all levels, policy analysis, strategic planning, labor relations, personnel and benefits, government, education, and nonprofits. There is a large amount of material out there listing alternative and non-traditional jobs for those with J.D.’s.
Recent news related to climate change as caused many individuals, including those with law degrees, to develop an interest in energy law as a possible alternative career path. Most candidates sought at both the entry and lateral levels are those with prior experience at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or state utility commissions. Thus, law students interested in an energy regulatory path should strongly consider interning at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or a state utility commission.
Other potential pathways include environmental practices and programs that focus on the Clean Air Act, greenhouse gas emission regulations, and carbon cap and trade programs. Other potential alternative careers include new clean energy technologies, such as solar, biomass, and wind.
Environmental law is a broad area of law that encompasses a range of issues surrounding the environment including water and air quality, hazardous waste, species protection, agriculture, wetlands, biodiversity, waste management, green initiatives, sustainability strategies, and alternative energy sources.
As sustainability becomes a global priority, lawyers with the expertise to advise clients on green standards and sustainability issues are in demand. It is predicted that climate change, global warming, and other environmental legislation will increase the legal workload in the near and distant future.
Natural resource and energy law deals with the regulation of resource extraction, energy creation methods, and energy consumption. Anyone with a background in the study of natural resource and energy laws may find work for large companies, government agencies or non-profit organizations.
This list is from the publication JD Preferred 400+Things You Can Do With a Law Degree (Other Than Practice Law), Federal Reports, Inc., 1994.
Energy and Natural Resources Careers
Energy Conservation Program Specialist
Energy Efficiency Officer
Gas Regulatory Affairs Professional
Mineral Appeals Analyst
Natural Resources Specialist
Public Utilities Specialist
Coastal Zone Resources Manager
Conservation Field Representative
Assistant Dean of Environmental Affairs
Assistant Dean of Legislative Analysis
Environmental Compliance Manager
Environmental Policy Analyst
Environmental Protection Specialist
Hazardous Waste Management Consultant
Resource Policy Analyst Safety
Occupational Health Specialist
Technological Program Hazards Specialist
Trade Association Environmental Staffer
Like traditional law schools, The California Desert Trial Academy’s curriculum is designed to teach students the substantive law of core subject areas. Unlike traditional law schools, CDTA emphasizes training and developing students to be capable and competent advocates in any courtroom. The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.