Best Environmental Law Schools

Best Environmental Law Schools
CC flickr photo courtesy of umjanedoan

With the prospect of lasting climate change regulation on the horizon, environmental law has never been more important. We rely on the nation’s top environmental law schools to train the next generation of environmental lawyers. Prospective law students who care about the environment have a lot of options to choose from. Here’s a look at the best. We used the US News & World Report rankings, as well as other sources. Remember, these schools aren’t being ranked. We’re just mentioning the ones that come up regularly as the best.

The Schools

Lewis & Clark (Portland, OR) – Always ranked high in national rankings, Lewis & Clark was the first school to offer an environmental law program, adding it in 1970. They’ve just announced a five-week summer seminar on that will focus on ten different aspects of energy law. Tuition is $36,394 per year.

Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL) – Offers over 24 courses of environmental law, a student-edited journal and a certificate program to signal specification. It was ranked the #6 Environmental Law Program this year by US News. In-state residents pay $16,371 per year. Out-of-state is $35,934.

Vermont Law School (South Royalton, VT) – Also one of the usual top schools for environmental law, Vermont offers Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees in environmental law, as well as a Master of Environmental Laws and Policy degree. It publishes the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. Tuition is $38,408.

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) – One of the most exclusive law programs, UC Berkeley offers a Workshop in Development and Environment, which subjects a major public project in California to environmental scrutiny and affords students practical experience. Tuition is $44,244, in-state. Out-of-state students pay $52,244.

University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, CO) – A venerable law program, set in idyllic Boulder at the foot of the Rockies. The program publishes a widely-read international environmental law journal. Tuition is $28,934 for in-state residents and $35,138 for non-residents.

Stanford University (Stanford, CA) – One of the consistently top-ranked law schools nationally, Stanford offers post-graduated environmental law degrees, has an excellent student-to-faculty ratio and features the first Supreme Court Litigation clinic. Tuition is $44,880.

Pace University (White Plains, NY) – Located just 10 miles north of New York City in stately Westchester County, Pace is host to the nationally recognized Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic. Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a Pace alum and leading environmental activist, serves as co-director. Pace offers 35 courses in environmental law. Tuition is $39,546.

University of Maryland (Baltimore, MD) – U of M, Baltimore is the third-oldest law school in the country and a well-respected one. Located close to Washington DC, a hotbed of environmental law advocacy, U of M students get great hands-on access to the action. You’ll pay $22,044 for in-state tuition and $33,323, out-of-state.

University of Oregon (Eugene, OR) – Eugene is a lovely college town with a history of strong environmental activism. The Pacific Northwest is renowned for its natural beauty. U of O is a nationally-respected school where public-interest law is a focus. Tuition is $22,328 per year, while out-of-staters pay $27,818.

Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) – Tulane offers great internship opportunities and clinics and is less-selective than, say, Stanford, if you make a persuasive case in your personal statement. Of course, it’s located in New Orleans, where jazz and nightlife are intoxicating. Just remember to hit the books as hard. You’ll pay $37,200 in tuition.

George Washington University (Washington DC) – One of the nation’s top overall law schools, George Washington is located at the policy-making center of the U.S., Washington D.C., so its clinics and internships can’t be beat. Tuition is $43,999.

Yale University (New Haven, CT) – The perennial number-one law school, as ranked by US News, Yale has graduated both Bill and Hilary Clinton and Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor and Samuel Alito. Their environmental law program is top-notch as well. Yale is extremely selective in admissions, and its tuition reflects its status as a prestigious, Ivy League law school. Tuition is $48,340.

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment and let us know!