Environmental activist and novelist Wendell Berry once said, “The Earth is all we have in common.” Yet, we’re living in a time of serious environmental concerns. According to NOAA‘s 2021 Annual Climate Report, the combined land and ocean temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.14 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1880. Even worse, the average rate of increase since 1981 has been more than twice as fast: 0.32 °F per decade. Many of the impacts of global warming are now simply “irreversible” according to the UN’s latest assessment.
It’s hard not to feel powerless in our present situation, but there is still hope. This is where environmental law comes in. Environmental law encompasses the aspect of the law that protects the land, air, sea, and all of the living things inhabiting it. Any person can make a significant impact, especially if you are an integral part of long-term policy or litigation.
If you’re passionate about our planet and considering environmental law, earning your LLM or MSL gives you a specialization going into your career. McGeorge School of Law has both LLM and MSL options for our water and environmental law program, and either option will help you develop a depth of knowledge in environmental, water resources, regulatory compliance, or public agency law.
What You Can Do With a Degree
You may be wondering where your career can go after earning your MSL or LLM in water law. For those with an LLM, practicing law and working for an environmental law firm is an obvious choice after finishing your legal degree, but you can practice law or otherwise further your personal mission in other ways. With either an LLM or MSL degree, you can become a legislative advocate, an elected official, a federal or state agency employee, or work with an environmental nonprofit. In fact, many of those who earn this type of degree find work with government agencies, particularly when utilizing the student, alumni, and professional connections that McGeorge has to offer. Each path allows you to influence and advocate for laws and policies that help preserve our environment and sustain Earth’s resources for present and future generations.
One person can make a difference. Use your degree and passion to make a start, and to reach out to others to combine talents to create change — change that is good for your future as an individual, society as a whole, and the Earth on which we depend.
What McGeorge Has to Offer
McGeorge School of Law is a fantastic option for obtaining your MSL or LLM in environmental law. The law school is located in Sacramento, the capital of California. As a result, McGeorge has deep and longstanding relationships with those working in the California State Capitol. McGeorge’s location has influenced and shaped our focus on public policy, law, and advocacy. Our faculty members and program team are distinguished in their fields, working on the cutting edge of change. McGeorge students are also able to learn from panels of experts who are focused on new frontiers in water and environmental law. McGeorge offers these and other opportunities to enhance our students’ coursework.
One more important note: our environmental law program is available online. Students complete the degree by participating in asynchronous courses either part-time or full-time. This format grants seasoned attorneys, recent law school graduates, or foreign-educated legal professionals the opportunity to develop a depth of knowledge in a specialized area of environmental, water resources, regulatory compliance, or public agency law. Whether you are working, have other life obligations to honor while you further your education and your career, or are able to jump in as a full-time student, McGeorge has options. Additionally, our students can take practical government law and policy courses to understand the intersection between natural resources and government. McGeorge’s ties to policy work in the state’s capital also provides a potential career advantage for our graduates.
The renowned author Leo Tolstoy once said, “One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken.” In working toward environmental protection, you work to strengthen that link. You work to leave the world a better place than you found it.
Does this sentiment resound with your passion and purpose? Contact our admissions office today to begin your journey.