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LLM (Master of Laws) in Environmental Law

An LLM in Environmental Law is becoming an increasingly important field of study and is gaining significance in daily practice. As governments and businesses adapt to the challenges of climate change, there is a growing demand for people specialised in this field, who can help navigate the policies and regulations that are intended to address environmental pollution.

Many universities offer courses in Environmental Law, and it is a good opportunity for students who wish to augment their principal law degree with a specialised field. Courses are typically designed with an interdisciplinary approach that covers areas such as environmental, energy and resource law and policy.

Units of study likely to be covered in an LLM in Environmental Law include: history and growth of environmental legislation, pollution control, enforcement of protection measures, climate change, world trade, development control, trans-national factors, biodiversity and conservation, liability, licensing regimes; public participation; and environmental concerns.

Click here to find out more about studying environmental law in the UK.

Find LLM programs in Environmental Law

Number crunching the LLM in Environmental Law

Environmental Law1 year is the average length of study

7 LLMs in Environmental Law in the United Kingdom

£54,000 is the average starting salary of a lawyer

LLM in Environmental Law – who's it for?

A Master of Laws in Environmental Law is a good program for those with an undergraduate degree in law and a strong interest in the environmental sector and its relevant issues.

It is an exciting time to enter the field as many policies and regulations are changing to mitigate the impact of environmental pollution and climate change. This is a particularly beneficial path for both private and public lawyers who wish to improve their policy analysis capabilities in order to respond to issues such as pollution, climate change, energy and clean energy alternatives, land use and resource management, species protection, and environmental assessments.

Where can you study an LLM in Environmental Law?

There are many universities in the United Kingdom, as well as across the world, that offer an LLM program in Environmental Law. They can be highly competitive as with most advanced learning programs, but with many options it is not impossible to find an appropriate university to continue one's education. There are options at both the national and international level, which also includes universities that offer distance-learning programs.

For those that wish to stay in the United Kingdom, there are LLMs in Environmental Law at the University of Kent, SOAS University of London, University of Strathclyde and the University of Stirling. These universities offer different variations of specialisation in Environmental Law, ranging from general interdisciplinary courses to focusing more specifically on climate change or international law and sustainability.

At the international level, there are many well-respected universities abroad, particularly in the United States. Universities such as Vermont Law School, Lewis and Clark, Pace, UC-Berkeley, and the University of Colorado, are all considered to be among the top schools for an LLM in Environmental Law.

What qualifications do you need to study an LLM in Environmental Law?

Typically, entrance to an LLM in Environmental Law in the USA requires students to already have a principal JD law degree, and in the UK a BA honours degree in law. However some universities will consider an undergraduate degree in another relevant discipline such as International Development or Environmental Sciences, or in some exceptional cases, an appropriate amount of professional experience. Admission requirements do vary from school to school, but a student with good academic standing and a JD degree will usually be an eligible candidate for the majority of programs. Graduates whose first language isn’t English are required to have high IELTS (or equivalent) scores of 7 or above or TOEFL: 107 or above.

Find out more about English Language Requirements.

Student quote

"When I first began my LLM in Environmental Law, I had one objective – to get a job upon graduation. I have always had an interest in environmental issues, but to my surprise and benefit, the program was actually very revealing and I began to realize that I could make some real, positive change for the world in this field of work."

An LLM in Environmental Law advances careers in...

Environmental Assessment

Land and Resource Management

Corporate Sustainability

Environmental Protection

Real Estate

5 fascinating facts about the environment

1. August 2016 was the 11th month in a row to break global temperature records.

2. Ocean levels are predicted to rise by up to 1 meter by 2100.

3. Pollution is attributed to the death of over 5.5 million people per year.

4. The world's tallest tree stands at over 110 meters and is located in California.

5. Paper can only be recycled to a maximum of 6 times.

Recommended reading

Environmental Law by J Thornton and S Beckwith

European Environmental Law by J Jans

International Law and the Environment by P Birnie and A Boyle

Introduction to Global Environmental Issues by K Pickering and L Owen

Environmental Law and Policy (Concepts and Insights) by James Salzman and Barton Thompson Jr.

Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (Aspen Casebook) by Robert L Glicksman and David L. Markell

The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty and Economics for a Warming World by William D. Nordhaus


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