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Environmental Career/Law Majors

bonjour1bonjour1 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
Hi! I really love learning about the environment, and my ideal major would be Environmental Policy/Environmental Studies from a social science perspective. However, I am planning on majoring in Environmental Science instead, in order to get a more technical, science-related background that will allow me to work in science (such as in renewable energy, a field I am deeply interested in) if I choose to moving forward. However, I am currently planning on going to law school and eventually becoming an environmental lawyer. Thus, I want to ensure that I can still continue an education rich in writing, reading, and analyzation skills in order to give me a good foundation for law school. Further, my favorite subjects in school ARE history and social science classes; I would hate to give these up if I only studied Environmental science!

So, I wanted input on this matter: would it make sense to double major in Environmental Studies/Policy AND Environmental Science (even though these two are usually the two majors contained under the same umbrella of an Environmental Studies Department?) I suppose, since the two majors can sometimes already share some of the same requirements, that it would be relatively easy to complete a double major in these two fields.

Or, would it make sense to branch out into a different field completely for a second major, if it would be seen as useless to pursue the double major as I discussed above? I could double major in Environmental Science and History, for example, or Environmental Science and Philosophy. Even though the second major would be useless in terms of a science career, they would help prepare me for the critical thinking and writing skills I would need for a career in law, and they would satisfy my desire to study the topics I love!

Thank you in advance for your advice and input!

Replies to: Environmental Career/Law Majors

  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 1,026 Senior Member
    My husband, now retired, did an undergrad in chemical engineering before going to law school. He worked for years for Big Oil as an environmental attorney, focusing on the Clean Air Act, underground storage tanks and a few other specific federal areas.

    That's just another way to go. It doesn't matter what your undergrad is for law school, really - someone I graduated with had a bachelor's in opera performance. He obviously went the engineering/technical route and could just as easily worked for the federal government or a corporation.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,219 Senior Member
    A typical four years of college will include about one third to one half of the course work in your major, leaving the rest for general education and free electives. So you should have plenty of schedule space for out of major courses.

    Remember that college GPA and LSAT score are highly important to get into a high rank law school, and law school rank is highly important in law employment.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,895 Senior Member
    Two environmental majors seems a bit redundant. Better to take those classes you really like in history, poli sci, etc., without necessarily getting a particular minor.
  • bonjour1bonjour1 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus it is harder to get as high of a gpa with a double major because it’s so much extra work, right? Also, I know that I would get a higher gpa if I did environmental studies as opposed to environmental science, but 1) I want to have a science background just in case I change my mind about law and 2) I have a chance at going to my dream school on a full scholarship, but the catch is that that scholarship is only for the environmental science major—not environmental studies, and the school is very expensive without a scholarship (and I don’t qualify for any aid but my parents are not willing/able to pay that much). Any advice on what I should do would be appreciated!! :)
  • bonjour1bonjour1 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    @CheddarcheeseMN oh, I did not even realize that was an option! I will definitely consider doing that, then :).
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