A Day in the Life: What Does an Environmental Lawyer Do?

The EPA reports that industrial and commercial energy use is responsible for almost 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US.

Regulations around emissions intend to keep those businesses in check. An environmental lawyer may get involved should a business break those laws. But their job involves a lot more than that.

Environmental lawyers are important advocates for the local and global environment. They work in a variety of industries and in various capacities in fulfillment of that goal.

To learn about all this and more, read this quick guide to environmental lawyer duties.

What Does an Environmental Lawyer Do?

An environmental lawyer upholds various laws and regulations related to the environment. They may act as advocates for developing environmental policies. A great example of this is the work of Hart Pearson Sebastian Cunningham law firm.

Other environmental issues that may need an environmental lawyer include:

  • water, land, and air pollution/protection
  • hazardous waste disposal/waste management systems
  • climate change innovation and laws
  • natural resource exploitation
  • energy sources and clean technology
  • animal rights and species protection
  • farming and agricultural issues
  • preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity
  • native titles over land and environmental rights
  • public land and sea use

An environmental lawyer’s job may involve local, regional, state, federal, or global activities.

Who Needs an Environmental Lawyer?

Environmental law is a complex area of law and one that’s always changing. There are regulations and laws that apply to businesses, individuals, and governments. As such, the expertise of an environmental lawyer is required in many places.

Private Businesses

Energy and utility companies must follow environmental regulations and laws. Agricultural companies face issues around soil quality, crop yields, and livestock. Fishing businesses have to stay on top of changing regulations around catch limits.

There are a host of industries that are subject to environmental regulations. An environmental lawyer can guide these industries through compliance and litigation challenges. But they may also come on board to help companies switch to more eco-friendly practices.

Government Agencies

The US EPA is the foremost government agency for environmental law. But there are other federal agencies involved in environmental law. There are also state and local agencies with their own regulations and requirements.

In these roles, an environmental lawyer ensures that laws and regulations are adhered to. They help businesses and other entities understand the importance of these laws. They also take violators to court.


Some parts of environmental law also apply to individuals.

An individual may need an environmental lawyer if they’re involved in real estate. Buying or selling real estate on protected land requires an environmental lawyer. So does buying or selling polluted real estate.

An environmental lawyer may also work on criminal cases. This includes individuals involved in forest fires or improper disposal of hazardous waste. They may also represent cases involving illness due to environmental contamination.

More Services You Might Need One Day

An environmental lawyer serves private businesses, government agencies, and individuals. Their primary job is to uphold the legislation that protects our environment. These professionals also play an important role in innovating new regulations.

For more information on services and businesses that you might need one day, be sure to check out our Service and Business section.


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