JD vs MA in environmental policy

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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:46 pm

JD vs MA in environmental policy

Postby cdarosa » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:09 pm

Ok so surely a law school forum isn't the best place to go looking for this kind of advice, but I haven't been able to find it elsewhere so I made an account as a shot in the dark to find some guidance here.

I've always wanted to work in the environmental conservation/management/science field. I'm not going to lie and pretend I know exactly what I want to do. Law itsself doesn't really interest me as more than a means to an end of working in this field. I don't know if I'd have any interest in actually working as an attorney. I don't think I'd find law school interesting, especially not at first. That said, I'm fairly sure I'd be good at it and figured that this is my best shot at employment and making a decent living (spare me comments about how I wont make money in environmental law, its still more than I would as a biologist). Basically, I applied to law school thinking that I'd have a better shot at getting a job than I would if I got a master's degree in a related field (environmental policy, NR management, etc).

I applied to Lewis & Clark and got in with a $33k/year scholarship. I applied to one master's program in coastal policy and got denied. Right now I'm trying to decide if I should be looking for other Master's programs (on the grounds that the actual education would be much more engaging to me) or just saying screw it and starting at L&C this fall cause they offered me decent enough money that I wouldn't be putting myself $100k in debt just to decide law isn't for me.

Reading through this forum, though, has made me really second guess everything stated above about employment. From what I've gathered, I should 100% be trying to go to the best possible law school if I want a chance of getting a job in the (apparently highly competitive) enviro law field.I'm not super jazzed about applying to "reach" schools (162 LSAT and ~3.78 GPA) given how much money I'd be pouring into a law degree I'm not even sure I want.

Does anyone have a sense of how a JD or a master's in environmental policy differ in terms of employment? And if a JD is really worth it, should I wait another cycle and try to get into a better school regardless of cost? Really just looking for someone else's thoughts on this cause I'm tired of spinning myself out trying to debate pro's and con's of two things that I don't even have a full picture of. Feel free to point me in the direction of any resources that might shed some light on this issue.

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