Environmental Law…can you think of any aspect of life in the United States that isn’t touched by it? The vastness of the environment brings up a plethora of issues, which makes this area of law as massive as the environmental issues it represents. If we consider water and air quality; hazardous waste (regulation, handling, transportation, and cleanup); protection of species; agriculture; wetlands protection, etc., the range of potential problems are staggering. Add “Green Law” to the list, and it is understandable why Environmental Law is one of the hottest areas of law.
Environmental Law – A Definition
Environmental Law, through state and federal statutes, covers air pollution, water pollution, hazardous waste, the wilderness, endangered wildlife and species.
Areas of Practice in Environmental Law
Following is a list of services you may find in an Environmental Law firm, such as the Cascadia Law Group located in Washington State (http://cascadialaw.com/).
- Air Quality & Climate Change
- Endangered Species & Natural Resources
- Environmental Litigation
- Permitting & Environmental Review
- Property Development & Acquisition
- Waste Management & Cleanup
- Water Quality
- Water Rights
Role of Environmental Law Paralegal
The specific job tasks of the paralegal depend on the specific office; however, the following tasks might be performed under the direct supervision of an attorney:
- Review documents generated by clients, government agencies and third parties
- Draft documents: discovery requests and responses; chronologies and summaries of operations, contamination events, enforcement and remediation activities
- Prepare summaries: expert and investigator reports; witnesses; summaries of depositions; letters, memoranda, email, etc. related to fact gathering
- Prepare Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests
- Gather, organize, establish and maintain document management system
- Gather facts and prepare various applications, compliance audits and assessments
- Research environmental laws, regulations, ordinances and policies, statutes and case law
- Liaise with client, experts and consultants to coordinate information, documents, procedures and deadlines
- Assist at court and administrative hearings
- Assist in reviewing environmental impact statements
- Assist with environmental compliance audits and assessments
- Track environmental deadlines and agency and legislative hearings
What you need!
A law-related knowledge base and paralegal skill set is imperative in any area of law. A Paralegal Certificate and national certification (www.nala.org) is highly beneficial!
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- Business Law
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