What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
The December 20th nationalgeographic.com article, “Environmental Law Offers New Opportunity for Paralegals”, points to several happenings in support of this trend. These include the case of Monsanto, a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, and the leading provider of technology for genetically engineered seeds, whose genetically altered corn appears to have hit a major snafu. Just this month, the EPA issued a report that says, per the article, that Monsanto's “program for monitoring suspected cases of resistance to their genetically modified corn is “inadequate.””
Essentially, Monsanto developed the corn to put the kibosh on the corn rootworm, which eats the roots of healthy corn, thereby killing the crops. Unfortunately, the worm appears to have developed a resistance to the modified corn and has come to be known as a “superinsect.” Though Monsanto denies the problem, this issue seems to be repeating itself as genetically altered crops become more and more common, and illustrates a rapidly growing area in the legal profession.
Another example of how environmental law is coming to the forefront of the legal landscape is the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) recent launch of a new internship program in coordination with UConn's Center for Energy and Environmental Law. The internship and the center were launched in order to “prepare the next generation of lawyers and policymakers to shepherd technological innovations into actual practice and to build a vibrant and greener future.” Similar programs, and an increasing focus on environmental law in law schools all around the country, seem to indicate burgeoning employment opportunities in the coming decade.
Interestingly, VermontLawSchool's EnvironmentalLawCenter just issued its ‘Top 10 Environmental Watch List of 2012', and per the article, the number one item on the list reads as follows: “With Republicans attacking the EPA, 2012 could be a turning point for environmental regulation.”
Additionally, the BP oil spill, the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, and which continues to make headlines, is further evidence of the impact industry has on the environment, and the need for advocates for the environment, via the law. Frighteningly, the report that the White House oil spill commission issued on the causes of the spill, states “The root causes are systemic and, absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur”.
It seems the handwriting is on the wall. The far reach of environmental law, in both the public sector and private practice, and the many opportunities this presents, is clear – which is good news, considering all the bad press and naysayers with regard to employment in the legal profession as of late.