PGDL or MSc in Environmental Policy?

tomperrett1997

New Member
Jan 30, 2022
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Hello everyone,

I am a 24 year old journalist who primarily covers climate change and energy policy, and have been considering converting to environmental law having written extensively about the expanding area of climate litigation. However, I have been told that unless I can work for an organisation such as ClientEarth which focuses specifically on these issues, there are very few jobs which involve litigating against the fossil fuel industry, meaning that I would likely have to focus on emerging issues such as regulatory risk.

I have also been considering working for a think tank or NGO, focusing on environmental policy, but these jobs seem extremely rare and I am unsure that simply having an MSc in environmental policy will open many doors. Is it worth pursuing the PGDL if my interest lies more in the policy area, or should I pursue it anyway to keep my options open?

Would appreciate any feedback, thanks!
 

Jessica Booker

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Aug 1, 2019
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Hello everyone,

I am a 24 year old journalist who primarily covers climate change and energy policy, and have been considering converting to environmental law having written extensively about the expanding area of climate litigation. However, I have been told that unless I can work for an organisation such as ClientEarth which focuses specifically on these issues, there are very few jobs which involve litigating against the fossil fuel industry, meaning that I would likely have to focus on emerging issues such as regulatory risk.

I have also been considering working for a think tank or NGO, focusing on environmental policy, but these jobs seem extremely rare and I am unsure that simply having an MSc in environmental policy will open many doors. Is it worth pursuing the PGDL if my interest lies more in the policy area, or should I pursue it anyway to keep my options open?

Would appreciate any feedback, thanks!
This is one of those topics where I think you need to get specialist careers advice for this particular type of career. I would connect with individuals on LinkedIn who are in the type of roles you aspire to be in and get their thoughts on the best career route/qualifications.
 
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AvniD

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Oct 25, 2021
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Hello everyone,

I am a 24 year old journalist who primarily covers climate change and energy policy, and have been considering converting to environmental law having written extensively about the expanding area of climate litigation. However, I have been told that unless I can work for an organisation such as ClientEarth which focuses specifically on these issues, there are very few jobs which involve litigating against the fossil fuel industry, meaning that I would likely have to focus on emerging issues such as regulatory risk.

I have also been considering working for a think tank or NGO, focusing on environmental policy, but these jobs seem extremely rare and I am unsure that simply having an MSc in environmental policy will open many doors. Is it worth pursuing the PGDL if my interest lies more in the policy area, or should I pursue it anyway to keep my options open?

Would appreciate any feedback, thanks!
Hi @tomperrett1997! I think it's amazing that you're planning to make a career shift 👏 👏

As Jessica said, I think it makes sense to speak to a specialist career consultant about this. With the changes to qualifying as a solicitor that have been brought in by the SQE, you may be able to work out a way to get qualifying work experience with an environmental litigator/litigation firm but I suspect that this will require a fair amount of networking and hustling to get your foot into the door.

I have friends who have done their MSc in environmental policy and have heard from them as well that jobs in this area are rare, but not impossible to find. To put it in perspective, the acceptance rate for training contracts at commercial law firms is anywhere between 1-5%, so competition is not something you will be able to escape even if you take the law route!

I hope you stay in touch and keep us updated about what plans you end up making and pursuing- wishing you all the best!
 

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