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Agriculture is one of the most regulated industries in our society today, so it is fitting that there are lawyers that specialize in laws pertaining to agriculture. These lawyers deal with water, environmental issues, agricultural labor, marketing, land use, pesticide use, and seed issues.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Assist farmers in succession planning in order to help preserve farms for future generations
- Assist in zoning, land use cases and eminent domain issues
- Obtain licenses and permits that agricultural entities may need in order to operate, such as setting up corporations, proprietorships, and partnerships
- Be a source of information to those in the agricultural industry on labor and employment laws
- Provide guidance in regulatory compliance
- Understand environmental legislation vs. landowner rights
- Assist in the implementation of federal farm policies as they apply within the state
- Provide assistance in preventing fraud and deception in packaging and labeling of products
- Give general legal counsel to individuals, companies or organizations
- Identify and carry out opportunities to help protect farms from urban sprawl and activists
- Develop a detailed knowledge of issues affecting agriculture
- Build relationships with local farmers, extension staff and scientists
- Work collaboratively with peers and external organizations
What education and training is required?
Becoming an agricultural lawyer requires a bachelor’s degree, a good score on the LSAT exam, a JD (Juris Doctor) and passing a bar exam for your state you wish to practice in.
To pursue a career as an agricultural lawyer:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, English, social science courses, public speaking and debate.
Where can I work?
Agricultural lawyers may work independently or may be hired by an organization or company. You have the ability to live and work just about anywhere in the country as all regions have their own specific needs and issues they are dealing with.
Future Job Market / Outlook
The future outlook for an agricultural lawyer will be great over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- American Bar Association
- American Land Title Association
- The Food and Drug Law Institute
- National Association of Estate Planners and Councils