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Planning and law background

geokatgrl

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
Just a question:

I'm currently a grad student in resource planning and would eventually like to work my way up to city planner. Is a law degree helpful or just a waste of money?
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
31
What do you want to do when you grow up? There are many opportunities for one with a planning/law background. Check out the Planning and Law Divison of the American Planning Association.

On the other hand, a law degree can be a complete waste of time if you do not use it.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Do you want to be a lawyer practicing land use law? If so, get the law degree. If you want to do planning - urban design, comprehensive planning, redevelopment/revitalization, current planning and the like - your graduate degree is all you need and the law degree is likely to work against your getting a job.
 

geokatgrl

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
Well, I love planning, but I also find land use and environmental law fascinating. My best scenerio job would be a city lawyer with a hand in the planning process. Does such a position exist? I'm sure I must sound a bit naive, but my background is in environmental consulting, and I'm relatively new to the planning scene. The thought of wasting another three years and a boat-load of money on law school (if it isn't even worth it) is frightening to say the least.

Any advice is very much appreciated!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Large communities may have a staff attorney specializing in land use law. Still, I think the majority of the time, this person is likely to be working on real estate acquisitions, development agreements, and the like - not really taking part in the actual planning. Mid-sized and smaller communities usually have a city attorney who is a generalist. The smallest cities will usually contract out to a firm for legal services.
 
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