Environmental Lawyers: What Are They, and What Do They Do?


An environmental lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in the field of environmental law. This encompasses a wide range of legal and regulatory issues, such as pollution control, contamination, natural resources management, land use planning, and much more.

Environmental lawyers may work for private firms, government agencies, or non-profit organizations.

In this article, we’ll focus on what environmental law is, what environmental lawyers do, what areas of the law they work in, and recent examples of cases that the attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik have been involved.

What is Environmental Law?

Environmental law is a set of intertwining, overlapping, and occasionally conflicting federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations that aim to safeguard the air, soil, and water of the environment as well as the health of people and their property from environmental risks.

Despite the fact that various federal, state, and local environmental health and safety organizations enforce these rules, injured people are seldom compensated.

When contamination occurs, people who have been harmed must almost always work with an environmental lawyer to get compensation for their losses, such as the loss of a loved one, medical expenses, missed income, or property damage.

What Does an Environmental Lawyer Do?

An environmental lawyer may work on a variety of legal issues related to the environment.

They may represent clients in court proceedings, draft legislation, or provide legal advice on environmental matters. These professionals may also work to resolve disputes between parties involved in environmental projects.

Some common tasks that environmental lawyers perform include:

  • Drafting and reviewing contracts
  • Advising clients on environmental law
  • Investigating and analyzing environmental incidents
  • Negotiating settlements in environmental disputes
  • Representing clients in court proceedings
  • Preparing legal submissions
  • Conducting research on environmental law


Environmental lawyers are essential members of any team working on an environmentally related project.

They provide legal expertise, guidance, and help to ensure that all aspects of the project are compliant with relevant environmental laws. By working with an environmental lawyer, businesses and individuals can avoid costly legal disputes and ensure that their projects proceed smoothly.

Areas of Focus for Environmental Lawyers

At Napoli Shkolnik, we have assembled a dedicated team of legal professionals and environmental lawyers.

Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the complex laws governing environmental protection and are qualified in many areas of environmental law.  We represent clients in a wide range of legal matters, including:

  • Environmental Hazards
  • Air Pollution
  • PFAS Contamination, including Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) 
  • Herbicides & Pesticides
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Nuclear Fuel Plant Lawsuits
  • Oil Spills
  • Water Contamination
  • Disease Clusters
  • Fracking and Energy Exploration
  • Soil Contamination

Recent Examples of Environmental Legal Cases at Napoli Shkolnik

Napoli Shkolnik’s environmental lawyers have recently been involved in environmental cases that have resulted in helping thousands of victims of environmental hazards.

For example, the environmental lawyers at Napoli Shkolnik have been involved in representing 23 Long Island water districts that suffered contamination of their water wells by Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), a gasoline additive, after gasoline spills and seepage polluted the aquifer.

Paul Napoli and his team forced the responsible big oil companies to pay victims more than $50 million.

One focus of the attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik has been in representing people suffering from lead exposure in Flint, Michigan. Known as the “Flint Water Crisis”, a partial settlement of over $600 million was recently approved by the court. 


Need an Environmental Lawyer?

If you have been affected by a hazardous material release, oil spill, or other environmental incidents, contact the environmental lawyers at Napoli Shkolnik. Our attorneys have years of experience in litigating these types of cases and are committed to helping victims obtain the justice they deserve.