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Agricultural Lawyer

Position Overview

Agricultural lawyers are an important resource for those in the agricultural industry because they provide useful advice and support for land and pesticide use, as well as issues that pertain to seed, water, labour, and the environment. Due to this highly regulated industry, agricultural lawyers ensure clients understand agriculture laws and requirements; it is their job to help clients run their agribusiness or farm in an appropriate manner. Additionally, they need to stay up-to-date on new regulations and legislation so that the advice they provide is accurate. There are different branches that an agricultural lawyer can specialize in, some of which include: the purchase and financing of a farm, marriage or divorce that could affect the farm, farms to become corporations, tax issues, mineral and gas rights, land and estate planning, and general farm contracts.

Agricultural Lawyer Duties

  • Assist with land and zoning issues
  • Help farmers plan for their successor to preserve the farming operation
  • Be familiar with environmental laws and the rights of landowners
  • Work with external organizations
  • Assist in the prevention of fraud for product packaging or labelling
  • Build a strong relationship with community members, especially local farmers
  • Guide farmers and agribusiness owners in legislation and regulatory compliance
  • Provide legal counsel to businesses and organisations
  • Help to implement general farm policies
  • Attain permits and licenses for the successful operation of different agricultural entities
  • Assist in the protection of farms against urban expansion
  • Understand current issues that affect the agricultural industry, and what solutions are available

Typical Employers

  • England bar associations
  • Agricultural Law Association
  • Environmental Law Association
  • Consultant agencies
  • Self-Employed

Required Education and Training

To become an agricultural lawyer in the UK, you need to attain an undergraduate degree in law, or a graduate diploma of law with an undergraduate degree in something related. If you choose the graduate diploma path, your undergraduate degree should be related to agriculture so that you understand the industry. Once this is attained, you will need to pass the Bar Professional Training Course. Agricultural lawyers should have a genuine interest in, or a passion for agriculture.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Strong communicator
  • Enthusiastic
  • Self-motivated
  • Ability to work with a flexible schedule
  • Knowledgeable on agriculture laws
  • Logical thinker
  • Ability to make sound decisions
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to persuade

Average Salary

  • An entry level agricultural lawyer makes an annual salary of £35,000
  • With some experience, agricultural lawyers will make approximately £60,000
  • As a law firm partner, agricultural lawyers make £100,000
  • If you have many years of experience as a barrister, your salary can rise to £750,000

Becoming a lawyer provides individuals with room for personal and financial growth, if they are willing to put in the hours and commit themselves to the job.