Tree Foundation of Kern


To facilitate legal transactions and obtain remedies for negligence

Whether it's writing a contract or winning a case for a client, lawyers are often called into the arena of forestry and green industry.

Attorneys who specialize in tree or green industry law handle cases or contracts for a variety of related fields including contractors, arborists, landscape architects and pest control advisors.

Attorney Randall Stamen of Flagstaff, Arizona warns that law is not the exciting and glamorous career that is often depicted on television and in movies.

Stamen estimates 75 percent of his time is spent on the phone and the remaining 25 percent in court or meeting with clients in person.

"It's certainly not a glamorous career," Stamen said. "You're in an office most of the time looking at books, talking on the phone or working on the computer."

"I would make sure I knew exactly what it entailed," Stamen said for those considering a career in law. "Are you a person who is very, very detailed oriented? Do you enjoy deadlines on every single project you do? Do you enjoy reading and writing?"

Those considering a career in law must enjoy battling opponents in the courtroom using strategy and communication skills. The practice of law is not for the faint of heart and demands the ability to aggressively defend one's client.

"Litigation is adversarial. It's a civilized form of war," Stamen said. "These are things a person absolutely has to consider."

While most attorneys have handled at least one tree case in their careers, few are able to make a career of it.

The trend toward tree and green industry law is increasing, but those who want to specialize in trees full time will likely need to form their own practice, Stamen said. Handling cases in related areas such as construction and real estate law may also be necessary to round out a full-time practice.

Stamen, who also is a certified arborist, left corporate law to form his own practice devoted to trees and green industry law.

"I know most of the tree law inside and out," Stamen said. "But you never know it all. You're constantly learning."

Requires: 4 year degree followed by law school and state certification.

Salary: Range from $50,000 to $100,000.