September 2013

Growth in Energy Markets

As we witness moderate growth in the national legal market, one practice area which is experiencing healthy market growth is energy law. The University of Tulsa College of Law will soon mark 40 years as a leader in energy and natural resources law education and policy. We are uniquely positioned to seize this growth opportunity and continue to gain recognition as a national and international leader in energy law education. I am excited to share some of the unique endeavors of our program and highlight the work of our faculty and graduates.  

Strengthening relationships with energy groups - In March, in conjunction with the Institute for Energy Law (IEL), we hosted the inaugural 2013 Hartrick Symposium: Career Paths in Energy Law. The two-day symposium attracted nearly 200 students and young attorneys from across the country to hear an impressive group of panelists and moderators from industry leaders such as Shell Oil, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Van Dyke Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, Baker & McKenzie, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. More than 30 experts came together to discuss their careers as traditional oil and gas lawyers,  landmen, in-house general counsel, regulators, and private contractors.

Celebrating distinguished program partner - On the eve of the Hartrick Symposium, we honored a dear member of the TU College of Law community, Judge Joseph W. Morris, with the inaugural Award for Distinguished Service in Energy Law. Alumnus Curtis Frasier ('81), conference co-chair and Executive Vice President for Shell Oil, presented Judge Morris with the award. Judge Morris has been a shareholder at the law firm GableGotwals since 1984. Prior to joining GableGotwals, Morris was United States District Court Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Vice President and General Counsel of Shell Oil Company, General Counsel of Amerada Petroleum Corporation and Dean of The University of Tulsa College of Law. Judge Morris currently teaches arbitration law at TU and serves on my Dean’s Advisory Board.

Hosting a conference with a prominent national firm - Washington, DC energy law firm, Mogel & Sweet, co-sponsored with TU College of Law a conference in April on the second Obama administration's energy policies. I was delighted that the Price and Turpen Courtroom was filled to capacity with leading energy practitioners, as well as representatives from industry, and state, federal, and Indian governments. Bill Mogel chaired the conference and spoke on the status of LNG exports and the administration's energy policy. Mark Haedicke, also of Mogel & Sweet, presented on energy contracts in the wake of Dodd-Frank. Other panelists included Jeff Wright, FERC's Director of Energy Projects; Berne Mosley, president of Energy Projects Consulting; and TU Law Professor Marla Mansfield. Professor Robert Butkin deserves much credit for bringing Mogel & Sweet to Tulsa for this timely event.

Professors and alumnus contributing to US Supreme Court water law case - TU Law played a prominent role in the US Supreme Court case of Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, which involved the Red River Compact between Texas and Oklahoma, decided on June 13, 2013. TU Law Professor Gary Allison and alumnus Kevin Patrick represented Tarrant Regional Water District in its case against Oklahoma. Both parties cited Professor Marguerite Chapman’s article, Where East Meets West in Water Law: The Formulation of an Interstate Compact to Address the Diverse Problems of the Red River Basin, 38 Okla. L. Rev. 1 (1985), and Professor Chapman contributed to a significant amicus brief in the case.

Extending Energy Law Training Beyond Lawyers - This fall, we welcome the inaugural class for our Masters of Jurisprudence in Energy Law (MJEL). While several law schools offer specialized curriculum in energy law for lawyers, the MJEL is available to all professionals, not merely lawyers, who would benefit from a foundation in energy law. This program – available exclusively online – is the first of its kind. More information about this unique program can be found at utulsa.edu/law/MJEL.

Expanding Energy Law Training Beyond the US - Also this fall, TU College of Law welcomes a global cohort of lawyers for its 2014 LLM class. These foreign lawyers sought out TU for graduate legal education because of the high caliber of our energy law curriculum. The LLM program’s size has doubled over the last year, yet will provide personalized attention in a small, selective class setting. We have also signed cooperative agreements with two leading Chinese universities with energy and environmental expertise, and with one of the preeminent law schools in India. As part of the program, we are honored to host two visiting scholars from China University of Geosciences with experience teaching natural resources and environmental law.

I look forward to keeping you posted on the advancements in our energy program and other developments. I hope your summer was productive and peaceful. I wish you a terrific start to the academic year.
 
Janet K. Levit
Dean and Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair
The University of Tulsa College of Law