MJEL Course Descriptions

Energy Research, Analysis & Writing
Students become familiar with the sources of law applicable to the energy industry, as well as sources for legal commentary, legal research methodology, legal analysis and application, writing techniques, rules of citation and document formats.  Students produce high-quality writing and obtain the fundamentals necessary to complete their thesis in energy law.

Regulation of Energy Markets
This course provides insight to state, public utility and federal regulation of electric power, natural gas and oil markets.  Students master administrative law issues, focusing on the identity and role of regulations and regulatory agencies.

Basic Oil and Gas Law 
Students develop important fundamental skills emphasizing the accumulation, ownership and conservation of oil and gas, the intricacies of oil and gas leasing, implied rules in the oil and gas lease, the nature protection of legal interests in oil and gas, the title and conveyance of oil and gas interest and the use pooling and unitization to access resources.

Environmental Law
Students gain experience with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the law of hazardous and other regulated substances, including RCRA and CERCLA.   The study includes real-life, on-going matters and projects addressing the most active environmental questions relating to the energy industry.

Advanced Oil & Gas Law
By addressing and solving real-world problems, students gain in-depth knowledge of complex oil and gas exploration, production, marketing and conveyance agreements, as well as their related documents. In addition, students learn the purpose, structure and judicial interpretation of oil and gas instruments, and problem-solve complex oil and gas conservation practices such as pooling, unitization and pro-rationing.

Applied Environmental Law
Using facts, students learn best practices and the skills to address real-world environmental case studies relating to energy development and focusing on the laws and regulations addressed in Environmental Law, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.  Depending on the recent issues of concern, the curriculum could potentially cover the Oil Pollution Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Renewable Energy Development
Students explore one of the solutions to the world’s dependence on fossil fuels: energy obtained from renewable sources.   Topics include renewable energy, alternative fuels, de-carbonization and energy security solutions. Students study the comparison between renewable technologies with fossil fuels and against each other.  Barriers and opportunities of integration and proliferation of renewable energy are also explored. 

Key issues addressed are the concerns relating to financing of renewable energy, as well as the permitting, siting and administrative approval of renewable energy projects.  An interdisciplinary approach features learning materials from law, economics, sociology, environmental science and engineering.

Natural Resources & Water Law
Students learn the law of the right to use and permit the use of water and other non-energy natural resources and address the law of the ownership and development of resources on federal lands.  Potential areas of study may also include:  Federal Land Policy Management Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, National Environmental Policy Act, the Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act, the General Mining Law and the Endangered Species Act.

Energy Law Thesis
In a focused environment, students are paired with an advisor to help refine their thesis topics, guide research and aid in the successful completion of their thesis.  Students produce a quality, publishable thesis and are encouraged to select a topic that will bring value to their workplace or prepare for their career advancement. 

Jason Aamodt