Student Membership in Various Energy and Environment Related Organizations
(updated September 2013)
Note: Many opportunities to attend conferences, submit papers for writing competitions and apply for scholarships are announced in the Daily Lex. Be sure to check it every day and note deadlines for applying. Some luncheon talks on campus or downtown with the Houston Bar Association or AIPN are announced in Daily Lex, but not always. The best way to learn about opportunities with local energy and environment associations is to join them. They often have low student membership rates, as detailed below.
Join the two student organizations at the Law Center:
The leaders of these two student organizations organize career days and other events of interest to their student members. They also circulate notices of other events of interest in the Houston area. You will meet other Law Center students who share your interests.
Here is a list of other organizations in the energy/environment area that offer many opportunities for continued learning and networking:
1. Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
Membership: The AIPN is very active in the Houston area, very friendly, and very international. Anyone who transacts international energy business joins the AIPN. It has 4,500 members from 90 countries representing international oil companies, national oil companies, host government energy ministries, legal and consulting firms, energy analysts and academics.
In addition, there is now a Young Negotiators Group, formed for professionals and students new to international negotiations in oil and gas. This group often meets in local wine bars or pubs.
Writing Competition: Each year the AIPN offers a writing contest for students, the winner(s) of which are awarded complimentary registration for and fully paid travel to the annual International Conference, held in a different location each year (Fall 2012 was Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Fall 2013 was Singapore). The announcement may be found here: http://www.aipn.org/StudentComp.aspx. The papers must be submitted to a faculty member, Professor Jacqueline Weaver, before being sent to the AIPN. Please check all deadlines. Examples of winning student papers, many by UHLC students are also posted on the website.
AIPN Student Scholarships: The AIPN awards scholarships of $5,000 each, for the academic semester beginning in the Fall, open to both JDs and LLMs. The award is distributed in two payments over two semesters and paid directly to the Law Center to offset tuition.
Applications are due in May of each year. Please confirm the deadline by checking the AIPN’s website: https://www.aipn.org/ScholarshipProg.aspx. Criteria are potential to contribute to the field of international oil and gas negotiations, academic ability, leadership and negotiation ability, year in school, and financial need.
2. Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
This organization is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, but it holds many conferences in Houston and covers much more than resource development in the Rocky Mountains. It even hosts conferences in South America. It is very student-friendly and sponsors programs on both international energy and U.S. energy topics. Visit the website at www.rmmlf.org to view the array of programs.
RMMLF Scholarship Program: The Foundation established the Joe Rudd Scholarship Fund and Scholarship Program in memory of Joe Rudd, a prominent Alaska natural resources attorney. In 1993, this program was expanded with the establishment of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Scholarships. Scholarship selections are based primarily on the interest of candidates in natural resources law and their potential to make significant contributions to the field and also on academic record, financial need, and leadership. Three hundred and eighty (380) Joe Rudd and RMMLF scholarships have been awarded to date, totaling almost $1.9 million. 24 scholarships were awarded in the 2013-2014 program (For a list of recipients, see the Scholarship Awards Announcement (http://rmmlf.org/geninfo/scholar-announcement.pdf)). For more scholarship information download the Scholarship Program (http://rmmlf.org/geninfo/scholarflyer.pdf) flyer (PDF). In the past, UHLC students have been successful in winning scholarship awards ranging from $1500 to $4500. LLM students have also been able to apply and receive awards. Applications are due in March. Watch the Daily Lex for details. The application for the 2014-2015 period will open January 1, 2014. Please verify the application deadline on the RMMLF website.
RMMLF Funds for Student Travel. RMMLF subsidizes travel for students attending RMMLF programs. The program is administered through the UHLC’s faculty trustee to RMMLF (Prof. Weaver). Look for announcements of opportunities to attend RMMLF conferences either in Houston (for free) or in other locations, such as Denver, Colorado, at highly subsidized rates by reading the Daily Lex. Follow the instructions posted in the Daily Lex announcement.
RMMLF Grants Program: Grants ranging between $1,200 and $9,000 are awarded to persons or organizations for meritorious projects in mineral resources law and related fields, such as law school seminars, lectures, short courses, and symposia; and publication of substantive articles. If you are on a UHLC journal and your journal is hosting a symposium on a resource-related topic, a faculty member can help you apply for a RMMLF grant. For more information, download the Grants Program (http://www.rmmlf.org/geninfo/grantsflyer.pdf) flyer (PDF) from the website.
3. Energy & Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF)
Membership: EMLF is a national nonprofit educational organization headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky that helps the study of the laws and regulations related to natural resource development and energy use. Law Students can join EMLF as an associate member for $20. Membership benefits include: discounts on registration fees, free access to EMLF white papers, a subscription to the EMLF online newsletter, free Membership Directory, and a free listing with your contact information on EMLF’s website. To apply, visit http://www.emlf.org/. The Eastern Mineral Law Foundation has programs with a more Eastern focus, such as coal mining in the Appalachias and oil and gas development in the Marcellus shale.
EMLF Scholarship Program: In 2013-2014, $60,000 in scholarships were awarded to ten law students. Each year, approximately 30-35 applications are received, so the chances of receiving a scholarship are quite good. For more scholarship information, please visit the following link: http://www.emlf.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=scholarship&category=About.
EMLF Law Student Fee Waiver Policy: At this time EMLF does not offer any conferences in the Houston area, but it does encourage student members to attend their events by waiving the registration fee for a limited number of students. Most CLE programs are in Lexington, Kentucky. For further information on these programs, please visit the EMLF website. The EENR Center at the UHLC will subsidize student travel for certain conferences. Look for the announcements in Daily Lex.
4. The Gulf Coast Power Association (GCPA)
This is an active organization of power generators, transmission operators, etc.—all those interested in electricity production, transmission and retail sales of electricity in Texas. Texas is not regulated by FERC because our grid is not connected to the rest of the US. We are in our own ERCOT power area.
This group holds monthly lunch meeting presentations on various topics. GCPA has provided funding to the UHLC so that our students can attend any of its lunches or conferences for free. Check the Daily Lex for announcements. Student Services handles the reimbursement of students for the cost of attending a conference or lunch plus the cost of parking. The cost is $35 each for non-members. See: http://www.gulfcoastpower.org/Events.aspx.
GCPA also funds a writing competition award for a paper related to electricity generation, including fuel use (such as shale gas or LNG export issues); and an award for the highest grade in a course on regulated industries or electricity/pipeline law. These awards are usually about $2,000 per student. If you are planning on writing a seminar or journal paper, remember this possible award when you pick your topic. You compete only with other UHLC students!
Visit www.gulfcoastpower.org for more information about this organization.
5. ABA (American Bar Ass’n) Section on Environment, Energy, & Resources (SEER).
This ABA section is known as SEER, its acroynym. It does not hold many meetings in Houston, but it has an active teleconference program, and the low student membership price is worth the cost of the quarterly magazine, which is excellent. Apply at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/environment_energy_resources/membership.html
6. Energy Bar Association (EBA)
The Energy Bar Association (EBA) focuses on FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) work, i.e., the regulation of the gas and power industries in the U.S., and has most of its conferences in the Washington D.C. area. Nonetheless, for a mere $25, you get many benefits, listed at http://www.eba-net.org/
- free e-mail discussion list
- programs and conferences including seminars, scholarships, and internship opportunities.
- online Texas Environmental Law Journal articles – access for members
- web-search portals
- If not a member of the State Bar, but you wish to receive the journal as an associate member, pay $40 along with the form available on the site.
8. Houston Bar Association
You must be licensed to practice law to join, so few benefits are offered to law students. However, the HBA sections on Oil and Gas (http://www.hba.org/sections/oil-gas-mineral-law/) and on Environmental (http://www.hba.org/sections/environmental-law/) have monthly luncheon talks, often featuring speakers on topics of timely interest, and nonmembers may attend these. Both sections offer discounted rates for students of about $10-$20 per lunch. The lunch meetings are usually downtown and parking adds to the cost (usually $8). For more information, go to http://www.hba.org/.
The Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section has approximately 500 members. The Section sponsors nine monthly lunch programs each year. At each meeting a 1 hour presentation is made on some legal, commercial or technical issue related to energy law.
The Environmental Law Section is smaller; and it is very friendly to students. If you are interested in local Houston environmental problems, the lunches are a good opportunity to network with City of Houston lawyers involved in these issues, in addition to law firm practitioners. This Section offers a $1000 scholarship annually to one student from each of the three Houston area law schools, so there is a guaranteed UHLC “winner.” The scholarship information is not available on the website, but Professor Fran Ortiz at South Texas College of Law administers it. She welcomes students to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Or see Prof. Tracy Hester here at the UHLC.
The HBA also has an International Law Section (http://www.hba.org/sections/international-law/) that might be of interest. Many of its luncheons feature energy-related topics.
9. The US Association of Energy Economists-Houston branch
This group has monthly meetings in the Federal Reserve Building on Allen Parkway. (Michael Graves a famous architect designed the building and its interiors, which are worth seeing. A small visitor center on the ground floor shows dollars being checked for counterfeiting, forklifts of boxes of currency, etc.) The meetings are usually about energy supply and demand forecasts and are usually quite accessible to non-economists. Visit the website at https://www.usaee.org/chapters/houston.aspx. You must be screened when you enter the building and you must be on the attendance sheet of expected guests for the lunch, so it is very important that you register in advance.
10. World Affairs Council of Houston
The Council offers institutional memberships to colleges, universities, and other academic organizations and UH is a member. The World Affairs Council has varied programs of prominent speakers and experts, often on energy issues. These programs are held at various times and locations. The evening programs that begin at 6:30 (usually in the Junior League Building in the Galleria area, near the Target on San Felipe) are usually free and you do not need to register to attend. Please check the following link for details: http://www.wachouston.org/wac/Upcoming_Events.asp. Some meetings are luncheon events and these cost money. The Council presents all sides of current global issues, promotes better understanding of international relations and contributes to national and international policy debates. Its goals are a better educated citizenry and the advancement of Houston as an important international center.
Within the umbrella of the WAC, the Young Professionals series is an opportunity for members under the age of forty to engage international newsmakers in an informal setting. These programs facilitate exchange on topics like foreign policy, international business, and cultural issues. Several events are held each month, including film screenings, small dinners, limited receptions, informal discussions, and international travel. Involvement with Young Professionals offers the opportunity to learn first-hand about the world while interacting with other members who share the same interests.
12. Texas Association of Environmental Professionals
The Texas Association of Environmental Professionals (TAEP) is the premier organization for environmental professionals in the State of Texas. Now, with nearly 300 local members and a total of four chapters state-wide, TAEP focuses on multi-disciplinary issues and its primary aim is the advancement of the environmental profession and the establishment of a forum to discuss important environmental issues.
The Texas Association of Environmental Professionals meets every month at Brady's Landing, a restaurant on the Houston Ship Channel, usually with an environmental topic as its focus. Students are $10. See its website for the calendar of events and more information: http://www.taep.org/
TAEP has a Young Professionals Group that typically meets on the first Thursday evening of each month at various locations in Houston. There are no membership costs or dues; each person is responsible for his/her own expenses at the events. YEP members are not required to be members of TAEP, but are included on all TAEP meeting announcement emails and are encouraged to attend TAEP functions.
13. British Consulate in Houston
This consulate organizes excellent seminars and workshops on energy, environmental and emerging technology issues. Join their mailing list and find out more information on their website https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-consulate-general-houston.
14. Air & Waste Management Association – Gulf Coast Chapter
The Gulf Coast Chapter is a local chapter of the A&WMA, a non-profit, nonpartisan technical, scientific and educational organization with more than 14,000 members across 65 countries. For members, A&WMA provides opportunities for technological exchange, professional development, public education and networking. Membership as a full time student to this chapter is $21 (http://www.awma-gcc.org/membership.html).
The Gulf Coast Chapter has monthly meetings. (The September 2013 meeting was a discussion of the Obama Climate Action Plan). The cost is free to the first 10 Environmental students and $25 for full time students.
The larger A&WMA membership is $35 for full time students. This organization also offers scholarships for outstanding students who are pursuing courses of study and research leading to careers in air quality, waste management, environmental management/policy/law, and sustainability. The 2013 awards ranged from $1,500-$7,500. For more information please visit the following link: http://www.awma.org/Public/Students/Scholarships/Public/Scholarships.aspx?hkey=c307d14b-c9b8-4afc-b376-77d91a758095
15. The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC)
H-GAC is the region-wide voluntary association of local governments in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning region of Texas. H-GAC’s mission is to serve as the instrument of local government cooperation, promoting the region’s orderly development and the safety and welfare of its citizens. The Council hosts several meetings and workshops including ones aimed at regional air quality and natural resources. Visit the website for more information about the organization and its calendar of events: http://www.h-gac.com/home/
16. The Environmental Law Institute (ELI)
Since 1969, ELI has played a pivotal role in shaping the fields of environmental law, policy, and management, domestically and abroad. The organization delivers analysis to opinion makers, including governmental officials, business leaders, academics, members of the environmental bar, and journalists.
Full time students are eligible for a one year complimentary membership: http://www.elistore.org/member.asp. This membership includes opportunities for networking and career development, free seminars and policy forums. You will also have access to The Environmental Forum, ELI’s award winning policy journal.
17. American Association of Professional Landman (AAPL)
The AAPL is a professional organization that unites approximately 17,000 landmen and land-related persons through professional development and service. Students can join for $20. Membership includes: networking opportunities, educational programs, AAPL publications, and industry resources.
AAPL is an excellent organization to get involved with if a non-traditional legal career is something you are interested in. Many oil and gas companies seek out attorneys for in-house landmen positions. In-house landmen perform a variety of tasks, including: negotiating leases, purchase agreements, JOAs, and other oil and gas contracts; help draft preliminary agreements; cure title defects; and many other tasks. Landmen are much more involved with the business aspect of the oil and gas industry. For more information on the organization and what a landman does, please visit http://www.landman.org/home.
AAPL also has several local chapters in the Houston area that have monthly luncheons and great guest speakers. See the links below:
Houston Association of Professional Landmen: http://www.hapl.org/
West Houston Association of Professional Landmen: http://westhoustonlandmen.org/
North Houston Association of Professional Landmen: http://nhapl.org/