Page 9 - Briefcase V35 Number 1
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YEARS OF DEDICATION




            JACQUELINE L. WEAVER

              A noted authority on oil and gas law, energy law and their related
            policy and economic impact, Professor Jacqueline L. Weaver has
            lectured around the world, from Uganda and Kazakhstan to Lisbon
            and Bangkok.
              She says she never anticipated a career in law, much less academia.
            Raised abroad, and with an interest in economics, she first planned to
            become a high school math teacher and later leaned toward a future in
            international business.
              “I never wanted to be a lawyer or law professor, never, never, never;
            but I love it,” she said recently as she sorted through books and papers in
            her office, preparing for retirement after 39 years in the classroom.
              Born in Pennsylvania, she spent her childhood in Germany,
            Switzerland and England where her father worked as an engineer,
            building refineries and gas processing plants in post-war Europe. He
            also self-studied and passed the California bar exam without going
            to law school, because he thought legal knowledge to be of value in   international petroleum topics. She also created her own oil and gas
            negotiating construction and engineering contracts.    casebook, now updated with the help of her colleague, Professor Bret
              Weaver earned a B.A. in Economics magna cum laude from Harvard-
            Radcliffe College in 1968, taught economics at UCLA and, in 1971,   Wells, to keep UHLC students up to date and bar-exam ready.
                                                                     “Houston is the best place in the world to teach and research oil
            moved with her husband, a businessman, to Houston, where she   and gas law,” Weaver said. “The city provides unparalleled access
            worked for Exxon as an economist in corporate planning and then a   to the latest legal, technical and economic developments in the oil
            retail marketing specialist for five years.            industry, both here and abroad. And the Law Center attracts great
              While at Exxon, she decided to attend night school at the then-Bates
            College of Law, thinking a law degree would benefit her corporate   students who seek careers in the fields of energy, environment and
                                                                   natural resources law.
            career as it did her father’s.                           “In the early 1980s, I drafted a faculty report recommending that
              After earning her J.D. magna cum laude in 1975, academia came
            “totally accidentally” when a favorite professor, Simon Frank, died in   the Law Center start an LL.M. program in Energy, Environment
                                                                   and Natural Resources,” she said. “The Law Center now welcomes
            1976 shortly before the start of the semester, and the Law Center called,   students from all over the globe into this program, and they greatly
            asking if she could replace him. The answer then was “no,” because she   enrich our J.D. program as well. Some of our LL.M. graduates
            was nine months pregnant with her first child. But, once her first-born   return to their home countries to serve in oil ministries, national
            son, Kyle, arrived, she was interested in part-time work that would   oil companies or law firms, or to teach. The global influence of this
            not involve travel or a move outside Houston, both of which were   program is my greatest satisfaction.”
            requirements to advance at Exxon. She called Dean George W. Hardy   “Professor Weaver is a living legend!” said Dean Leonard M. Baynes.
            to talk about teaching an Oil and Gas class. The country was in the   “She is one of the foremost authorities on oil and gas issues. Many
            throes of an energy crisis, and the recent graduate had credentials to   alumni tell me they treat her treatise of Texas oil and gas law as the
            recommend her for the job: a Harvard degree, a J.D. and a background   bible, the “go-to” source for understanding the complexities of oil
            in the energy field, though not specifically oil and gas production. She   and gas law. Her scholarship has global reach. Lawyers in many other
            quit Exxon at the end of her maternity leave and entered the classroom,   countries rely on her to provide training in international petroleum
            joining two other women on the faculty of the 1970s, one of whom,   transactions. She is an excellent teacher and works to ensure that all
            Irene M. Rosenberg, was the first female professor Weaver had ever had   students, and in particular the foreign LL.M. students, are afforded
            in 11 years of higher education.                       Texas hospitality.
              Much has changed in the intervening 39 years. While students
                                                                     “Professor Weaver’s impact on the Law Center has been enormous.
            remain bright and committed, Weaver said, “The student body is   Although she may be retired, she will never be a stranger to our great
            much more diverse; there are more women and more international   institution. She will be missed.”
            students, which is wonderful to see.” Teaching and the law itself   Though leaving the Law Center, Weaver does not plan to slow down
            also have changed, with new technologies in energy development   in “retirement.” She plans to move to Washington, D.C. to be closer to
            prompting new rules and regulations, resulting in ever-present   family, especially her five grandchildren, and she doesn’t rule out the
            litigation. The courts too have changed, she said, becoming more   possibility of teaching part-time. She also has several projects in the
            pro-industry and anti-litigation.                      works at the Law Center and in other parts of the world, including
              To her great surprise, Weaver became a scholar, something she
            had never contemplated enjoying. She co-authors the leading three-  upcoming visitorships in Perth, Lisbon and Queen Mary University in
                                                                   London.
            volume treatise on Texas Law of Oil and Gas, a treatise on international   “I will stay in oil and gas because people ask me to do such interesting
            petroleum agreements, and two casebooks covering U.S. and   things,” she said, adding, “I love what I do.”



            law.uh.edu                                                                                                        7
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