Student Membership in Various Energy-Related Organizations

(prepared 8-07-09 by Prof. Weaver and Jasper Mason; updated on July 5, 2010)

 

Note: Many writing competitions and scholarships are announced in the Daily Lex. Be sure to check it every day. Some luncheons and conferences are announced, but not always. The best way to learn about opportunities with these organizations is to join them.

 

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 1400 members from 65 countries representing international oil companies, national oil companies, host government energy ministries, legal and consulting firms and energy analysts. 

  • Apply @ http://www.aipn.org 
  • $25 for students
  • Benefits:
    • Monthly AIPN Advisor Newsletter e-mailed to you, containing useful articles and notices of events.
    • Monthly meetings in Houston, usually at the Houston Country Club in the Galleria area.  A fancy lunch for just $25 at student rate. Free parking too.
    • Access to the Journal of World Energy Law and Business, an E-journal published thru the Oxford University Press.  The quality is quite good, for research papers in this area.
    • Access to Membership Directory
    • Access to AIPN Model Forms and other AIPN-sponsored research reports.  This alone is worth the price.  The AIPN forms are recognized as the standard in international energy transactions.
    • Major conferences & continuing education. Discounts usually available to students, although the registration can still be expensive.
    • Resume service.
    • Networking opportunities.

In addition, there is now a Young Negotiators Group, formed for professionals and students new to international negotiations in oil and gas.

            Writing Competition: Each year the AIPN offers a writing contest for students, the winner(s) of which will be awarded complimentary registration for and travel to the annual international conference, held in a different location each year (Fall 2010, for example, Doha, Qatar).  The announcement may be found here.

            AIPN Student Scholarships:  The AIPN announced a new scholarship program in early 2009, open to both LLMs and JDs. The AIPN awards 4 scholarships of $5000 each, for the academic semester beginning in the Fall, and will be distributed in two payments over two semesters and paid directly to the Law Center to offset tuition.  Applications are due June 1 of that year. 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. The awards will be made July 15th.

 

 

2.  Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

            This organization is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, but it holds many conferences in Houston and covers far 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 Grants Program: Grants ranging between $2,000 and $5,000 are awarded to persons or organizations for meritorious projects in mineral resources law and related fields, such as the preparation of: teaching materials; specialized faculty or student research; law school seminars, lectures, short courses, and symposia; and publication of substantive articles. Since 1976, 182 grants totaling more than $430,000 have been authorized. For more information, download the Grants Program flyer (PDF) from the website.
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. Two Hundred and sixty-three (263) Joe Rudd and RMMLF scholarships have been awarded to date, totaling over $1.2 million. 20 scholarships were awarded in the 2010-2011 program (For a list of recipients, see the Scholarship Awards Announcement).  For more scholarship information download the Scholarship Program 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 March 1. (Application (http://rmmlf.org/geninfo/scholarapp.pdf))

            RMMLF Funds for Student Travel. RMMLF announced a new program, to begin in January 2010, of subsidizing travel for students attending RMMLF programs. The program will be administered using reimbursements, through the UHLC’s faculty trustee to RMMLF (Prof. Weaver). Details and guidelines are being developed by RMMLF—see Prof. Weaver for the latest update.

 

3.  ABA (American Bar Ass’n) Section on Env’t, Energy, & Resources 

            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 again, the low price is worth the cost of the quarterly magazine, which is excellent. Apply at http://www.abanet.org/environ/join/

  • $5 membership
  • Benefits
    • Specialized information on environmental, energy, and resources law through annual CLE programs, regional brown bags, teleconferences, and its web site. Law students are welcome to participate in any of these programs at a discounted rate. Law Students also will have access to the Members Only area of our web site.
    • Scholarships and Writing Competitions.  Each year the section conducts a competition for law students.  See: http://www.abanet.org/environ/committees/lawstudents/  The section selects certain student papers for publication on its website.  See the announcement in the first Appendix to this memo for more details.  This is a good opportunity for resume-building if you received a good grade on a paper you have already written. Note that the faculty member is involved in this posting.
    • Publications - The Section publishes many periodicals on a variety of subjects. Two periodicals that law students receive with their membership are Natural Resources & Environment, its quarterly magazine, and Trends, a bi-monthly newsletter. The Section also publishes a variety of books that a student can purchase at a discount. View the publications catalog in ABA Publishing.
    • Special Discounts - The Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources feels that law students should be entitled to the same programs that practicing lawyers have access to and  provides discounts to programs, publications, and conferences.
    • Networking with some of the top lawyers in the nation in the fields of environment, energy, and resources law. Many of these lawyers attend SEER meetings and are members of Section Leadership. Read the profiles of three such attorneys that are featured in the ABA Career Counsel Center for Students.

 

4.  Energy Bar Association (EBA) 

            The Energy Bar Association BA 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 an excellent journal, the Energy L. J., and the other listed benefits. http://www.eba-net.org/

  • $25 student membership.   Benefits:
    • The Energy Law Journal, an excellent journal.
    • Invitations to meetings, events, continuing education programs and seminars at special membership rates.
    • The Association Directory listing the names, addresses, phone/fax number and e-mail addresses of members of the energy bar.
    • Access to Website Job Bank.
    • A periodic summary of recent energy-related court opinions.
    • Invitation to join, free of charge, EBA's Houston Chapter, South Central Chapter (covering Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida), the Midwest Chapter (covering Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma), East Central Chapter (covering Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia), and the West Chapter (covering California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and British Columbia).
  • Check the EBA website for possible summer internships for students.

5.  State Bar of Texas

  • www.texasbar.com
  • Join through the Law Student Division. Costs only $15.
  • Students can join the various sections as non-voting members and still participate. 
  • Environmental Section:

- 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 Bar but you wish to receive the journal as an associate member, $20 along with the form available on the site.

  • Oil & Gas & Energy Section:
    • http://www.oilgas.org/
    • Dues are $35/year
    • The Oil, Gas and Energy Law Section publishes a quarterly Newsletter for all Section members. The Section sponsors three major legal seminars each year: The Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course, the Annual Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law Institute, and the Annual Gas and Power Institute, There does not appear to be any student discount for the conferences, but sometimes you can call and request a discount and succeed if you plead your case of limited funds.
    • An internship program has been established by the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas to provide law students with a demonstrated interest in oil, gas and energy resources law the opportunity to obtain practical experience and exposure to the oil and gas sector.  Under this Program, OGERLS will sponsor a summer internship at two State agencies:  (1) the Texas General Land Office; and (2) the Texas Railroad Commission. Apply by April 26. http://oilgas.org/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=77

 

6.  Houston Bar Association

            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://hba.org/folder-sections/sec-oil.htm) and on Environmental (http://www.hba.org/folder-sections/sec-environmental.htm) 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 at the Houston Club downtown (for the Oil and Gas section) or the Petroleum Club downtown (in the ExxonMobil building, 43d floor, great view of Houston), 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, who practice or are interested in various aspects of energy law.  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.  Programs are held at The Houston Club, typically the 4th Tuesday of the month.

            The Environmental Law Section is smaller, but in some ways more friendly. 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 does not seem to be available on the website, but Professor Fran Ortiz at South Texas College of Law administers it and the instructions for it are in an Appendix to this memo. She welcomes students to contact her at fortiz@stcl.edu with questions.

            The HBA also has an International Law Section  (http://hba.org/folder-sections/sec-international.htm) that might be of interest.

 

7. 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 distribution 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 at the Downtown Club at the Plaza, in downtown Houston. The cost is $35 each for nonmembers. See: (http://www.gulfcoastpower.org/newsflash/newsflash.asp?Category=Presentations&id=110)

GCPA is also active in student outreach. In 2008-2009, it sponsored two awards of $1000 each for the best student papers on electricity-related topics. Then, in 2010, it increased the award amount to $5,000. The winning papers are selected by professors at the UHLC.  If you are planning on writing a seminar or journal paper, remember this possible award. 

            Visit www.gulfcoastpower.org for more information about this organization. John Stauffacher is the director who has been so instrumental in funding the student awards and promoting student outreach.

 

8. The US Association of Energy Economists-Houston branch

 

            This group has monthly meetings second Thursday of each month from September through June 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 http://www.usaee.org/chapters/houston.html.   You must be screened when you enter the building and must be on the attendance sheet of expected guests for the lunch.

 

9.  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. The evening meetings are at 6:30 to 7:30 in the Junior League Building in the Galleria area, just off Loop 610 and San Felipe. Free parking and free attendance for students at these meetings. Some meetings are luncheon events in hotels, 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.  Check the calendar of events here: http://www.wachouston.org/generalCalendar

            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. 

 

10.  Citizen’s Environmental Coalition

  • http://www.cechouston.org/
  • CEC is an information clearinghouse and communications network for environmental issues in the Houston / Galveston, Texas, area. It is very useful for both students and attorneys because it provides a weekly e-mailed newsletter that summarizes environmental events and issues in the Houston region.  You can subscribe to the newsletter without being a member, and receive it without charge.  If you want to join CEC, individual memberships are $50. Visit the website for more information.
  • To subscribe to the weekly newsletter go to http://www.cechouston.org/newpages/subscriptions.html 

 

11. 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 has helped to fill a void by providing the environmental professional with active organizations that focus on multi-disciplinary issues and whose primary aims are 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, usually on an environmental topic. (Students are $20). See their website for the calendar of events and more information: http://www.taep.org/

            They have 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.

 

12. British 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 http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/other-locations/houston/

 

13. UHLC Student Organizations

 

Don’t forget to join the Student Chapter of the AIPN at the Law Center. See their Facebook page for more information: (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=31486431721). Jasper Mason was the UHLC President of the AIPN chapter in 2009-2010 and I think he still is in 2010-2011. He can be reached at his UH email address or jasper.mason@gmail.com.   

 

EELS is the Law Center’s Energy, Environment and Law Society. EELS has a link on the UHLC website http://www.law.uh.edu/organizations/eels with more information about its activities.


APPENDIX

 

The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.  Opportunity to have seminar or other research papers placed on its website.  Go to this website for current information. http://www.abanet.org/environ/committees/lawstudents/writingcompetition/

 This announcement is from 2008:

 

The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is committed to providing members with opportunities to enhance professional skills, remain current on issues and to promote dialogue in these substantive areas. It represents more than 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests. The Section keeps its members abreast of development trends, current court decisions, legislative initiatives, and statutes concerning environmental, natural resources, and energy law.

 

To further our purposes, the Law Student Programs Committee is excited to extend an opportunity to law students to publish their works on our Section website. Nominations should be submitted to the ABA no later than February 8, 2008. The Committee is conducting a nationwide search of Spring 2008 environment/energy/resource seminar classes to find outstanding papers that deserve to be published. Many of today's students are at the forefront of critical thinking in environmental law. Unfortunately, as there are so few opportunities for students to publish, many well written manuscripts are never shared with the wider audience that would benefit from these students' creativity. The Committee would like to foster new opportunities by giving students a new forum to publish. Last year’s winners were the University of Denver, Pace University, and Wayne State University. Also, one of the 2007 papers was chosen for publication in a forthcoming issue of Natural Resources and Environment.

 

We encourage you to distribute copies of the rules and nomination form to relevant faculty. Please provide this information to the ABA no later than February 8, 2008. Based on these submittals, by March 5, 2008 the Committee will select up to three seminar classes for publication and notify those selected. When the Professor of each of the selected classes grades the papers at the end of the semester, he or she will choose the top five papers and submit those to the Committee in electronic format, along with completed copyright release forms. The Committee will publish up to nine papers on the Section's Law Student Web Pages. The Committee also will share these papers with the Section's substantive committees to allow the widest dissemination of the students' work.

 

This project should not impose any additional burden on your students, but is intended to provide an additional reward for their already outstanding writing.


HOUSTON BAR ASSOCIATION, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SECTION SCHOLARSHIP:

 

Scholarship Objectives: The purpose of the Environmental Law Section of the Houston Bar Association (“HBA-ELS”) is to assist environmental and natural resource lawyers develop professionally through continuing legal education and networking events. To further this purpose, HBA-ELS has developed a scholarship program for Houston-area law students interested in pursuing a career in environmental law.

The Award: Three scholarships in the amounts of $1,000 each will be awarded to the top applicant from each school selected by the HBA-ELS.1 In addition, each scholarship recipient will receive a one-year membership to the HBA-ELS and complimentary attendance at all of the monthly HBA-ELS luncheons for that year.

Scholarship Criteria and Eligibility: To be awarded one of the three HBA-ELS scholarships, a student must meet the following criteria and be selected by the HBA-ELS members:

a The student must be a degree candidate and attending the University of Houston Law Center, South Texas College of Law, or Thurgood Marshall School of Law;

a The student must demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in environmental law;

a The student must submit a personal résumé that includes his or her name, contact information, educational background, current class standing or grade point average, and prior work experience;

a The student must complete the requirements specified in the application form;

a The student must complete an interview in the event that the selection committee decides to schedule one; and

a The winning applicants must each make a five-minute presentation on their paper topics at an HBA-ELS meeting.

 

Scoring Criteria and Values:

Criteria

Scoring Value

Interest in Environmental Law Practice

50

Paper Topic Selection

10

Paper Insightfulness

10

Paper Spelling/Citations/Length

5

Grades

10

Financial Need

15

 

1 ELS reserves the right to award no scholarships if, in the sole discretion of its members, it determines that no applicants satisfy the eligibility standards set forth in this application. Further, in the event that fewer than three applications are submitted from any one school, those applications may be merged with the applications of the school with the next fewest applicants for consideration and considered part of that school. In that event, two awards may be given in the amounts of $1500 each to the top two applicants. 

 

HBA-ELS 2009-2010 SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

The deadline for applying for this scholarship is 5:00 p.m. on October 2, 2009. The application consists of your responses to Questions 1 through 3, below, and your resume. You must submit your materials to the e-mail address indicated and in accordance with the boxed instructions at the bottom of this page. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Your responses to questions 1 through 3 should be double spaced on 8½” x 11” paper, Times New Roman, size 12, and have one inch margins.

1. The most important component of the selection criteria for this scholarship is an interest in pursuing a career in environmental law. Please describe your interest in pursuing a career in environmental law, including, but not limited to, any relevant environmental work experiences, any environmental or natural resources-related courses that you have taken (either in law school or in your undergraduate program), any environmental organizations that you are or have been involved with (either in school or in the community), and any personal experiences, papers you have written, or speeches you have given that support your interest. Your response should be 1,000 words or less.

2. Please attach an essay discussing what you consider to be an important environmental issue confronting the State of or an area of Texas. You should cite to sources and case law, where appropriate, using proper citation format. Your response should be 1,500 words or less.

3. Please describe any financial need or extenuating circumstance(s) that the HBA-ELS Scholarship Committee should consider in evaluating your application.

4. Please attach a résumé that includes at least your name, contact information, educational background, current class standing or grade point average, and prior work experience.  

The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. on October 2, 2009. Applications are due by e-mail to Art Bieser at abieser@hunton.com. Applications received after October 2, 2009, may not be considered. If you have not received an e-mail confirming receipt of your application within 24 hours, please call Mr. Bieser at 713-229-5706 for confirmation.

Your e-mail application should include your name, address and telephone number, your school, your degree (e.g., J.D. or LL.M.) and year (i.e., 1L, 2L or 3L). Please include “HBA-ELS Scholarship” in your subject line. Your resume and written responses to the application questions should be included as attachments to your e-mail.