Society and Culture
South Texas College of Law School Opening Oil and Gas Law Institute
As I’ve mentioned before, I just took the LSAT and have started the process of applying to law school. One of my top choices is South Texas College of Law, which is located in Downtown Houston and has a great reputation. While researching law schools I came across an interesting–and to be honest shocking–new addition at South Texas. The school recently started the region’s first Oil & Gas Law Institute. The shocking part is that such an institute didn’t already exist, considering how big the oil and gas industry is here and how badly it always needs lawyers.
Houston is the capital of the oil and gas business. Everywhere I turn there is another oil and gas company or a company that has some kind of association to that industry; Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Technip, Worley Parsons, and Mustang Engineering are all here. These six companies are within a two-mile radius of my house and there is no escaping them. I’ve also considered a law career in the oil and gas sector; it makes sense being a native Houstonian with plans to stick around here for a while longer.
Establishing this Oil & Gas Law Institute will allow South Texas to respond to the more specific needs of the energy industry by which its surrounded and promote better education and training for students interested in working in that sector.
The idea is that this Institute will mostly concentrate on creating applied petroleum-related transactional, regulatory, and title practice skills. Christopher Kulander, a visiting associate professor at South Texas, has been appointed the Institute’s, and he has quite the resume; he taught oil and gas law for three years at Texas Tech University (wreck’em!), is a legal writer, is used as an expert witness, and frequently gives presentations about the oil and gas industry, not to mention he is also Of Counsel at Haynes and Boone, LLP.
Kulander states that one of his “main goals is to make the third year in law school much more specialty-focused and practice responsive” for those interested in going into this particular field. The Institute also plans to place advanced students in the legal departments of Houston oil and gas companies, a great way to get in the door of these corporations, which is no easy feat. There are also hopes to expand the areas of study in the Oil & Gas Law Institute with courses focusing on international petroleum transactions, midstream and downstream oil and gas activities, as well as other sources of energy.
This is a small step into a massive industry that definitely needs lawyers on its side.