Law School Discussion

Best law schools for someone genuinely interested in oil and gas practice?

That's sort of what people say about sports law or any other specific area.  If you want to go into something like that, I still think your best bet is going to a T25 school.  Outside the T25, I do think specializations and clinics and certificate programs and USNWR rankings for specializations matters.

Yeah, I already did that.  I'm a lawyer from another common law country and I started a two-year JD with advance standing at a T14 a couple of years ago.  Despite my oil and gas background and after doing a pile of on-campus interviews, the only summer job offer I got was to handle FERC work at biglaw in DC.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but it is domestic US midstream regulatory work and not the international upstream work I had been doing before.  I wanted to continue along with my international work, so I returned to my home country and have had excellent employment ever since then. 

The thing is, I am now in-house at an exploration and production company a long way from home, and I would like to see if I can work my way into a similar role in the United States.  (The job I have is rather good, but I miss North America a great deal.)  If I got into UT in a two-year program (i.e., with advance standing) and I didn't have to repeat uselessly the first-year curriculum, I'd be there in a second.  Now, that is far from guaranteed to happen, so I'd like to know more about the more regional schools that offer a lot of oil and gas coursework.  Denver, Tulsa, Houston, and Oklahoma all fit the bill for the purposes of this inquiry.  There may be others as well.  Perhaps someone here can offer some insight into the smaller schools.

If you couldn't get into UT/SMU/UH - how on earth do you think you're going to get into VE, BB, FJ?

It's not that I cannot get into any of these schools (heck, I got into a T14 two years ago -- see my above-found post), but that:

  • SMU won't grant me any advance standing at all
  • UH might grant me advance standing after repeating the first-year curriculum (not something I am keen to do after having had to start this at the T14 I attended a couple of years ago)
, and
  • it is uncertain what advance standing arrangement I might be able to reach with UT,

so I'm just trying to find out a little more about the Tulsas, Denvers, etc. of this world.  Reputation, while still important, may matter a little less to someone in my position because I already have a couple of years of good employment experience at a recognized firm and an E&P company under my belt.  Not that I am denying reputation matters, of course; I just hope it will matter a little less in my case.  In any event, I hope to go directly to an in-house role at an E&P company in the United States and wish to avoid returning to private practice altogether if I can do so.

Thank you for your interest all the same!