Law Student Opportunity: RMMLF Grants Program

The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) welcomes applications for grant funding. Visit the Professors & Students page of our website at RMMLF Grants for full details.

The RMMLF Grants Program was established in 1976 to promote scholarship, research, writing, teaching, and the study of mineral resources law and related fields at law schools around the country. In 2017 the Grants Program was expanded to include these traditional scholarship projects as well as innovative new projects or proposals in the fields of mining law, oil and gas law, energy law, water law, public land law, and related legal areas.

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Preparation of books, articles, and similar materials for publication
  • Preparation of teaching materials
  • Research expenses incurred by faculty and supervised law students
  • Start-up funding for new educational programs, classes, or conferences

Examples of eligible expenses include research assistant compensation, publication costs, publicity costs, essential travel, project-related compensation, and data acquisition costs.

Applications are evaluated by the RMMLF Grants Committee on a continuing basis, with preference given to Constituent Law Schools of the Foundation and to projects that will result in a clear, tangible outcome with widespread utility and long-term value. Larger grant requests may be evaluated quarterly, since funds are limited and the Committee wishes to ensure that funds go to the most worthy projects.

Applications and requests for information regarding the Grants Program should be submitted electronically to Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Student Opportunity: Enroll in Fall 2017 International Commercial Arbitration Course

International Commercial Arbitration

International commercial transactions almost invariably require international arbitration of disputes; so the transnational lawyer should know this area of practice. This course seeks to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to advise clients, draft adequate arbitration agreements, spot bad ones, and advise on enforcement of international arbitration awards. More generally, international arbitration represents one area where states have delegated a judicial function to private individuals. Those arbitrators enjoy wide discretion, act as judge and jury and render globally portable awards that suffer minimal state oversight. Understanding the terms of that delegation, which differ from country to country, will allow students to appreciate what can, and should, be left to private ordering of disputes. The course will address the major topics in international arbitration: its contractual nature; the “who (court or arbitrator) decides” question; choice of law; arbitrator selection; the role of international treaties; and review and enforcement of arbitration agreements and awards. Student performance is evaluated on a final exam, with a substantial portion of the grade dependent on class participation.


Class Details

Monday 3:45 – 6:55 pm TNH 3.126
Final 12/20/17


Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Not Allowed
Will use floating mean GPA if applicable


  • International Arbitration: Cases and Materials – Born Aspen Casebook Series
      Wolters Kluwer, edition: 2nd
    ISBN: 978-1-4548-3920-0   (required)
  • International Arbitration: Documentary Supplement – Born
      Wolters Kluwer, edition: 2nd
    ISBN: 978-1-4548-6280-2   (required)

Prof. Alan Scott Rau Gives Prestigious Hague Academy Lectures in 2017

Texas Law Professor Alan Scott Rau, who holds the Mark G. and Judy G. Yudof Chair in Law, is presenting a series of lectures this summer at the Hague Academy of International Law. He is only the second member of the School of Law faculty ever to be honored with this invitation, and the first in over 30 years. (Prof. Russell Weintraub lectured before the Academy in 1984.) Prof. Rau’s talks, grouped under the title “The Proper Allocation of Power Between Arbitral Tribunals and Courts,” are being presented in the Academy’s second session of courses, on Private International Law, in the first half of August.

Prof. Rau is an internationally-recognized expert in contracts and a specialist in international arbitration matters. He has spoken on the topic in recent years in Paris, Madrid, Oslo, Santiago, and, just last November, in London.

The Hague Academy was originally conceived over a century ago, at the Hague Conference of 1907, at a time when the concept of “peace through law” was novel and urgent. The Academy was officially founded in 1923 by the Dutch lawyer Tobias Michael Carel Asser, who seeded the enterprise with funds he earned by being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911. (Ironically, Asser’s plan to open the Academy as early as 1914 was thwarted by the eruption of the world war.)

“For nearly a century, the Hague Academy has been the epicenter of sophisticated international law learning and research,” notes Prof. Robert Chesney, the Charles I. Francis Professor in Law and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  “It is a rare and precious distinction to lecture there, and one that is especially suited to Professor Rau—an immensely cosmopolitan and influential scholar of international arbitration.  It is a proud moment for Texas Law!”

One part of the honor of delivering these lectures is having the text of them printed and archived for reference in the Academy’s signature publication, the Recueil des Cours (the Collection of Courses.) As Peter Trooboff, Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Curatorium of the Hague Academy, as well as the Chairman of the Academy’s Committee on Publications, says, “The Recueil is truly a unique source of scholarship and ideas for research in the international law field.  Because of the importance of the Recueil and the courses which have appeared in its pages, leading academics in the fields of private and public international law greatly value an invitation to lecture at the Academy. Professor Rau follows in the footsteps of the only other Texas Law faculty member to lecture at the Academy, the late Professor Russell J. Weintraub, whose course on ‘Functional Developments in Choice of Law for Contracts’ was published in 1984 in Vol. 187 of the Recueil.”

In addition to teaching about these matters here at Texas Law, Prof. Rau teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution, and serves as an affiliated faculty member with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business, an interdisciplinary joint venture of the School of Law  and the McCombs School of Business. Indeed, Prof. Rau was instrumental in laying the intellectual and structural groundwork for the center’s founding and development.

Alan played a key role in creating the law school’s Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law, the precursor to the KBH Center,” says Melinda Taylor, the center’s Executive Director and a Senior Lecturer at the law school. “He saw an opportunity to harness the expertise of distinguished law alumni who were practicing in the international arbitration area and expand Texas Law’s academic contributions and course offerings. He continues to serve as an advisor to the KBH Center, giving advice about our international projects and priorities.”

Prof. Rau was on a research leave for the Spring 2017 semester but will return to the classroom to teach his Arbitration Seminar and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the fall. “In the meantime,” Prof. Rau says, “it’s always gratifying to receive recognition from one’s peers—by which I mean those who are obsessed with the same sort of things I am—and always pleasant to be listened to, particularly in settings like this.”

Law Student Opportunity: Institute for Energy Law – Upcoming Conferences

August 7, 2017

To:  Advisory Board Representatives of Law School Members

The Institute for Energy Law has several upcoming programs to which each IEL Law School Member may nominate two students to attend with waived tuition: the 8th Law of Shale Plays Conference on September 6-7 in Pittsburgh,  the 10th Annual YEP General Counsel Forum on September 28 in Houston, the 7th Oilfield Services Law Conference on October 12 in Houston, the 3rd Rockies YEP General Counsel Forum in Denver on October 19, the 16th Annual Energy Litigation Conference on November 9 in Houston and the 5th Midstream Oil & Gas Law Conference on December 7 in Houston.  A nomination form for each of these conferences is available here. The IEL Law School Member for the UT School of Law is: Professor Ernest Smith (

Unfortunately, we are not able to subsidize travel or accommodation expenses for the students beyond the conference meals.

If you wish to nominate one or two students to attend the conference, please complete the attached registration form and email it to Lisa Gaspar ( and she will make sure that your students are registered.  We ask that you return the form no later than 10 days prior to the conference start date.  If you have any questions regarding registering a student, please contact me. Note to students: Please contact Professor Smith directly so that he can complete the nomination form on your behalf.

Please do not attempt to register the students online using the regular registration form.  To be registered, the students must be nominated by you, as the school’s IEL Advisory Board Representative; we are unable to register self-nominating students or students nominated directly to us by other faculty members.  Please note that discount registration is also available for law students if you have more than two students who desire to attend.

Additionally, for the International Oil & Gas Law, Contracts and Negotiations – Parts I & II (these are joint conferences with IEL, RMMLF & AIPN), which will take place in Houston on September 25-29 and October 2-6, IEL is allowed to send two students (total) to each of these programs.  If you have a student that you would like to nominate, please email me their contact information and which week they would like to attend.

Finally, I would like to let each of you know that this coming year, we are making a strong push to get more involvement from our law school members, from the students at those schools to their professors.  As part of that initiative, I am starting a list of academic speakers and topics that we will be able to submit to the co-chairs of upcoming programs as they are doing their planning.  Therefore, if you would like to be included in this list, please send me the topics on which you would be willing to speak, you may also submit information for your colleagues.  We are interested in energy related topics, as well as ethics.

If you have any ideas for ways in which IEL can get more student involvement, I welcome your input!  Thank you for all that you do and I look forward to seeing you and your students at upcoming events.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Vickie Adams
Associate Director
The Center for American and
International Law
1.972.244.3421 |
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TAMEST Shale Task Force Briefs Texas House Energy Resources Committee on Report

The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) recently released a comprehensive report on the impacts of shale oil and gas development in TexasRead a press release about the report.

Members of the TAMEST Shale Task Force represent a diverse set of experts from academia, environmental organizations, the oil and gas industry and state agencies. (PRNewsfoto/The Academy of Medicine…)

On Wednesday, July 26th, members of the TAMEST Shale Task Force and TAMEST President Gordon England briefed the Texas House Energy Resources Committee at the Texas Capitol about the findings of the report, focusing on key highlights from the overall report as well as from the seismicity, water and transportation chapters. The hearing was open to the public and available via video recording.

Professor Melinda Taylor, the associate director of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business at The University of Texas at Austin and a TAMEST Task Force member, served as the lead on Chapter 4 of the report, which describes the effects of shale development on Texas’ land resources. In addition to Professor Taylor, Land chapter authors include Joseph Fitzimmons of Uhl, Fitzsimons, Jewett & Burton, PLLC, and Tracy Hester of the University of Houston Law Center.

“Shale oil and gas development will likely continue for decades to come in Texas and other parts of the world; it’s critical to share our experience and leverage what we’ve learned here,” said Gordon England, TAMEST president. “We hope this briefing can help lawmakers and others find ways to enhance the positive impacts of shale development while reducing or mitigating negative ones.”

About the TAMEST Shale Task Force
The TAMEST Shale Task Force takes a cross-disciplinary approach, bringing together a diverse set of experts from academia, environmental organizations, the oil and gas industry and state agencies to achieve a balanced, informed consensus on the impacts of shale oil and gas development. This task force is the first state-level effort of its kind, and was guided by a spirit of investigation, collaboration and transparency.

TAMEST convened and sponsored a task force for this project. It brought together 19 of the state’s top experts to produce a report that provides science-based information on what Texas has learned from its experience in shale oil and gas development.

Learn more:

About The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas(TAMEST)
The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) is the state’s premier scientific organization, bringing together Texas’ best and brightest scientists and researchers. TAMEST membership includes all Texas-based members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the state’s Nobel Laureates.

Learn more: