News Types: Press Releases

Professor David Sokolow Reaches Out to Potential Chinese Students

UT Law Professor David Sokolow began the Spring 2014 semester in China, where he has traveled to share information about the law school’s leading LLM program.  Professor Sokolow has met with students in Beijing and Shanghai.

The LLM program draws upon UT Law’s deep connections to the energy industry to offer a certificate in Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law.

Professor Sokolow with UT Law alumni in Beijing
Professor Sokolow with UT Law alumni in Beijing

 

 

Three Baker Botts Attorneys to Coach 2013-4 Vis Team

Three attorneys from the Houston office of Baker Botts have volunteered to coach UT Law’s 2013-4 team in the Vis Arbitral Moot, the world’s  premiere moot court competition focused on international dispute resolution.

Through a rigorous selection process in September, six UT Law students were chosen to compete on the team: Ashleigh Acevedo, Burton DeWitt, Lauren Miller, Josh Nosal, Hayden Schottlaender, and Zahra Usmani.  Two 3Ls who represented UT in last year’s Vis moot – Becca Bennie and Garrett Martin – are returning as student coaches.

The team will be coached by Energy Center Executive Director Melinda Taylor and three attorneys from Baker Botts international arbitration practice: partners Michael P. Lennon, Jr., and Jennifer Smith ’90 and associate Dustin Appel.  Ms. Smith also serves as member of the Energy Center’s advisory board.

For additional information, please see this year’s Vis rules and problem.

 

 

Wendy Wagner Testifies before House Committee on TSCA Reforms

Professor Wendy Wagner testified November 13 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on S. 1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, which if passed would result in the most significant changes to one of the bedrock federal environmental laws – the Toxic Substances Control Act – in more than a generation.  To read her testimony, please click here.

 

Energy Center Publishes White Paper on Financing Water Infrastructure

The Energy Center has released a white paper exploring bills the Texas legislature passed earlier this year to finance water infrastructure.  The white paper - Paying for Water:  The 83rd Legislative Session and the $2 Billion Water Infrastructure Bank – analyzes policies that it finds could have “profound and long-lasting impact on Texas water law and water resources.”

Center Launches Fellowship for Law Students

The Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law at The University of Texas School of Law has created a new fellowship program that recognizes students interested in pursuing careers in one of its three core subject areas.

For its inaugural fellow, the center selected David Fisher, a Victoria, Texas, native who intends to pursue a career in public interest law, focusing on the convergence of international law, human rights and environmental policy.

“This fellowship is an incredible way for me to harness UT Law’s unmatched reputation in energy and environmental law and its strong presence in Latin America,” said Fisher, who received his bachelor’s degree from UT Austin in 2012 and is expected to complete his J.D. in 2015.

The center will provide fellows with $2,500 per semester and allow them to contribute to its programming and policy research. Through the fellowships, students will develop expertise in cutting-edge issues, cultivate relationships with leading practitioners and receive mentorship from center staff.

“One of the foundational purposes of the center is to enhance educational opportunities in energy, international arbitration and environmental law,” said Melinda Taylor, who is the executive director of the center. “The fellowship perfectly complements the curricular and extracurricular opportunities the center already offers.”

To be eligible, students must be entering or currently in their second or third years, and must have demonstrated a commitment to practicing in one of the center’s subject areas.

Student Group Petitions Texas to Revise Controverisal Drought Rule

The University of Texas Regulatory Oversight Group (UTROG) has petitioned the Texas Commisison on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to revise a regulation that allows the agency to selectively suspend water rights during droughts.

The petition calls for TCEQ to add procedural safeguards, improve conservation requirements, and further limit the circumstances under which the agency can exercise the rule.

“The Drought Curtailment Rule represents a well-intentioned first effort to craft a mechanism that could balance competing interests while shepherding the state through water shortages,” the petition states. “Recent litigation and policy debates have resulted in controversy about the rule and its implementation. These proposed amendments are designed to clarify the circumstances under which the executive director can suspend senior water rights and incentivize conservation.”

UTROG consists of students who are participating in a law school seminar in environmental regulation and are overseen by two professors. In preparing the petition, students consulted with leading water lawyers and reviewed comments the TCEQ received when it initially proposed the drought rule.