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January 25, 2008

Duke R. Ligon awarded the Ernest E. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo of Duke R. Ligon
Duke R. Ligon

On January 25, 2007, the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas & Energy Law awarded the 2008 Ernest E. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award to Duke R. Ligon, a 1969 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law. This prestigious award is given to a practitioner in the energy industry who has made a major contribution to the oil, gas, and energy community.

From 1997–2007, Ligon served as general counsel and senior vice president for Devon Energy Corp., one of the largest independent oil companies in the country. Prior to joining Devon, Ligon spent twelve years practicing energy law in New York City and Washington, D.C., and has held various leadership positions with the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Treasury and the Department of Energy. Ligon was also awarded a Bronze Star medal for his service as a captain in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence in Vietnam. He currently works as Strategic Advisor for Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, as well as Executive Director of the Love’s Entrepreneurship Center at Oklahoma City University. Ligon has also served as a trustee of The University of Texas Law School Foundation since 2002.

“Duke Ligon’s career has been a great credit to UT Law, and Duke has been a wonderful source of counsel and support in his role as Trustee of the Law School Foundation,” said Dean Larry Sager. “We are lucky to be able to claim him and to rely on him as we have. I am very pleased that the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law is honoring him.”

“It is a great honor for me to receive this achievement award from The University of Texas School of Law, as the law school has clearly provided both the credentials and the credibility for my professional success,” said Ligon. “The Oil & Gas department lead by Ernest E. Smith was one of the primary reasons I went to UT Law School. Since Professor Smith’s teaching and encouragement have always been an inspiration to me throughout my career, it is a particularly special honor for me to receive this award from the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law.”

The Ernest E. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award honors practitioners who have participated in the advancement of natural resources law, policy or scholarship. The award is named after Professor Ernest E. Smith, the Rex G. Baker Centennial Chair in Natural Resources Law at the University of Texas School of Law. Considered the preeminent specialist in oil, gas, and energy law, Smith co-authors the leading casebook on Oil and Gas Law (West, 4th ed., 2002) and the leading treatise on Texas Law of Oil and Gas (3 volumes, 2nd ed., LEXIS Law Pub., 1998). Smith also serves as a faculty advisor to the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas & Energy Law.

“Duke has had an extraordinary career since graduating from UT Law School,” said Smith. “His name has become virtually synonymous with success in the oil and gas industry. I am especially proud to be able to list Duke as one of my former students and hope that my class contributed in some small way to his success.”

The third recipient of this prestigious award, Ligon joins former Exxon General Counsel C. Kenneth Roberts and the late Frank Douglass, founding partner of Scott, Douglass & McConnico, in receiving this honor at the Journal’s annual banquet.

The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas & Energy Law is the only entirely student-run energy publication in the country, as well as one of the largest student academic publications at the University of Texas School of Law. In addition to publishing articles on oil, gas, and energy topics bi-annually, the Journal hosts a two-day Continuing Legal Education symposium in conjunction with its banquet. This year’s symposium was entitled, “International and Domestic Transactions: Taxation, Compliance, and Everything You Need to Know to Close the Deal,” and was held in UT Law’s Eidman Courtroom on January 24 and 25, 2008.

Related Link:

Texas Journal of Oil, Gas & Energy Law

Contact: Tom Henninger, thenninger@law.utexas.edu