Alternate Law Profession: Oil And Gas Attorney

For many law students, the prospect of finding a job in the exceedingly over-saturated legal job market has been a grim thought for many years now. Economic Modeling wrote an article about this very topic in the beginning of the year that indicated that back in 2012 there were roughly twice as many law graduate students as there were jobs available in the market at the time. That’s, of course, not counting any unemployed lawyers also looking for employment during that time. This has led many law graduates to pursuing alternative legal work and additional work on the side, much in the same way writers often freelance in addition to writing for their main publications. The amount of job opportunities a law graduate might consider extends beyond the scope of this article, instead this will focus on one: oil and gas title attorneys

Requirements

For many young professionals, they will start this lucrative career path as a landman. The formal requirements of a landman position are usually pretty lax in comparison to being a full fledged attorney. Most companies will require a bachelor’s degree and some experience in the field. If you don’t already meet these minimum requirements, then there are a few other ways to get your foot in the door. One way, like with many other positions, is to simply work your way up from an entry level position. Though most landman positions will require a bachelor’s degree, your experience can be gained working in the field while pursuing your degree. 

You might also try getting enrolled in some landman classes if you’ve already got the experience. Additionally, many accredited colleges have land management programs that can be completed while pursuing your bachelor’s degree. Finally, don’t be afraid to do some volunteer work as a last resort. This will help you make some great connections while also gaining valuable experience. 

Many gas and oil title attorney jobs specifically require you to have experience as a landman since the job responsibilities are functionally the same. Some companies might require you to have your doctorate, but at a minimum you should have successfully completed your state’s bar and be a licensed attorney before applying.

Basic Job Description

The underlying responsibilities of an oil and gas title attorney sounds simple on paper. The two biggest transactions you will be responsible for are:

  • Determining Ownership – This applies to many things, such as surface rights, royalty, minerals, and leases for properties that are under assessment. This task revolves around researching the history of the title. Examining the title is the first step in determining whether or not there will be any conflicts with the terms. 
  • Identifying Potential Conflicts – Being able to think ahead of the curve is what makes a title attorney successful. You want to make sure you’re prepared in the case of a claim, but ultimately you want to make sure one doesn’t occur to begin with. 
  • Consult in Agreements – This revolves around presenting the information you’ve accumulated to reach an agreement, as a producer, with a mineral owner. There are many types of agreements, and your task is to help define the terms of the agreement in a way that is beneficial to your company both monetarily and legally. 

The Future

Even though many companies are searching for alternative sources of energy, regular fossil fuels remain king. Currently, the USA sits at the top as the world’s largest oil producer and uses new technology, such as fracking, to keep the production of oil and gas rolling strong into the future. 

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