Nov. 25, 2019 - Three associate from Gibson Dunn's Houston office discussed careers and energy law trends during a panel discussion Thursday at the University of Houston Law Center.
The Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center, and the Energy and Environmental Law Society presented the event. Speakers included Jasper Mason '11, a Law Center adjunct professor, Ashley Nguyen and Jordan Silverman.
Mason encouraged attendees to find a niche that can set them apart from other young lawyers.
"To the extent that you can, find opportunities to leverage newer skill sets that didn't exist five or six years ago," he said. "You will find you will rise to the top very quickly because no one above you has been doing it for 20 years, because it's only been around for four years.
"You can become an expert in your field very quickly in a dynamic industry by finding a focus area for yourself where there aren't a lot of people. Being one of the people that sets the standard is a great opportunity that previous graduates haven't had as much."
Silverman advised students to gain exposure to a wide variety of subjects, which will make lawyers more versatile in their practices.
"For transactional attorneys, getting as broad of a range of background as you possibly can only help you, especially the way the energy industry is trending right now," he said.
Nguyen noted that renewable energy and water have become increasingly relevant for attorneys who primarily used to work in oil and gas.
"One thing we're seeing a lot of is a bigger focus on renewables," Nguyen said. "The emphasis used to be purely on oil and gas work. But now we're trying to rebrand ourselves as energy attorneys, not just oil and gas.”