March 10, 2022 - For Neil Segel, a 3L at the University of Houston Law Center, legal education is a stepping stone toward finding his place within the unfolding energy transition.
Thanks to NAPE - The Magazine for Dealmakers, Segel now has an outlet to explore energy issues through a global lens as a regular contributor for the NAPE expo publication.
Often, the subjects of Segel’s articles are also of interest to him from a legal perspective, giving him a multidimensional view of topics ranging from the role of green hydrogen in the future of energy production to the role of private equity in the energy transition and more.
“My background is very international,” said Segel, who moved to Houston in 2013 as a Director of Trade and Investment for Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry.
Following his tenure in Israel’s Ministry of Energy, Segel went on to work at an international risk consulting company, all while staying in the energy field.
In 2019, Segel enrolled at the UH Law Center, a step he said “seemed like a natural evolution within the energy sector.”
“Law school seems like an excellent, excellent tool to have in parallel to my energy expertise,” he said.
“I really want to have an impact in the energy transition that we’ve been going into for the last few years and the next probably two to three decades, if not more,” said Segel, who’s set to graduate this May. “To me, the biggest role in energy transition I could have is financing new technologies.”
The UH Law Center has given him an opportunity to delve into the world of large energy transactions, allowing Segel to build a “stronger financial understanding” thanks to non-law course work that students can take in other graduate departments.
Segel’s taken advantage of these credits, having enrolled in master’s of science and finance classes at the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business.
For now, Segel says he’s in a “continual process of learning about new technologies and new areas, finding my way as I go.”
Part of that work is done through his articles at NAPE, which give him the freedom to tackle a wide range of topics, and as president of the Law Center’s Energy & Environmental Law Society (EELS).
“I’ve used three years in law school as a big learning opportunity, especially at UH and being in Houston where it’s such a strong energy focus,” he said. “There are so many incredible professors with really strong energy background.”
Tapping the professors for their expertise is important, as is attending the plethora of energy events and conferences available in Houston, he said.
“To me, it just seems like a big opportunity right now for anyone going into the energy industry to be ground level at this new seismic change from oil and gas to renewables,” Segel said.
“Oil and gas is not going away any time soon; it’s certainly going to be around for a long time to come. But that doesn’t mean, especially with climate change becoming more salient, that we can’t start increasing the slice of renewable energy generation in the energy generation pie, if you think of it like a pie chart. We need to grow it and grow it.”
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