LSU’s Energy Law program fueling the future in Louisiana

Mark (Humanities & Social Sciences, ’80; Law, ’84) and Lisa (Human Sciences & Education, ’82) Boudreaux were among the first to support the John P. Laborde Energy Law Center, which they felt was a belated addition to Louisiana’s flagship university.

“You would think that if there was to be an energy law center anywhere, that it should be here at LSU,” Mark shared. “We thought it was overdue for Louisiana to play its role.”

Mark made the most of his LSU law degree in various public and government affairs positions for nearly 30 years. Prior to retiring, he served as the senior director for federal relations in ExxonMobil’s Washington, D.C., office. Taking advantage of the corporation’s 3:1 match program, the Boudreauxs established an endowed scholarship for internships and externships at the center. Mark serves as a special advisor to the Energy Law Center, sits on the Laborde Energy Law Advisory Council and teaches “Lawyering & the Legislative Process” during LSU Law Apprenticeship Week.

“There aren’t many law schools that teach congressional procedure or legislative drafting. Lawyers are not very often trained in drafting legislation and understanding how a policymaker thinks,” Mark said. “It’s fun to show the students that you don’t really need to practice law. Your law degree gives you the opportunity to do lots of different things.”

The Energy Law Center offers an energy law and policy certification, as well as joint degree programs that allow students to connect energy law with a relevant, interesting curriculum. The center facilitates internships and externships for students; field trips to energy production and related facilities; and relationship-building with companies, policymakers, organizations and stakeholders who are focused on legal and policy issues affecting the energy sector. The center’s well-rounded approach produces client-ready law professionals who can tackle the dynamic energy industry.

“I think we’re in a cautiously optimistic period for the future of oil and gas development in the U.S. and a time of reasonable regulation and growth in our industry. I hope that students graduating from the law school with an energy law certificate are well-positioned for that time,” said Bobby Reeves (Business, ’78; Law ’82).

Bobby and wife Beth (Art & Design, ’81) also have an endowed scholarship at the center. Bobby always wanted to be an energy lawyer—he even did his sixth grade career report on the profession. He began his legal career doing oil and gas litigation at Onebane Law Firm in Lafayette, La., for 12 years. Now, he is the executive vice president, law and chief administrative officer for Anadarko Petroleum Corp., responsible for legal, government relations, human resources, information technology, administrative and health, safety and environmental functions.

“I came from a comfortable family, but not one that could afford to pay for seven or eight years of college. I had to borrow money and take out student loans to come to law school,” Bobby said. “I wanted to make sure that those who have the dream like I did will have that opportunity.”

The Energy Law Center was established in August 2012 by a historic $2 million endowment, including a support fund and a double endowed chair, by John P. Laborde, a New Orleans civic leader and Louisiana energy sector leader.

Learn more about the LSU Law John P. Laborde Energy Law Center here.

Originally published by the LSU Foundation in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2017.