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Energy and Oil & Gas Attorney


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Summary: Learn more about what it is like to be a Energy and Oil & Gas attorney in this article.
Energy and Oil & Gas Attorney

What Does an Energy and Oil & Gas Attorney Do?

  • This practice area deals with energy projects and oil & gas law.
  • Energy law focuses on the efficient harvesting and use of energy sources, including traditional, renewable, and alternative energy sources.
  • Oils & gas law covers the acquisition and ownership of rights in oil and gas under the soil and after capture.
  • Attorneys who practice in this area provide advice on regulatory law and policy as it pertains to energy use and prepare the legal documents involved in power purchase agreements, as well as documents in connection with titling, mining, transportation, refinement, and sale of minerals, oil, and gas.
  • Sometimes attorneys who practice in this area also provide advice in the area of commodities trading activities that relate to oil and gas contracts.
  • Energy is typically divided and thought of as old and new energy.
  • Old energy deals with gas, electricity, and oil and new energy deals with deregulated natural gas as a commodity.
  • New energy deals with the monetization of energy and commodities related to energy (swaps, derivatives and so forth).
  • This practice began with the deregulation of the natural gas practice.
  • Most of this work is in Oklahoma and Texas. FERC regulates the new energy practice area and there is some FERC litigation in Washington, DC.
  • The older energy practice deals with mineral rights, eminent domain, exploration, production, working with geologists, and offshore drilling.

Why Do Energy and Oil & Gas Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
  • People who enjoy doing energy work typically enjoy the fact that it often deals with sophisticated finance as well as dealing with various assets.
  • This is also a very good practice area to go in-house from since there are not a lot of attorneys trained in this work.

What Are the Difficulties of Being an Energy and Oil & Gas Attorney?
  • Attorneys who do not like this practice area often complain that there is not enough work. They are either very busy, or they are not.
  • When oil prices are high, for example, an oil and gas attorney might have a lot of work. When they are low, the work may dry up.
  • Attorneys in this practice area are often frustrated by the lack of work.
  • Due to frequent consolidation in the industry, it is often difficult for even partners to hold on to work and for firms to build significant and sustainable practices.

How Easy Is It to Move Laterally as an Energy and Oil & Gas Attorney?
  • This practice area tends to be difficult for attorneys to lateral in because there are historically not a lot of opportunities.
  • While it is difficult for attorneys to lateral in this practice area, it tends to be easier for them to build a book of business than in many other practice areas.
  • In fact, when energy prices are high there is a lot of work to go around, and attorneys pick up a lot of work.
  • This is a developing field, and there are opportunities for people attracted to it.
  • From the standpoint of a career choice, though, it is very risky because attorneys are tying their future to markets that can change on a whim.
  • When the energy market is not doing well, many attorneys in this practice area lose their jobs, and the work can dry up for partners as well.
  • Few major law firms have large energy practices-or can sustain them as well as they might other sorts of practices.

See the current Energy and Oil & Gas job openings we are recruiting for here: Energy and Oil & Gas Attorney Jobs

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog,, and, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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