University of Pittsburgh School of Law has launched the school’s new Energy Law and Policy Institute. Kevin Abbott, senior energy law partner at Reed Smith LLP, adjunct professor, and a 1981 alumnus of Pitt Law, will serve as interim executive director of the institute, which will begin operating in fall 2015 and will host its first major conference on energy law in the spring of 2016.
This interdisciplinary institute draws on the strengths of the University to advance the training of law students to become leaders in providing legal services to the regional, national, and international energy sectors. The institute is a major priority of the School of Law and the University.
The Energy Law and Policy Institute will develop new courses in the field of energy law, with a particular focus on helping students develop practice-ready skills; host major annual conferences that will bring together law firms, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to address cutting-edge issues in energy law and policy; and advance collaborative research and teaching initiatives in the field of energy law in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Energy, Swanson School of Engineering, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, Graduate School of Public Health, and Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, among others.
Abbott has more than 30 years of experience representing clients in the oil and gas industry, including natural gas exploration and production companies, interstate pipeline companies, and utilities. He is currently advising natural gas exploration and production companies on issues related to exploration of Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and New York. In addition to maintaining an active law practice, Abbott has also served in multiple leadership roles in the legal and business communities. He has taught oil and gas law at Pitt Law since 2012; served as a trustee of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation and as a member of the law school’s Energy Law Advisory Board; and authored numerous publications in the area of energy law.