Professor’s Honor Well Deserved

Professor Marla E. Mansfield is more familiar with giving than receiving.
She knew she was being honored, but she still felt a bit awkward at being recognized in front of her University of Tulsa College of Law peers and law students.
But, after 18 years as faculty advisor for the Energy Law Journal (ELJ), she felt it was time to step aside to focus on teaching and doing more legal writing on energy issues.
Mansfield received special recognition during the National Energy Law Policy Institute (NELPI) annual banquet.
TU Law School Dean Robert E. Butkin read her credits and praised her for the many contributions she made to the publication, students, law school and the energy industry.
Mansfield feels her real recognition comes from her close association with students and top national oil and gas attorneys as they worked together on the ELJ.
Individual student editors, too numerous to mention, generally were a delight to be with, she said. Each had personalities and talents that shaped that school year.
People like Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Law Judge Hardy Schweitzer and longtime educator William Mogel were strong supporters of the publication and students.
Robert Fleischman, an energy attorney from Washington, D. C., also is providing strong support.
These and many others helped inspire and encourage young people interested in entering the energy law practice, Mansfield continued.
Bringing on a new editorial staff each year posed a variety of challenges, but also served as a reminder to Mansfield of a time ‘‘when the whole world was in front of us.’’ She sometimes had to remind outside contributors they were working with new, inexperienced law students.
Each time there was a graduating class she always felt as if a part of her was leaving. These young people wanted the experience of working on the publication and most really put their heart and soul into the process.
‘‘It was great to see them start as students and end up as professionals,’’ she said.
Non traditional students also found their way to the ELJ.
These were people with degrees in geology, economics and other disciplines returning to school to earn a law degree.
That really made a great mix of experience on the publication, Mansfield said.
She also found herself serving as a role model for the women who joined the publication staff. That number has been increasing in recent years.
While Mansfield is stepping away from publication duties, she will continue to work with NELPI. It is a part of her and she wants to be with students who have needs.
Teaching plans will find Mansfield focusing on oil and gas and Federal Natural Resources and Public Oil and Gas Law.
While not an expert on FERC, coming from the natural resource environmental side of the equation, Mansfield is excited about that challenge.
She also has co-wrote books with Suedeen Kelly, FERC Commissioner. The topics were on Energy Law and Policy for the 21st Century, and a treatise on Energy Policy in the REEL World. REEL is Resources Energy Environmental Law.
Mansfield has experience in administrative law, oil and gas law and knowledge of the federal system from working with the Department of Interior for eight years.
Now she is looking forward to helping students learn and bring things together in a legal career as she focuses on a different role at TU.

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