Scholarship Q&A with Professor Monika Ehrman

September 14, 2017
Professor Monika Ehrman

Monika Ehrman, Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Oil & Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Center, is an active scholar at OU Law. Professor Ehrman recently answered a few questions about scholarship in her area.

Prof. Ehrman's Recent Scholarship:
The Future of the Canadian Energy Industry in a Low Price Commodity Environment 5 LSU J. Energy L. & Resources 243 (2017)
Earthquakes in the Oilpatch: The Regulatory and Legal Issues Arising out of Oil and Gas Operation Induced Seismicity 33 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 609 (2017)
The Next Great Compromise: A Comprehensive Response to Opposition Against Shale Gas Development Using Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States Texas Tech Law Review, Vol. 46:423, 2014

  • In July, OU Law hosted the Oklahoma Junior Scholars Conference. Tell us about the conference and its significance.

    The Oklahoma Junior Scholars Conference is an annual conference created and hosted by OU Law. The idea behind the conference is to bring in scholars whose work we’ve admired and to encourage academic discourse among the junior (teaching less than 10 years or so) community. Scholars from around the country who specialize in a variety of subject areas are invited to Norman. This year, we had participants from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and also Harvard, Yale, and Northern Illinois University.

    Prior to the conference, participants are asked to circulate full and partial drafts, introductions, or abstracts and ideas. During the conference, we spend a day and a half reviewing and discussing these works in progress. Because everyone reviews each other’s papers, each participant receives comments and suggestions from various fields of law – not just from scholars who write in their area, which is the traditional format of many workshops. So we learn a little bit about a lot – evidence, intellectual property, criminal procedure, corporate, and oil and gas.

    To encourage friendships, we also host a speaker’s dinner and lunches. This year, we took a tour of the OU main campus and the law school to showcase our beautiful architecture and facilities. The time we spend together helps build a sense of community within this group.
Professor Monika Ehrman (right) with some of the participants of the Oklahoma Junior Scholars Conference.


  • In October, OU Law is hosting the Global Land and Resources Colloquium. What is the colloquium and who is this year’s keynote speaker?

    The Global Land and Resources Colloquium is an interdisciplinary conference encouraging dissemination of research and discussion in the fields of property and natural resources. Our newly-created Oil & Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Center (ONE C) is sponsoring the colloquium, fulfilling its academic mission as a center. We have several other academic partners, including the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, the University of Oslo Faculty of Law, and Washburn University School of Law.

    Carol Rose, a pre-eminent property law scholar who holds joint appointments at Yale Law School and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, will be our keynote speaker this year. Professor Rose’s work is widely known, and she has mentored generations of scholars in property law and water law. On Friday, Oct. 20, she will speak to the law school, and the following day, she’ll provide opening remarks at the colloquium.

  • As someone who is asked to speak and present at academic conferences, what is the benefit to this on scholarship?

    Participation in academic conferences contributes to the scholarship in our field. A critical component of being a professor is that we make these contributions by developing and questioning ideas in our field. As a scholar, it’s especially important to make sure the issues that are important and integral in our field are discussed in a respectful and comprehensive fashion.

    Another benefit of going to and presenting at conferences is meeting your colleagues in the academy and becoming familiar with the work they’re doing.


  • What impact has the scholarship in the field of oil and gas law made on you?

    We have such an incredible legacy of oil and gas law at the University of Oklahoma. We are one of the top oil and gas law programs in the country, and that comes from this foundation of having the leading natural resources and oil and gas law scholars in the country and the world – starting with Victor Kulp, Maurice Merrill, Eugene Kuntz, Richard Hemingway, and Owen Anderson. It was Owen Anderson who really expanded our reputation from national to international because he is such a world-renowned expert in the field.

    Having practiced oil and gas law prior to teaching, I understand that practitioners and judges rely on academic works – their treatises and articles. These works are critical for cases and opinions. I remember as a young associate, sitting with the treatises of Eugene Kuntz and Hemingway, which Owen Anderson co-authors, and being so appreciative that there were whole texts dedicated to my subject area. It was such an honor to meet some of these authors in person. And it certainly is a privilege to follow in these OU Law giants’ footsteps.

    Our natural resources dynasty here at OU is second to none. Not only do we have a legacy, but we also have the dedication and commitment to the field, which includes oil and gas, water, renewables, environment, and electric power. Both this legacy and commitment are what makes us a well-rounded program and a leader in our field.

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