Global Energy, International Arbitration & Environmental Law


The world of today faces an energy challenge of unprecedented dimensions. Sophisticated technological innovations in the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have led to an energy revolution in the United States, with new supplies of oil and gas that dramatically reposition the U.S. in the global market.

Disputes between sovereign nations and investors, as well as commercial arbitrations in the energy sector, are growing rapidly – both in frequency and magnitude. At the same time, developed and developing countries alike must grapple with the realities of global climate change, water and pollution, a myriad of threats to biodiversity associated with energy production.

To address these challenges, the School of Law has created the LL.M. concentration in Global Energy, International Arbitration & Environmental Law to catalyze the interdisciplinary study of energy, including the structure of the energy industry, transactions, dispute resolution, and environmental law, science, and policy. We offer a number of innovative courses designed to prepare students to succeed in the energy sector. Our mission is to train the next generation of energy leaders in Texas, the United States, and the world. This concentration is ranked by LLM Guide among the top 10 LL.M. Programs for Energy Law.

The Environmental Clinic gives students the opportunity to use the environmental permitting and rulemaking process, litigation, and public education to improve public health and environmental quality for communities throughout Texas.

This concentration is open to both students with a foreign law degree and students with a J.D.

Many of the world’s top energy researchers call The University of Texas at Austin home, with more than 300 energy experts at work in schools, colleges and research centers dispersed across the UT campus.

Additionally, students have access to the University’s Energy Institute, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business, and the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas & Energy Law. The Energy Institute leverages UT’s breadth and depth of expertise to educate the energy leaders of tomorrow, foster innovation, and inform the policy making process through rigorous, interdisciplinary research. Learn about the weekly UT Energy Symposium and the annual UT Energy Week.

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business coordinates the Law School’s programs, resources, and events relevant to energy law. Learn about the KBH Center’s Annual Symposium.

The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law (TJOGEL) published twice a year by students at The University of Texas School of Law. The only entirely student-run journal in the country devoted exclusively to promoting scholarship in the energy legal field, TJOGEL has published over 3,800 pages of analysis of legal issues affecting the energy industry and has circulated over 9,000 copies to attorneys, professors, judges, law students, and industry professionals worldwide. LL.M. students are welcome to serve on the Journal. Learn about TJOGEL’s Annual Symposium.

The Texas Environmental Law Journal is a biannual journal with articles, student notes, and developments in environmental and natural resources law. Learn about the TELJ Annual Symposium.

The Institute for Transnational Law sponsors a master class on global perspectives on Wind Law and a tour of the Sweetwater Wind Farm each fall.

The Longhorn Energy Club seeks to leverage the world-class academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular energy opportunities at UT for the betterment of all members of the UT community. In particular, the aim of this organization is to build community and collaboration between students at UT, support energy-related activities and events, and to aid members in pursuit of energy careers.

For the past three years, the LL.M. Program has sent teams of LL.M. students to the LL.M. International Commercial Moot Arbitration Competition. The teams spend hours upon hours preparing the research, written memorandum, and oral arguments on a complex international arbitration problem. Team II was the overall finalist at the 7th LL.M. International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition in April 2018.

Internal Scholarships

Visit Scholarship Opportunities for more information.

General Requirements

  • A total of 24 credit hours must be completed in one academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  • 12-14 concentration-specific credit hours (see below).
  • A three-credit writing seminar or a two-credit directed research paper (30-40 double-spaced pages).
  • Constitutional Law for Foreign Lawyers (This is a requirement for students with a foreign law degree. Students with a background in common law may request a waiver from this requirement.)
  • Non-U.S. J.D. students planning to take a U.S. state bar exam must also complete certain bar-required courses as part of their LL.M. degree program to be eligible to take the bar examination.

Concentration Requirements

LL.M. students have three options with respect to the concentration.

Option 1: Students concentrate in one area and obtain a certificate accordingly. Students pursuing this option must complete 12 credits from one focus area (Global Energy or International Arbitration or Environment).

Option 2: Students concentrate in two areas and obtain a certificate accordingly. Students pursuing this option are required to complete at least 12 hours from two focus areas. Concentration requirements include:

  • Must complete 12 credit hours from some combination of two focus areas (Global Energy, International Arbitration or Environment and no fewer than 3 credits in one of the two focus areas).

Option 3: Students in the program may obtain a concentration in Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law by completing a total of 14 credits. Concentration requirements include:

  • Must complete at least 9 credits from one focus area (Global Energy, International Arbitration or Environment).
  • Must complete 5 credits from some combination of the remaining focus areas.

All students are strongly encouraged to take Administrative Law in addition to the 12 or 14 required credit hours.

Sample Courses

Energy Law

  • Advanced Oil & Gas
  • Energy Development & Policy
  • Energy Law: Regulating Energy Markets
  • Energy Law: Regulating Energy Production
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Petroleum Transactions
  • International Trade
  • Law, Finance & Science of Global Energy Transactions
  • Oil & Gas
  • Oil & Gas Taxation
  • Politics of Siting Energy Facilities
  • Texas Energy Law
  • Wind Law
  • Seminar: Energy Law & Policy
  • Seminar: Environmental Impact of Development & Production
  • Seminar: Managing the Clean Energy Transition
  • Seminar: International Petroleum Transactions

*Energy Law, Oil & Gas, and International Petroleum Transactions are foundational courses. 

International Arbitration

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • International Arbitration: Practical Skills
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Investor/State Arbitration
  • Introduction to Domestic & International Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation
  • Topics in Theory/Practice of Arbitration
  • Seminar: International Business Litigation

*International Commercial Arbitration and Investor/State Arbitration are foundational courses. 

Environmental Law

  • Coastal Watersheds
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Law: Air & Water
  • Clinic: Environmental
  • Seminar: Climate Change & Entrepreneurialism
  • Seminar: Environmental Impact of Development & Production
  • Seminar: Environmental Litigation
  • Seminar: Managing the Clean Energy Transition
  • Seminar: Water for Everyone: Transformative Approaches to Mexico City’s Water Crisis
  • Workshop: Water for Everyone

*Environmental Law, Environmental Law & Natural Resources, Toxics, and Air & Water are foundational courses.

Note: The sample courses listed above are sample course offerings only and are not necessarily offered every semester. Past, current, and future courses can be accessed on the Law School’s Interactive Course Schedule.