Energy & Mineral Law Committees

 
Ad Hoc Committees

Ad Hoc committees are used to develop program content for special institutes and workshops.  The President appoints the chairpersons, and  solicitations are then made for topics, and for volunteers to work on program development.  Much of the topic solicitation and planning is accomplished via electronic mail or conference calls.  Volunteers assist in screening topics and contacting speakers.  Hotel room blocks are usually released 30 days prior to a program.  To allow sufficient time for printing and mailing program brochures (3 weeks) and give potential registrants adequate time to plan their attendance and make travel arrangements, the program committee’s work usually must be completed 10 weeks prior to the program date.

Annual Institute Program Committee

Planning for the Annual Institute begins when the President appoints the Program Chairperson.

Topics and speaker suggestions are solicited from EMLF members during summer and early fall, and several planning meetings are hosted in various locations with all EMLF members invited to participate.   After all the topics are reviewed, the Program Chairperson and the Executive Director prepare a draft program schedule for review by the Executive Committee at a meeting in the fall prior to the spring annual institute.  The Executive Committee makes the final decision on the program content and the speakers, and invitations are extended to speakers who agree to speak and write a chapter for the Annual Institute proceedings, the Energy & Mineral Law Institute.

EnergyCareers

The Energy and Mineral Law Foundation organizes career programs once a year for several of our member law schools. EMLF members meet with interested students to discuss their careers in energy law. Each panel consists of four to five members. This committee will recruit speakers for the various law schools and help coordinate the programs.

Finance Committee

Appointment and Composition:

The Finance Committee shall consist of the EMLF Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer, and such other members as may be appointed by the President of the Foundation. The Chairman of the Finance Committee will be appointed by the President of the Foundation.

Responsibilities:

The Finance Committee shall

  • Assure that the Foundation maintains accurate and complete financial records;
  • Assure  compliance with all reporting requirements by federal, state and local taxing authorities;   
  • Assure that accurate and timely financial reports are available to the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees;
  • Assist the Executive Director in preparation of the annual budget;
  • Monitor financial reports of Foundation programs and projects as compared to budget;
  • Recommend independent audits of the Foundation’s financial records as the Finance Committee deems necessary;
  • Monitor and make recommendations to the Executive Committee on investment strategies as appropriate;
  • Determine the need for additional or special fundraising efforts to meet revenue goals, and make recommendations to the Executive Committee for appropriate action; and
  • Safeguard the assets of the Foundation.

The Finance Committee works closely with the Executive Director and should be familiar with the roles and responsibilities of outside entities who provide  investment advice, tax, payroll and accounting services, or act in a fiduciary capacity for the Foundation. The Finance Committee should assist the Executive Director in the preparation of the annual operating budget, review the monthly financial reports and monitor the financial affairs of the Foundation with the standard of care required of all Members of the Board of Trustees.

The Committee Chair shall make periodic reports to the Executive Committee and shall make a report at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees with respect to the Committee's activities during the year.

Governance

This committee will examine the Foundation’s by-laws to determine whether, as currently configured, they optimally support the Foundation’s mission with particular focus on board and standing committee structure, duties and responsibilities.

Law School Committee

Composition:  Law school faculty, practitioners with adjunct faculty experience and younger lawyers or law students

This committee will 1) generally explore the Foundation’s relationship with law schools, law faculty and law students; and 2) examine ways to expand the Foundation’s relationship with law students and law schools through career presentations, networking, financial assistance and mentoring.

Long-Range Planning Committee

Appointment and Composition:
The Long Range Planning Committee is made up of at least twelve members, four of which shall be the President, Vice President, Executive Director and Treasurer with the remaining members to be selected by the President. The Committee shall be committed to developing a long range plan to keep the Foundation focused on the future. Ideally, the Long Range Planning Committee should consist of members with experience in one or more of the following areas:                

  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Knowledge of EMLF mission, programs, services, finances and history.

Responsibilities:

The Long Range Planning Committee establishes an integrated strategy that outlines on an annual basis: (1) the EMLF’s vision for the future; (2) the specific goals, objectives and action items to realize that vision; and (3) the future financial goals of the EMLF over a three to five year period. Strategic planning is based on an informed analysis of internal and external data that impact membership, finance, property, fund development, etc.

The first step in the planning process is for the Long Range Planning Committee to review, modify or construct the EMLF mission statement. This mission statement provides the reason for the EMLF’s existence and drives its programs and services, operational goals and day-to-day activities. The Long Range Planning Committee must also develop an accurate picture of the EMLF as it currently exists and operates in order to help the Foundation plan for the future. This involves gathering information about the EMLF’s strengths and weaknesses and its current services, programs, activities, staffing, finances, etc. In addition, the Committee must identify external factors that exert influence on the organization such as the economy, demographics, technology, recent legal and regulatory decisions, changing corporate environment, public opinion, etc. By preparing the mission statement and obtaining a clear picture of the organization itself and external factors that may affect its future, the EMLF will have a solid foundation upon which to build for the future.

The Long Range Planning Committee also defines tangible goals for the EMLF so that it may fulfill its mission statement over the next three to five years. In addition, the Committee determines specific objectives and how they will support the Foundation’s goals and then translates the goals and objectives into specific action plans. The action plans are set forth in an annual operating plan which identifies specific actions to be taken for the year. Each action should refer back to the specific objective and strategy it supports.

Finally, the Long Range Planning Committee must design a financial plan to ensure that the strategic plan is aligned with the existing financial resources or potential sources of income. The financial plan reflects the basic financial goals of the EMLF (for example, increasing membership revenues, building reserves, etc.) Also included in the financial plan is a summary of fund raising potential, operational requirements, staffing needs, expenses, etc.
Once the plan is prepared, it is presented to the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees for approval. After approval, the Long Range Planning Committee works with the Executive Committee to educate members, staff and others on the plan and discuss how to implement and monitor the plan. Regular updates on the plan and its implementation should be provided to the Executive Committee by the Executive Director.

The Chair of the Long Range Planning Committee or a Member of that Committee shall make a report at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees with respect to the Committee’s activities and the status of the plan’s implementation.

Membership Committee

Appointment and Composition:

This committee will explore methods to attract new members with a goal of expanding sustaining members within the three-year strategic plan period, solicit volunteers as needed to serve on committees, develop a plan to keep in contact with membership to assess Foundation’s performance (including possible survey of membership).

Responsibilities:

The major role of the Membership Committee is to assist in expanding membership in the EMLF by individuals and organizations through

  • Developing effective marketing strategies to constituencies interested in energy or natural resources issues in diverse geographic regions;
  • Identifying the managing partner or client relations directors who can help identify individuals in the following practice areas: utility law, energy law, natural resources, environmental, coal, oil and gas, real property, mine safety, alternative dispute resolution etc. and providing those contacts with information about membership opportunities and add them to all communications lists once identified;
  • Serving as liaison with the holder of each group membership to establish the identity of the managing partner, office manager, or client relations directors who can identify young lawyers and new associates whose practice relates to natural resources or energy law, provide them with information on the opportunities of membership and add them to all communications lists once identified;
  • Expanding the opportunities for member participation by actively recruiting volunteers to serve on committees, including, but not limited to written notification to all members identifying the committees and seeking commitments to serve from all members annually; and
  • Developing a system of on-going contact with existing members to determine how well the organization is serving its constituents and assigning designees to work on behalf of the committee to accomplish these on-going wellness checks and necessary follow up.

Nominating Committee

Appointment and Composition:

The Nominating Committee is an ad hoc committee appointed each year by the President. The Immediate Past President is traditionally appointed as Chair, with the President, Vice President and Executive Director serving ex officio.
Responsibilities:

The Nominating Committee has responsibility for developing a slate of Trustees at Large, as well as a slate for the Executive Committee and Foundation officers. Under the by-laws, the Vice President automatically becomes President, so a key Nominating committee responsibility is identifying candidates for Vice President.
In carrying out its responsibilities the Nominating Committee should

  • Be aware of the Board’s current composition and identify needs in considering new Trustees at Large;
  • Identify a pool of prospective candidates for positions as officers and Executive Committee members.
  • Be active in the Foundation so as to be familiar with the activity and interest of potential candidates for Trustee or higher offices; and
  • Work closely with the Executive Director in assessing Foundation leadership needs and potential candidates.

The Committee Chair shall  submit its Report and slate of Nominees to the Executive Committee and to the Board of Trustees at the time of the Annual Meeting in conjunction with the annual election of Officers, Executive Committee Members, and Trustees at Large.

Programming

This committee’s duties will include, among other things identification of general areas, topics and trends for possible inclusion in future EMLF conferences, consideration of new topics outside of the Foundation’s traditional programming, consideration of strategic alliances with other organizations, consideration of the use of technology in programming, examination of the conference speaker recruitment process and consideration of changes to the speaker evaluation system currently in place (including consideration of electronic feedback).

Publications Committee

Appointment and Composition:

The Publications Committee shall be comprised of five or more members who are selected by the President and who are committed to evaluating the Foundation’s publication policy and maintaining the Foundation’s traditional role as a source of legal scholarship, including oversight of the timely publication of the Proceedings of the Annual Institute.  Most committee members should be prepared to serve successive terms on the committee.  It is recommended that the committee be comprised of members representing the following backgrounds:  

  • One or more past Presidents of the Foundation
  • Once or more current or former law professors
  • Contributing authors of at least one Chapter to the Proceedings
  • A member interested in and experienced with the electronic delivery of information

Responsibilities:

The Foundation’s primary publication is entitled the Energy & Mineral Law Institute, published annually, containing original works submitted by the author who spoke on that particular topic at the annual institute.  The members of the Publications Committee, along with law faculty and practicing lawyers designated by the Committee shall constitute the Board of Editors for the Proceedings of the Annual Institute. The Committee, in conjunction with the Executive Director, shall develop and implement practices and procedures to ensure that topic presenters at the Annual Institute (i) are aware of the requirement that they must produce a paper of publishable quality, (ii) that presenters acknowledge their understanding and commitment to deliver a publishable paper prior to being confirmed as a presenter, and (iii) topic presenters who nevertheless fail to timely produce their paper at least 30 days prior to the Annual Institute are contacted by Committee members, or others, in a manner calculated to cause the requisite paper to be produced.

Committee members shall also work with the Executive Director as requested to facilitate other Foundation publications, including a Membership Directory, handbooks from various special institutes, and promotional brochures.

The Publications Committee should, as necessary and appropriate, make recommendations to the Executive Committee for a comprehensive publication strategy, including strategies for encouraging and facilitating the preparation and presentation of quality papers at the Annual Institute and Special Institutes.  These recommendations should be cognizant of the growing trend towards the use of electronic data bases for legal research and the delivery of all types of information via the Internet.  This committee should work closely with other groups working on promoting  internet and electronic delivery and other groups established to promote Foundation Publications.

The Committee Chair shall make periodic reports to the Executive Committee and, as requested by the President, make a report at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees with respect to the Committee’s activities during the year.

Scholarship and Grants Committee

Appointment and Composition:

The Scholarship and Grants Committee is made up of members who are selected by the President and who are committed to fostering the study of natural resources and energy law. Most committee members serve successive terms on the committee. As the committee’s primary function is to select law student scholarship recipients who have the potential to contribute to the field of energy and natural resources law, it is recommended that the committee include members representing the following backgrounds:

  • Law faculty
  • Natural Resources and/or energy law practitioner
  • Recent law school graduate (5 years or less)

Responsibilities:

The Scholarship and Grants Committee is responsible for reviewing the law student scholarship applications and determining which students should be awarded financial assistance. The total amount of scholarship awards is set by the Executive Committee as part of the annual budget process, but committee members may as a whole determine the amount of individual awards.

The Scholarship and Grants Committee may also have responsibility for the awarding of grant money, should such money be approved by the Executive Committee in the annual budget. Examples of past grants are contributions to support research assistance for the publications of two (2) mineral law textbooks. Additionally, should a Legal Writing Competition be restored to the annual budget, this committee would be charged with selecting the recipient of the awards.

The Scholarship and Grants Committee may be called upon for their recommendations vis a vis the administration of the scholarship and/or grants program. The criteria for scholarship applicants was established by the Executive Committee, and the award includes a limitation that the scholarship money can only be used at EMLF member law schools. The criteria for scholarship applicants include (1) a demonstrated interested in natural resources and energy law, (2) financial need, (3) leadership ability, and (4) academic achievement.

The Committee Chair shall make periodic reports to the Executive Committee and shall make a report at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees with respect to the Committee's activities during the year.

Technology Sub-committee

Description:  The chair of this committee will also serve on the Programming Committee. In addition to direction from the Programming Committee, this sub-committee will support other committees as requested. The duties will include an examination of ways to enhance or expand the use of technology in programming and publications (including possible blog, webinars, workshops, teleconferencing and podcasts), consideration of the use of social media as a communication tool, and exploration of the mechanics, costs and delivery methods associated with these options.