About the Foundation

The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law is a collaborative, educational, non-profit organization dedicated to the scholarly and practical study of the laws and regulations relating to natural resources and energy, including oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, public lands, water, environmental protection, and international law. Through our educational programs, we bring together lawyers, landmen, managers, consultants, government personnel, law faculty, students, and others involved in the practice, work, and study of natural resources and energy law.

The Foundation is known for fostering collegial professional relationships among its members and for high-quality, scholarly, and practical educational offerings, including:

  • Institutes, Short Courses, and Workshops – both domestic and international – on relevant legal developments and issues
  • Webinars and other live virtual programs 
  • On Demand online natural resources educational programming for lawyers and other resources professionals
  • The online Digital Library, which puts six decades of scholarship at your fingertips
  • Publications such as, the American Law of Mining, the Law of Federal Oil and Gas Leases, the Proceedings of the Annual Institutes, International Petroleum Law and Transactions, the Landman’s Legal Handbook, Gower Federal Services, The Foundation Journal, the Mineral and Energy Law Newsletter, the Water Law Newsletter, and various books, model forms, institute materials, and other special materials
  • Grants primarily to professors to promote scholarship, research, writing, teaching, and the study of natural resources and energy law and related fields
  • Travel funding for law professors and practitioners to lecture and teach at other law schools
  • Scholarships for qualified law students at Foundation constituent law schools who demonstrate interest in pursuing careers in natural resources, energy, and related legal fields

Over the last seven decades, the voluntary efforts of our members have built the Foundation into a global learning community of colleagues and friends, known worldwide for its expertise, objectivity, practicality, scholarship, and collegiality.

Become a Member and join our growing network of individuals, law firms, companies, government agencies, and other organizations dedicated to supporting legal education, scholarship, and collegiality in the natural resources and energy law community.

The Foundation is led by a Board of Directors and guided by a Trustees Council composed of representatives from 74 constituent organizations, including 36 law schools, 13 bar associations, and 18 mining and oil and gas industry associations, as well as 25 at-large trustees elected annually, our past presidents, and a group of honorary trustees who have made vital contributions to the work of the Foundation.


In 1955, a group of lawyers from the Rocky Mountain region recognized the need for a mineral law institute that addressed important issues arising in the public lands states. They decided to organize a conference in which law professors, practitioners, government personnel, and others could gather and share their expertise on topics related to public lands, mining, and oil and gas law. The “First Annual” mineral law institute, held later that year, was such a success that the lawyers realized they needed to create an organization to carry on the effort, and thus the Foundation was born.

The consensus among the founders was that the organization would be sponsored by universities, bar associations, and industry associations, and that it would not be politically oriented. Instead it   would reflect the collaboration of sponsoring organizations dedicated to professional education. From the beginning, the Annual Institute had a family-friendly focus, and The Foundation was more than just a business organization.

Over the years, the scope of programming has expanded dramatically, covering renewable energy, environmental protection, water law, and other areas. Special Institutes, Short Courses, international programs, and online programs have been added.

A publications program was created to meet the needs of the practicing mineral law bar and other resources professionals, with the flagship American Law of Mining, the Law of Federal Oil and Gas Leases, the Landman’s Legal Handbook, and model forms. Other publications continue to be added.

All of The Foundation’s programs, publications, online resources, and other projects result from tremendous commitments of time and talent from its members. The voluntary efforts of The Foundation’s members have built the organization into a global learning community of colleagues and friends, known worldwide for its expertise, objectivity, and practicality.