About the Foundation

The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is a collaborative, educational, non-profit organization dedicated to the scholarly and practical study of the laws and regulations relating to mining, oil and gas, energy, public lands, water, environmental and international law. Through our educational programs, we bring together lawyers, landmen, managers, consultants, government personnel, law faculty, students, and others involved in minerals, oil and gas, water, and other resources.

The Foundation is known for its high-quality educational offerings:

  • Institutes, Short Courses, and Workshops – both domestic and international – on relevant legal developments and issues

  • Publications such as the Landman’s Legal Handbook, American Law of Mining, Law of Federal Oil and Gas Leases, the Proceedings of the Annual Institutes, Gower Federal Services, RMMLF Journal, Mineral Law Newsletter, Water Law Newsletter, books, model forms, and other special materials

  • The online Digital Library, which puts six decades of scholarship at your fingertips

Various funding opportunities support legal scholarship:

  • Grants to promote scholarship, research, writing, teaching, and the study of mineral resources law and related fields at law schools

  • Scholarships for qualified law students at Foundation Constituent Law Schools who demonstrate interest in pursuing careers in mineral resources law

The Foundation is led by a Board of Directors, and is guided by a Trustees Council composed of representatives from 32 law schools, 13 bar associations, and 19 mining and oil and gas associations, 25 trustees-at-large elected annually, a number of honorary trustees who have made important contributions to the work of the Foundation, and the Foundation’s past presidents. But the heart of the organization is its 3,000-plus Annual Members, whose collective efforts produce institutes and publications of tremendous quality and practical utility. They also contribute invaluable time and thought to the Scholarships, Grants, and Special Projects programs.

Consider becoming a Member and joining our growing network of individuals, law firms, companies, government agencies, and organizations dedicated to supporting legal scholarship in the mineral and natural resources community.


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 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law 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 but rather 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 environmental protection, water law, alternative and renewable energy, and other areas. Special Institutes, Short Courses, and international 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, and other projects result from tremendous commitments of time and talent from its Annual Members. The voluntary efforts of the Foundation’s  membership have built the organization into a global learning community of colleagues and friends, known worldwide for its expertise, objectivity, and practicality.