Marcellus Shale boom sparks student's interest in oil, gas law

Third-year law student Zach Morahan has been awarded one of only 10 scholarships granted nationwide by the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF). "I was very excited to hear about winning an EMLF scholarship,” Morahan said. “Being selected as a recipient has helped to affirm my study of oil and gas law, and reinforced my interest in all aspects of the oil and gas sector." The scholarship amount is $3,000.

For Morahan, who grew up in northeast Pennsylvania, pursuing a career in energy and natural resources law seemed logical. "As a resident of northeastern Pennsylvania, I witnessed the booming interest in Marcellus Shale develop from its infancy,” explained Morahan. “In areas where property formerly sold for $1,500 an acre, gas companies were leasing the same property for $5,000-plus an acre. It created a level of excitement that I never witnessed in our region."

Last summer Morahan gained firsthand experience reviewing pipeline agreements and gas leases as a summer associate at Coughlin & Gerhart L.L.P. in Binghamton, N.Y. "I went to the firm knowing that it was likely I would work on projects related to the Marcellus development. While there, I was fortunate to be able to work on a case concerning New York’s moratorium on high-volume hydrofracking and whether it amounted to a 'force majeure.'" Morahan will join Coughlin & Gerhart in August as an associate.

The EMLF Scholarship Program is open to all students attending a law school that is a member of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation. Awards are based on academic achievement and the student’s potential to contribute to the field of energy and natural resource law. The next scholarship program will be open for submissions in late February.

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Last Updated July 22, 2015