Celebration of Ernest E. Smith: Fifty Years of Scholarship, Teaching, and Leadership in Oil, Gas, and Energy Law


Ernest Smith has been an indispensable part of the University of Texas School of Law faculty for 50 years. During his remarkable career, he has taught more than 12,000 students, making an indelible impression on them and equipping them with the interest, curiosity, and legal skills to become first-rate attorneys. Professor Smith’s scholarship, writings, teaching, mentoring, and professional contributions have had a profound influence on several generations of students and practitioners, and his courses were for many the portal to successful careers in domestic and global energy.

On September 19, 2013, the Energy Center and the Texas Oil and Gas Energy Law Journal honored his contributions to UT Law and the field of energy law, in a celebration that about 400 of his colleagues, former students, and friends attended. Saudi Aramco general counsel David B. Kultgen ’73 (a former student) delivered the keynote address. Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman ’84 (also a former student) gave a special address.  ExxonMobil General Counsel Jack Balagia ’76 (also a former student) and Duke Ligon ’69, owner of Mekusukey Oil Company and former general counsel of Devon Energy, served as masters of ceremony.

The proceeds from the event will be used to support an endowment for energy law scholarships.

Jack and Duke