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EMLF Panel Visits ASL

EMLF Panel Visits ASL

Energy and Mineral Law Foundation attorneys visiting ASL last week were, from left, Michelle Castle, Eric Conley, Tammy Owen and Westley Ketron. They are pictured with ASL Professor Mark Belleville.

GRUNDY, VA (SEPTEMBER 24, 2019) – Appalachian School of Law students had the opportunity last week to learn more about careers in energy law during an Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF) panel discussion on campus.

Michelle Thomas Castle, of Penn Stuart & Eskridge; Westley Ketron, of Steptoe & Johnson; Eric Conley, of Diversified Gas & Oil Corporation; and Tammy Owen, of Goodwin & Goodwin, LLP, talked with students about energy law internships and how to get into energy law as a career. Castle and Ketron are ASL alumni members.

Each of the speakers offered advice to students and talked about their own careers and the things they enjoy about the practice of energy law.

Owen advised students to always be cognizant of the fact as they read about cases and learn about the law, that the people and the situations they are reading and learning about are real.

“People in these cases are real people and the situations are real situations, not just fiction,” Owen said.

She advised students as they pick their electives in law school to choose them from across a broad spectrum, adding it is hard to predict what they might be doing five to 10 years from now.

“Having a little knowledge of different types of law will be beneficial to you down the road,” Owen said.

Castle advised students to be kind to each other.

“Law school can be very competitive, but rarely a week goes by that I don’t reach out to alumni and others,” Castle said. “You really need that network. The way you treat others now could hurt or hinder you later. You never know when one of your classmates might be the judge whose court you’re in. Support one another now and it will be a beneft later on. These three years (in law school) will change the rest of your life.”

Ketron advised students to do two things – to take classes they think they will enjoy when it comes to choosing electives while in law school; and to find ways to distinguish themselves when it come to life after law school.

Conley advised students to have a good life balance.

“Work is stressful,” Conley said. “Make sure you enjoy what you do, but balance it out with other things in your life.”

Ketron agreed, adding that balance is important, but acknowledging, “some days work wins and some days, life wins.”

Each of the speakers talked about their first jobs and the feeling of what Conley referred to as “imposter syndrome,” feeling inadequate at first, but realizing as time went on that he was in fact prepared to do what he was doing.

“Don’t be discouraged when you feel that way,” Conley said.

Owen agreed and said she remembered feeling overwhelmed by everything at first. She advised students as they are interviewing for jobs in the future to ask about mentorship programs, noting that is one way to make the transition and to learn even more through the example of others.

The panel discussion ended with a question and answer session.

ASL Dean, Justice (ret.) Elizabeth McClanahan, thanked each of the panelists for taking time out of their busy schedules to visit with ASL students.

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September 24, 2019

Media Contact: Cathy St. Clair – 276.202.0383 or cstclair@asl.edu