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University of Pittsburgh adds new institute

William M. Carter Jr., the dean of the University of Pittsburgh officially announced the school will be adding new institution to its campus.

The Energy Law and Policy Institute will draw “on the strengths of the University to advance the training of law students to become leaders in providing legal services to the regional, national, and international energy sectors.” Kevin Abbott, a senior energy law partner at Reed Smith LLP, adjunct professor and former student of Pitt Law, will be serving as the interim executive director. The institute is extremely important to the School of Law and the University. It is expected to be up and running this fall and will host the first major energy law conference next spring.

According to the University’s press release, “The Energy Law and Policy Institute will develop new courses in the field of energy law, with a particular focus on helping students develop practice-ready skills; host major annual conferences that bring together law firms, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to address cutting-edge issues in energy law and policy; and advance collaborative research and teaching initiatives in the field of energy law in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Energy, Swanson School of Engineering, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, Graduate School of Public Health, and Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, among others.”

Dean Carter commented on Pitt Law’s new institution:

Pitt Law already has many strengths in the fields of energy and environmental law, and developing a formal Energy Law and Policy Institute to take our program to the next level has been one of my key priorities since becoming dean … I am grateful for the University’s support of this initiative, and I am delighted that Kevin has agreed to serve as interim executive director. His leadership, knowledge, experience, and international prominence in energy law should position the school to develop one of the premier energy law programs in the country.

Abbott has over 30 years of experience representing clients involved in the oil and gas industry, including natural gas exploration and production companies, interstate pipeline companies and utilities. Right now, Abbott is advising natural gas exploration and production companies on issues related to Marcellus and Utica Shale development.

I am grateful to the University for this opportunity and excited to get started,” Abbott said. “Energy is now and will continue to be the engine of this region’s growth for decades to come, and the University will play a role in that growth. I am very grateful to my partners at Reed Smith for supporting my role at the institute while I continue to represent my clients.

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