Careers in Energy
12-1 pm EDT October 25, 2021
EMLF’s Annual Careers in Energy Program will be held virtually this year to accommodate COVID-19 guidelines. Panelists will discuss their educational and career path, and what the day to day duties are in their current role, as well as take questions from those in attendance. Law students at EMLF member schools may join this free opportunity to hear from and network with current energy practitioners. Each of the four programs features a different panel! Scroll down to read the bios for the October 25 panel.
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Anna Girard Fletcher, Executive Director at EMLF, Lexington, KY
Anna Girard Fletcher has been the Executive Director of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation since 2018. Previously, she was an attorney with the Commonwealth of Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet practicing environmental protection and natural resources law, and law clerk to the Honorable Phillip J. Shepherd. She is a former national Chair of the Conference of Government Mining Attorneys and was chosen for the Kentucky Bar Association’s inaugural leadership class in 2018. She currently serves as Treasurer of her local Women’s Lawyers Association, and is a member of the Women’s Energy Network. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law where she served as Student Bar Association president and was a member of Phi Alpha Delta. Her writing has been featured in such publications as the National Law Journal, and she is a former editor of the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Law, and current Editor-in-Chief of the Energy & Mineral Law Institute, the flagship publication of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation. She resides in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and son.
Clayton T. Harkins, Associate at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, Charleston, WV
Clayton Harkins is an Associate at Dinsmore in their Charleston, WV office. Clayton focuses his practice on commercial litigation. He received his J.D. from West Virginia University College of Law and has experience conducting research and writing legal memoranda on topics including leases, contracts, landlord and tenant issues, and consumer problems. He also handles title research and drafts title opinions. He is a graduate of West Virginia University College of Law and Texas A&M University.
Whitney R. Kerns, Partner at Bowles Rice, Charleston, WV
Whitney Kerns is a Partner at Bowles Rice, in their Morgantown, WV office, and a member of the firm’s Energy Team, focusing on coal and oil and gas law. She also practices in real estate development. Her work in the coal industry has included representing and advising coal operators and coal producers on various matters. Whitney served as counsel in the acquisition of coal properties for coal operators, and represented them in leasing rights, title disputes and curative judicial proceedings. She has also defended coal producers concerning leasing disputes. In the area of oil and gas law, Whitney has performed due diligence for multi-million dollar oil and gas operation acquisitions. She’s represented oil and gas operators in acquisition of properties in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and has counseled oil and production companies regarding leasing rights in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Since Fall of 2018, Whitney has served as an adjunct professor for the West Virginia University College of Law where she teaches the course on Coal, Oil and Gas Law. She earned her law degree from the West Virginia University College of Law in 2011, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and senior editor of The West Virginia Law Review. She is admitted to practice in West Virginia and before the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia.
Alexandria D. Lay, Member at Steptoe & Johnson, Charleston, WV
Alexandria Lay is a Partner at Steptoe & Johnson’s Charleston, WV office. She is an integral part of mergers and acquisitions and since 2012, has been involved in transactions totaling more than $7 billion. As a member of the firm’s Energy and Natural Resources Department Transactional Team, Alex represents coal and oil and gas companies in various matters, including negotiating asset acquisitions and dispositions, conducting and managing wide-scale due diligence projects, and advising on various other operational and property matters. She is named among the 2019 Forty Under 40 in the Oil and Gas Industry by Hart Energy. Alex is Co-Team Leader of the Steptoe Cotenancy Team, helping clients understand and utilize cotenancy laws in the Appalachian Basin. She is also a member of the Firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Team, assisting clients in navigating various ESG matters, including emissions offset projects and evolving reporting standards and requirements. She is a graduate of Washington & Lee School of Law, and Glenville State College, where she serves on the Board of Governors and was named 2020 Outstanding Young Alumna of the Year. She is a member of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Board of Trustees, and served as co-chair of its Young Lawyers Committee from 2017 to 2019.
Lucas Liben, Partner at Reed Smith, Pittsburgh, PA
Luke is a partner in the oil & gas team of Reed Smith’s Energy and Natural Resources group. Luke has spent over a decade representing energy industry clients litigating a variety of cases involving all aspects of the development of the Marcellus and Utica shales. Luke handles complex contractual disputes, including cases involving drilling contracts, joint operating agreements, and other industry specific relationships. Luke has significant experience representing exploration and production companies in royalty litigation, both class action and individual cases, and has defended many of the most common lease forms and provisions found throughout Appalachia. Luke also represents midstream companies in storage field cases, land use disputes, encroachment cases, and condemnations, and industry contractors on issues including workplace fatalities. Luke routinely argues motions and represents clients at trial in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, as well as before the American Arbitration Association.