Best Lawyers for Natural Resources Law in America

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Lawyer
  • Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Environmental Law Mining Law Water Law Oil and Gas Law Energy Law Corporate Law Native American Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Santa Barbara, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Real Estate Law Land Use and Zoning Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Water Law Litigation - Environmental Litigation - Land Use and Zoning Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Mobile, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Litigation - Environmental Energy Law Real Estate Law Mining Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Miami, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Land Use and Zoning Law Environmental Law Litigation - Land Use and Zoning
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Commercial Litigation Litigation - Antitrust Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Real Estate Litigation - Construction Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Energy Law Energy Regulatory Law Water Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Mining Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Real Estate Law Banking and Finance Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Mining Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Litigation - Land Use and Zoning Litigation - Environmental Land Use and Zoning Law Timber Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Water Law Natural Resources Law Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Corporate Law Project Finance Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Bet-the-Company Litigation Commercial Litigation Mining Law Natural Resources Law Antitrust Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boise, Idaho
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lexington, Kentucky
  • Practice Areas:
    Mining Law Energy Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Oil and Gas Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Environmental Litigation - Municipal Commercial Litigation Mining Law Workers' Compensation Law - Employers
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Sheridan, Wyoming
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Corporate Law Environmental Law Real Estate Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Commercial Litigation Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Bridgeport, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Real Estate Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Energy Law Corporate Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Real Estate Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Native American Law
Lawyer
Donald P. Eriksen was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Donald P. Eriksen

Tucker Arensberg, P.C.
  • Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boise, Idaho
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Environmental Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Energy Law Mining Law Energy Regulatory Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Energy Law Water Law Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Real Estate Law Energy Law Mining Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Practice Areas:
    Financial Services Regulation Law Natural Resources Law Real Estate Law Consumer Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Energy Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Banking and Finance Energy Law Information Technology Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Technology Law Oil and Gas Law Trademark Law Mining Law Litigation - Antitrust Copyright Law Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Jackson, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Appellate Practice Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Energy Law Oil and Gas Law Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Natural Resources Law Banking and Finance Law Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lexington, Kentucky
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Mining Law Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Mergers and Acquisitions Law Energy Law Natural Resources Law Corporate Law Administrative / Regulatory Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Mobile, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) Litigation - Trusts and Estates Commercial Finance Law Trusts and Estates Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Energy Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Land Use and Zoning Real Estate Law Land Use and Zoning Law Litigation - Real Estate
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Land Use and Zoning Law Energy Law Real Estate Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Okemos, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Municipal Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lexington, Kentucky
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Corporate Law Mining Law Natural Resources Law International Mergers & Acquisitions
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Bridgewater, New Jersey
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Environmental Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Mining Law Water Law Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Gaming Law Natural Resources Law Native American Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Jackson, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Natural Resources Law Mining Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Jackson, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Oil and Gas Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Appellate Practice Oil and Gas Law Natural Resources Law Commercial Litigation Antitrust Law Bet-the-Company Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Litigation - Real Estate Mining Law Real Estate Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Bridgeport, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Banking and Finance Natural Resources Law Energy Law Oil and Gas Law Litigation - Real Estate Environmental Law Litigation - Land Use and Zoning Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Mining Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Water Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Energy Law Mining Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Water Law Environmental Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Administrative / Regulatory Law Land Use and Zoning Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Water Law Litigation - Land Use and Zoning
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Mining Law Oil and Gas Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boise, Idaho
  • Practice Areas:
    Timber Law Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Oil and Gas Law Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Appellate Practice Mediation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Utilities Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Environmental Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Environmental Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Environmental Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Energy Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boise, Idaho
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Land Use and Zoning Law Environmental Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Billings, Montana
  • Practice Areas:
    Employment Law - Management Workers' Compensation Law - Employers Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Litigation - Environmental Litigation - Insurance Natural Resources Law Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Oxford, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Utilities Law Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Real Estate Law Natural Resources Law Land Use and Zoning Law Litigation - Land Use and Zoning
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Energy Law Oil and Gas Law Natural Resources Law Mining Law Litigation - Environmental Real Estate Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Water Law Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lansing, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Energy Law Mining Law Water Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Mining Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Troy, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Energy Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Ridgeland, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Timber Law Real Estate Law Litigation - Real Estate
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Mining Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Overland Park, Kansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Billings, Montana
  • Practice Areas:
    Real Estate Law Energy Law Corporate Law Natural Resources Law Tax Law Trusts and Estates Project Finance Law Banking and Finance Law Mergers and Acquisitions Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Law Securities / Capital Markets Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Energy Law Mining Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Oil and Gas Law Litigation - Environmental Commercial Litigation Litigation - Land Use and Zoning Litigation - Municipal
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Bellevue, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Appellate Practice Energy Law Insurance Law Administrative / Regulatory Law Litigation - Environmental Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Energy Law Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Ridgeland, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Administrative / Regulatory Law Energy Law Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Environmental Law Water Law Government Contracts
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Native American Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Natural Resources Law Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Jackson, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Bet-the-Company Litigation Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law Litigation - Banking and Finance Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Practice Areas:
    Native American Law Mining Law Energy Law Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Practice Areas:
    Land Use and Zoning Law Litigation and Controversy - Tax Tax Law Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) Litigation - Banking and Finance Natural Resources Law Real Estate Law Corporate Law Administrative / Regulatory Law Litigation - Real Estate
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law Environmental Law Water Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Ridgeland, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Oil and Gas Law Litigation - Environmental Energy Law Water Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Oil and Gas Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Energy Law Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Environmental Land Use and Zoning Law Environmental Law Litigation - Land Use and Zoning
Lawyer
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Land Use and Zoning Law Water Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Water Law Native American Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Water Law Litigation - Environmental Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Administrative / Regulatory Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Mining Law Energy Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Oil and Gas Law Natural Resources Law Energy Law

  • Location:
  • Practice Areas:

Practice Area Definition

Natural Resources Law Definition

“Natural resources” is an extraordinarily broad concept. The United States Geological Survey defines natural resources as “minerals, energy, land, water, and biota.” This definition includes the timber, metal, or stone that your house is built from, the fuel that produced the electricity that heats and cools it, the water in its pipes, and even the scenery that increases its value.

Natural resources law is occasionally confused with environmental law, but the fields are distinct. Environmental law is what you may not do; natural resources law is what you may do and how to do it. It is the body of law that organizes the discovery, development, allocation, ownership, management, and ultimately use of all the raw materials that our civilization is built from, and of the energy sources that make it run. In a practical sense, this term has come to mean the constellation of statutory, regulatory, and judicial law that customarily applies to the major natural resource industries such as mining, oil and gas, water, and forestry.

This body of law draws heavily from contract, property, and corporate law, but also has substantial overlap with environmental, tax, land use, administrative, and even tort law. The set of legal issues that confront, for example, a client wishing to organize a company to develop a particular offshore or onshore mineral deposit, is unique. Therefore, the diversity and specificity of these issues led to the emergence of specialized natural resource lawyers.

Natural resource lawyers also must be familiar with the business realities that affect their clients. They are experienced with the operational details and points of negotiation in the contracts and physical operations that are common and also unique to a particular resource. They must alert clients to potential traps for the unwary in the case law of their jurisdiction, navigate government regulations to accomplish their clients’ goals, and assemble transactions from the myriad property and operational issues that exist for each particular resource. For example, the mechanics and economics of the development of oil and gas versus hard minerals such as coal has led to dramatically different business structures and contracts to develop these distinct resources.

Some natural resource lawyers specialize in unwinding the often Gordian ownership of mineral resources, others are skilled in litigating the unique disputes that arise in the context of development joint ventures, and still others can structure natural resource projects from exploration, to development and sale. In recent years, the natural resource industries have acquired a significant international dimension; in this context natural resource lawyers can provide invaluable orientation and counsel to foreign companies investing in mineral projects in the United States, or domestic companies seeking to expand their presence globally.

Arthur J. Wright, Oil and Gas Practice Group Leader
Thompson & Knight LLP

Thompson & Knight LLP logo

“Natural resources” is an extraordinarily broad concept. The United States Geological Survey defines natural resources as “minerals, energy, land, water, and biota.” This definition includes the timber, metal, or stone that your house is built from, the fuel that produced the electricity that heats and cools it, the water in its pipes, and even the scenery that increases its value.

Natural resources law is occasionally confused with environmental law, but the fields are distinct. Environmental law is what you may not do; natural resources law is what you may do and how to do it. It is the body of law that organizes the discovery, development, allocation, ownership, management, and ultimately use of all the raw materials that our civilization is built from, and of the energy sources that make it run. In a practical sense, this term has come to mean the constellation of statutory, regulatory, and judicial law that customarily applies to the major natural resource industries such as mining, oil and gas, water, and forestry.

This body of law draws heavily from contract, property, and corporate law, but also has substantial overlap with environmental, tax, land use, administrative, and even tort law. The set of legal issues that confront, for example, a client wishing to organize a company to develop a particular offshore or onshore mineral deposit, is unique. Therefore, the diversity and specificity of these issues led to the emergence of specialized natural resource lawyers.

Natural resource lawyers also must be familiar with the business realities that affect their clients. They are experienced with the operational details and points of negotiation in the contracts and physical operations that are common and also unique to a particular resource. They must alert clients to potential traps for the unwary in the case law of their jurisdiction, navigate government regulations to accomplish their clients’ goals, and assemble transactions from the myriad property and operational issues that exist for each particular resource. For example, the mechanics and economics of the development of oil and gas versus hard minerals such as coal has led to dramatically different business structures and contracts to develop these distinct resources.

Some natural resource lawyers specialize in unwinding the often Gordian ownership of mineral resources, others are skilled in litigating the unique disputes that arise in the context of development joint ventures, and still others can structure natural resource projects from exploration, to development and sale. In recent years, the natural resource industries have acquired a significant international dimension; in this context natural resource lawyers can provide invaluable orientation and counsel to foreign companies investing in mineral projects in the United States, or domestic companies seeking to expand their presence globally.