The Briggs and Morgan/Xcel Energy Chair was awarded in the fall of 2012 to Professor Mehmet Konar-Steenberg, and since then the law school’s programming for energy and environmental law and policy has grown.
Faculty endowments at Mitchell Hamline are the most important way for the law school to build and retain a strong, talented faculty. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, Mitchell Hamline has 12 endowed faculty chairs, including the Briggs and Morgan/Xcel Energy Chair in Energy and Environmental Law.
The Briggs and Morgan/Xcel Energy Chair, created as a result of generous gifts from both Xcel Energy and the law firm of Briggs and Morgan, P.A. , advances the work of the college in the growing field of energy, regulatory and environmental law. The endowed position helps strengthen Mitchell Hamline’s curriculum in energy and environmental law and policy, and regulatory practice and theory, and provide programming, such as annual conferences, for practitioners and policymakers in energy and environmental regulation.
Konar-Steenberg leads and organizes Mitchell Hamline’s annual conference on energy and the environment. These conferences explore emerging issues and feature experts from state and federal government, environmental advocates, regional and national practitioners, and industry leaders. Past conferences have focused on Minnesota’s renewable energy future and natural gas and its environmental impacts.
In addition to providing programming like these conferences, the endowed position is helping strengthen Mitchell Hamline’s curriculum in energy and environmental law and regulatory practice. The college has expanded its energy and environment externships available to students. These externships are vital to providing students with hands-on experience and networking opportunities. Externship partners include Xcel Energy, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, the Isaak Walton League, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.