Patrick Ottinger | Ottinger, Hebert LLC
LAFAYETTE – Podcast Discover Lafayette recently featured mineral law scholar Patrick Ottinger, who talked about his work as a professor at LSU, as chair of the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute and his expertise in the field of oil and gas exploration.
Talking about legal practice in the oil and gas field, Ottinger said he enjoys that "it's not a 'plain vanilla' practice at all, it's not a practice that is, in any sense, monotonous."
As described in the podcast, Ottinger leaped into Lafayette’s oil and gas heyday in 1973 after graduating from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and LSU Law School. Ottinger is currently a lead partner at Ottinger, Hebert LLC, a special assistant attorney general for the state, and an arbitrator and mediator specializing in oil and gas.
Ottinger also served as a city-parish attorney for the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government from 2004-11, the longest tenure on record in that position.
"[Joey Durel] offered me the job, and I knew absolutely zero about government law and things of that issue," Ottinger said, adding that the position was a challenge.
"Things were in a place where I could do, and I agreed to do it, there were learning curves on the first day, and there were learning curves on the last day," he said.
Ottinger has served as an adjunct professor of law at the LSU Law Center since 1996, where he teaches mineral law from the course materials he authored, including Louisiana Mineral Leases: A Treatise, published in June 2016.
"I actually use a word in my class: niche," Ottinger said. "By which I mean, all law students upon graduation and being admitted to the Bar start in the same starting line. No one knows any more, or some have jobs in the firm that will bring them to apply only in the personal injury area, the commercial corporate area, or what have you, but in my area of oil and gas, I encourage students and associates to identify two or three areas that become a niche area, by which I mean learn all you can about the law of privilege, the law of liens, because when the clients call you, you'll be able to answer that."