Monika U. Ehrman

Headshot of Monika U. Ehrman, faculty member at SMU Dedman School of Law.

Professor of Law

Full-time faculty


Monika U. Ehrman is Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law. She was also appointed Professor of Engineering (by courtesy) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at SMU's Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.

Prior to joining SMU, Professor Ehrman taught at the University of North Texas at Dallas and at the University of Oklahoma, where she led the energy and natural resources program and served as the Faculty Director of the Oil & Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Center at the College of Law. While at the University of Oklahoma, she also held a courtesy appointment at the Michael F. Price College of Business, where she taught in the Executive MBA and Energy Management programs.

Prior to teaching, she served as general counsel of a privately held energy company; senior counsel with Pioneer Natural Resources; and associate attorney at Locke Lord LLP. Before law school, Professor Ehrman worked as a petroleum engineer in the upstream, midstream, and pipeline sectors of the energy industry. In addition to her experience with the technical aspects of the industry, she also worked as an analyst in the areas of commodity risk management and energy trading. She is currently secretary of the AALS Section on Natural Resources & Energy, and she is on the editorial board of the Journal of World Energy Law & Business (published by Oxford University Press). She has previously served as Treasurer and was on the Executive Committee of the Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law (2021–2022) and was Vice President Education for the Association of International Energy Negotiators (2019–2021).

Professor Ehrman earned a B.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Alberta; J.D. from SMU Law; and LL.M. from Yale Law School. During law school, she was a research assistant for the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy; a fellow in the Kauffman Program in Law, Economics and Entrepreneurship; and an editor of the Yale Journal of International Law. Her teaching courses have included Property, Natural Resources Law, Energy Law, Water Law, Real Estate Transactions, Oil & Gas Law, Oil & Gas Environmental Law, Remedies, Negotiations, and Transactional Energy Contracts.

Her scholarly interests are in the areas of natural resources, energy, property, and environmental law & policy. She is principal investigator of a multi-year team grant awarded in 2021 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to study the impact of the clean energy transition on Native American communities. She is also researching the mischaracterization of natural resources in property law, currently writing on atmospheric modification, mining & wildfire policy. She has been published in law reviews, interdisciplinary journals, books, and is a co-author of Cases and Materials on Oil and Gas Law (West Academic 8th ed.), with John Lowe, Owen Anderson, Christopher Kulander, Burke Griggs, and James Coleman.

Area of expertise

  • Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Oil and Gas
  • Property Law
  • Natural Resources


B.Sc. (Petroleum Engineering), University of Alberta
J.D., SMU Dedman School of Law
LL.M., Yale Law School


Water Law
Property, Natural Resources & Land Use


CASES AND MATERIALS ON OIL AND GAS LAW, 8th ed. (West Academic 2022) (with John S. Lowe, Owen L. Anderson, Ernest E. Smith, David E. Pierce, Christopher S. Kulander, Monika U. Ehrman, and Burke Griggs)


Cloud Seeding, Wildfire Smoke Emissions, and Solar Geoengineering: Why is Climate Modification Unregulated?, 35 Georgetown Environmental Law Review (forthcoming 2024) (with Karen Bradshaw)

The Environmental Citizen, Participant and Problem, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law & Public Affairs (forthcoming 2024)

Natural Resource Property Customs, 41 UCLA Environmental Law Review 1 (2023)

Property, Sovereignty, and Customary Governance in Outer Space Resource Extraction, 57 Georgia Law Review 1769 (2023)

Natural Resource Property Customs, 41 UCLA Environmental Law Review (2023)

Hidden Resources, 13 UC Irvine Law Review 563 (2023)

Natural Resource Systems and the Evolution of Environmental Law and Agency, 40 Pace Environmental Law Review 3 (2023)

Reimagining Energy, 74 Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc 489 (2021)

Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law, 6 SMU Annual Texas Survey 217 (2020) (with Owen Anderson)

Application of Natural Resources Property Theory to Hidden Resources, 14 International Journal of the Commons 627 (2020)

A Call for Energy Realism: When Immanuel Kant Met the Keep it in the Ground Movement, 2019 Utah Law Review 435 (2019)

One Oil and Gas Right to Rule Them All, 55 Houston Law Review 101 (2018)

Reclaiming Energy Efficiency in an Age of Petroleum Exclusion, Symposium, 71 Arkansas Law Review 481 (2018)

The Future of the Canadian Energy Industry in a Low Price Commodity Environment, Symposium, 5 LSU Journal of Energy Law & Resources 263 (2017)

Earthquakes in the Oilpatch: The Regulatory and Legal Issues Arising out of Oil and Gas Operation Induced Seismicity, 33 Georgia State Law Review 609 (2017)

Lights Out in the Bakken: An Analysis of Flaring Regulation and its Potential Effect on North Dakota Shale Oil Production, 117 West Virginia Law Review 549 (2014)

The Next Great Compromise: A Comprehensive Response to Opposition Against Shale Gas Development Using Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States, 46 Texas Tech Law Review 423 (2014)

Competition Is a Sin: An Evaluation of the Formation and Effects of a Natural Gas OPEC, 27 Energy Law Journal 175 (2006)

Book chapters

Complexities of Climate Governance in Multidimensional Property Regimes, in CLIMATE LIBERALISM: PERSPECTIVES ON LIBERTY, PROPERTY, AND POLLUTION (Jonathan H. Adler ed., Palgrave Macmillan Cham, part of Palgrave Studies in Classical Liberalism) (with Karen Bradshaw) (forthcoming 2023)

Overview of Oil and Gas Wastewater Injection Induced Seismicity in Hydrocarbon Regions in the United States, Canada, and Europe, in REGULATING WATER SECURITY IN UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL (Jennifer McKay et al. eds. Springer International Publishing 2019)

Policy Issues Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing and Oklahoma (contributing author), in HYDRAULIC FRACTURING LAW AND PRACTICE (LexisNexis 2017)

Chapter on Hydraulic Fracturing, in ZONING AND PLANNING LAW HANDBOOK (Thomson Reuters 2015)

Other publications

Reexamining the Clean Air Act Renewable Fuel Standard in Letter and Spirit, Regulatory Review (2021)

Annual Case Law Update (2021), Proceedings of the Institute on Energy Law (Matthew Bender 2022) (with Owen L. Anderson, Keith B. Hall, Michael Jones, and Christopher S. Kulander)

Annual Case Law Update (2020), Proceedings of the Institute on Energy Law (Matthew Bender 2021) (with Owen L. Anderson, Keith B. Hall, Michael Jones, and Christopher S. Kulander)

The Oil and Gas Lease, Part I: Classification, Scope of Grant and Duration, Fundamentals of Oil, Gas and Mineral Law (The University of Texas School of Law & The Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Section of the State Bar of Texas 2021)

Annual Case Law Update, 45th Annual Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas and Mineral Institute (The University of Texas School of Law & The Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Section of the State Bar of Texas 2019) (with Owen Anderson)

Recent Developments in Oil and Gas Law (2018), Proceedings of the Institute on Energy Law (Matthew Bender 2019) (with Owen L. Anderson)

Revisiting Mittelstaedt and the Marketable Product Rule, The Eugene Kuntz Conference on Natural Resources Law & Policy (The University of Oklahoma College of Law & Energy Natural Resources Law Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association 2018)

The Modern Oil and Gas Lease and Where It All Begins: Drafting the Grant, Special Institute on Drafting and Negotiating the Modern Oil and Gas Lease (Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation 2018)

Basics of Joint Operations and the JOA, Joint Oil & Gas Operations and the AAPL Form 2015 Model Form Operating Agreement (Oil & Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Center, The University of Oklahoma College of Law 2018)

A Discussion of Major Current Challenges Facing Oil and Gas Producing States in Latin, Special Institute on International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development, and Investment (Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation 2015)

Duties of the Executive After Lesley v. Veterans Land Bd., The Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Section of the State Bar of Texas Report (2012) (with J. Robert Beatty)