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Published December 22, 2021
By Chavawn Kelley
Briana Diane Long is the University of Wyoming College of Law Salt Creek Scholar for 2021-22.
The Salt Creek Energy Excellence Scholarship, named for the oldest producing oil and gas field in Wyoming, was founded to encourage students who demonstrate a strong interest in energy and law. As part of the program, Salt Creek Energy Excellence scholars are also introduced into a professional community dedicated to energy law.
By connecting Salt Creek Scholars with friends and donors, the program facilitates employment and mentorship opportunities to help students enter the field of energy and natural resources law.
See all the Salt Creek Scholars HERE.
“When I was growing up, Gillette was called the ‘Energy Capital of the Nation,’ since it provided the United States with nearly 35 percent of its coal,” says Long. “Energy companies employed both my parents, and as an undergraduate student, I worked during summer and winter breaks for the coal mine to help pay for college.”
After earning a B.S. degree in chemical engineering at the University of Wyoming, Long pursued her interests in chemical engineering, mining, and clean energy technologies for a year at the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority before entering the UW College of Law.
In 2020, she served during the summer as a law clerk at Hirst Applegate, LLP, in Cheyenne, where she gained experience in a range of civil practice areas, including employment law, worker compensation and personal injury.
Long returned to the energy sector last summer with an internship with Patterson + Sheridan, a Houston law firm that specializes in prosecuting and litigating patents in the oil and gas industry.
“I believe my chemical engineering degree and work experience have given me a unique advantage in intellectual property law focused on energy,” Long says. “After graduating, I want to directly help inventors develop pioneering technologies, particularly associated with energy and carbon capture.”
Long is the 2021-2022 article editor for the Wyoming Law Review. She also published a comment in the Wyoming Law Review fall 2020 issue. Long is a teaching assistant for the 2021-2022 Legal Writing Program and is committed to helping first-year law students become stronger writers. Long is a member of Phi Alpha Delta and served as the organization’s president. She worked as a research assistant for Professor Melissa Ballengee Alexander for a year and plans to work as a research assistant for Professor Noah Novogrodsky in the spring.
Long is also working in patent litigation for Denver-based Sheridan Ross, which was named among the 2021 Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. She plans to start full time with Sheridan Ross after graduation in May 2022.