EBA Mentorship Program
Energy Bar Association (“EBA”) is dedicated to promoting excellence in the practice of energy law. Consistent with that objective, EBA is facilitating opportunities for members to network, in order to build relationships and share knowledge and experiences. The EBA Mentorship Program was established to promote this objective.
Mentoring - whether formal or informal - is a vital part of nearly every successful legal career. Learning from the experiences of those who have navigated the complexities of a career in energy law, such as growing client relationships, transitioning from a firm to in-house or government positions and vice versa, or being the “first” woman or person of color to hold a particular position provides important perspective and insight that can help you find the best path for your own career. Mentoring is also well-recognized as key to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace and community.
The EBA Mentorship Program is run by the EBA Masters Council, a group of experienced EBA members who are committed to mentoring fellow members at the beginning of their legal careers or considering a mid-career change.
Meet the Mentors
Click the name of a mentor to read their bio and obtain contact information.
Bill DeGrandis is a Partner with Paul Hastings LLP, an international law firm, and he has over thirty-five years of experience in the energy regulatory and transactions area. His practice is at the intersection of regulatory law, public policy and contract law. He concentrates in the development, financing and acquisition/sale of energy infrastructure projects, including renewable energy, storage and other power generation projects, as well as electric transmission and gas pipeline facilities. He has argued successful judicial appeals and is involved in all facets of regulatory proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
He has negotiated power purchase sale agreements for sales to large wholesale and retail customers. He has been named an outstanding energy lawyer by Chambers USA, SuperLawyers, Law 500 and the International Project Finance Review. He is a former member of the Energy Bar Association (EBA) Board of Directors, former Chairman of the EBA Electric Regulatory Committee and former Chairman of the Board’s Pro Bono Committee. Bill and his wife Monica live in Great Falls, Virginia.
He can be reached at email@example.com
Robert Fleishman (Bob) is an energy regulatory partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. He began his career at FERC, then worked at Baltimore Gas & Electric Company/Constellation Energy in roles of increasing responsibility, including General Counsel and Vice-President for Corporate Affairs. Bob started practice in so-called Big Law later in his career with Covington & Burling, then with Morrison Foerster.
Bob has been very active in EBA over the years, including serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Energy Law Journal from 2005–2019 and EBA President in 1999. He was named by The National Law Journal to its list of 2017 Energy & Environmental Trailblazers. He also served for years as President of the Grassroots Crisis and Intervention Center in Howard County and the Community Mediation Program in Baltimore.
Bob would be pleased to share his thoughts on: the pros and cons of government, energy company, and law firm practice; the transition from lawyer to General Counsel/senior manager; how best to balance work and personal life; the value of pro bono and charitable activities; marketing yourself and building a practice; the benefits of EBA involvement and networking; and shaping a meaningful career trajectory.
Sheila Hollis’s career tracks the development of “modern” energy law from the 1970’s to the present. She started at the Federal Power Commission (predecessor to today’s FERC) when the FPC was dealing with crippling energy shortages. She left to work for the FPC’s former General Counsel, Richard Solomon (father of FERC’s Solicitor, Robert Solomon), but returned to establish the new FERC’s Office of Enforcement.
Returning to private practice, she was EBA’s first woman President in 1991, had her own firm, and taught Energy Law at the George Washington University Law School for 20 years. She was the founding managing partner of Duane Morris’s Washington office; she is now Of Counsel. She chaired the ABA Environment, Energy and Resources Section and has been nominated to represent that Section on the ABA Board of Governors starting in August. She served as President of the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment, and is the Chair of the Board of the United States Energy Association. Sheila benefited greatly during her career from outstanding mentors, and would be pleased to visit with lawyers seeking to follow their dreams and the often-rocky road to achieving them.
Gordon Kaiser is a Arbitrator and Mediator practicing in Toronto and Calgary, Canada. His practice involves domestic and international disputes in energy, regulation and technology. He served as Vice Chairman of the Ontario Energy Board for six years. Prior to that he was a partner in the Gowlings law firm for 25 years where he appeared in the courts of five provinces as well as the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Gordon has advised both regulators and utilities. He has also served as Market Surveillance Administrator for the Province of Alberta and has mediated settlements in energy and technology, including disputes on multi-year rate plans between public utilities and their major customers and long term contracts for the pricing of gas, electricity and wireless data. Gordon has served as a Adjunct Professor in Competition Law at Queens University, the University of Toronto and the Osgoode Hall Law School and he is President of the Canadian Chapter of The Energy Bar Association.
Gordon can be reached at 855-736-4608 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Katz (Andy) retired in 2019 after a diverse, 40-year career in energy law. Andy began his career working in the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an opinion writer and trial attorney. He then worked as an associate at a boutique energy law firm. Pivoting back to public service, Andy served as Chief Staff Counsel for the Maryland Public Service Commission. He then worked in the General Counsel’s Office of a trade association, the Edison Electric Institute. In the last phase of Andy’s career, he worked in the law departments of Constellation Energy and Eversource Energy.
Andy was very active in EBA. During his career he served on the EBA Board of Directors, and co-chaired and supported the Program Committee for many years. He also served as Business Manager of the Energy Law Journal.
Andy is pleased to offer guidance and support on how to survive and thrive in public service, trade association, corporate law department, and law firm employment. He can offer tips on developing skills and leveraging opportunities that can enhance a career. He also is happy to offer advice on managing clients. He stresses the importance of networking and getting published for career success.
Sue Kelly retired in December 2019 after serving for close to 6 years as CEO of the American Public Power Association, the national trade association of public power utilities. Before that, she was APPA’s General Counsel and SVP for Policy Analysis. Earlier in her career, she was a junior associate in the energy practice of a large corporate firm, a partner in a small energy boutique firm, and senior regulatory counsel for a second trade association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Michael Kessler is Managing Assistant General Counsel at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. At MISO, Michael has worked on major business and regulatory initiatives, including market design issues associated with renewable and distributed resource integration and the changing resource mix. Michael practices before both FERC and state public utility commissions.
Prior to joining MISO, he worked at FERC in a non-legal position in the Office of Energy Policy & Innovation; he also worked in the FERC Office of General Counsel immediately after graduating Vermont Law School in 1980. Michael was also a partner in a number of DC energy law firms, including Powell Goldstein, Andrews Kurth and Duane Morris. He also served as General Counsel and Vice President for a start-up retail energy provider during the early days of retail energy competition. Michael currently serves on the Board of the Midwest EBA Chapter.
Michael can share his thoughts on such topics as: large vs. small law firm practice; law firm vs. in-house practice; legal vs. non-legal career paths; work/life balance issues; and, the benefits of being involved in EBA.
Richard Lorenzo is a partner and chair of the Energy Group in the Washington, D.C. office of Loeb & Loeb LLP. Named a 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” in Energy Law by The Best Lawyers in America, Richard has 40+ years of experience advising on the energy industry, complex litigation, and antitrust. He has been involved in every type of regulatory proceeding, from state and federal electricity and natural gas rate cases to rulemakings to prudence investigations involving over $10 billion in assets. He has firsthand experience in the proceedings that brought about open access and has continued to represent investor-owned utilities and public authorities on RTO/ISO-related issues including OATT compliance, development of and compliance with FERC’s standards of conduct, and litigating disputes regarding the need for and allocation of costs related to transmission upgrades necessary to serve transmission customers in a number of ISO/RTO.
He successfully defended Central Maine Power Company in a suit filed by FPL Energy Maine to void its $850 million contract to purchase CMP’s generation assets. Richard successfully invoked the doctrine of state-action immunity to achieve dismissal of antitrust action alleging violations of the Sherman and Clayton Acts on behalf of South Carolina Public Service Authority. Richard is actively involved with EBA and is a member of both the EBA and CFEBA Boards as well as a past President of the CFEBA and a past Co-Chair of the EBA PEC.
Rich Meyer since 2013 has been Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, VA- based national trade association representing cooperatively-owned electric utilities. In that role, he manages 44 attorneys, auditors and other professionals. From 1998-2013 he was NRECA’s Senior Regulatory Counsel and primarily focused on FERC matters. Before that, Rich was senior regulatory and corporate counsel at a Dallas, Texas-based energy company, and worked at FERC as an advisor to two FERC Chairs, and in FERC’s enforcement and rate divisions. He began his career as a trial lawyer in Texas.
Rich was EBA President in 2010 and has been deeply involved in EBA, CFEBA, and FELJ activities for many years. He has also served as a Member of the ABA House of Delegates. Rich can share his thoughts on the differences among association, corporation and government law practice, how to get the most out of EBA membership, the differences between being a specialist attorney and an attorney-manager, and the differences between practicing inside the DC Beltway and elsewhere.
Cindy Miller served for 30 years in a range of positions at the Florida Public Service Commission, including Associate General Counsel and head of the Commission’s External Affairs Division. She focused on rulemaking and appeals, as well as filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She also had a brief stint at a law firm, now Greenberg Traurig. She is enjoying trying out the private sector with her own consulting firm, Cindy Miller LLC.
She has provided consulting services for The Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund, Earth Justice and the First Amendment Foundation. She also assisted the Southern States Energy Board’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Puerto Rican Energy Grid. She served as President of the Southern Chapter of the EBA during 2019-2020. In 2022, Cindy was awarded the EBA State/Provincial Regulatory Practitioner Award for her achievements working with state regulators in Florida.
Cindy would be pleased to share her thoughts on the pros and cons of government legal practice, and on work for environmental organizations.
Jay Morrison is ElectriCities’ Chief Legal and External Affairs Officer. He joined the organization in 2021. Jay is responsible for all legal matters, including advising the organization’s internal staff, ElectriCities’ Board of Directors, and each Power Agency’s Board of Commissioners on legal, regulatory, and legislative matters. He also provides counsel on corporate legal strategy and provides oversight and legal perspective on all compliance matters. Throughout his nearly 30 years in the legal field, Jay has served the energy and utilities industry, including 22 years at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, summa cum laude, from UCLA.
Jay has been involved in EBA, FELJ, and CFEBA for nearly 30 years, serving on all three boards as well as numerous committees.
Randy Rich leads the energy practice group at Pierce Atwood LLP’s DC office, a mid-sized law firm based in New England. Prior to joining Pierce Atwood, Randy was a partner at Bracewell, where he saw the firm grow from a mid-sized firm of 150 lawyers to a member of the AmLaw 100.
Randy began his legal career in the FERC Office of the General Counsel. He has served on the EBA Board of Directors and has chaired or served on several EBA committees. Randy frequently meets with law students and younger lawyers interested in FERC practice in DC.
He can share his experience at mid-sized firms, firms that grow into larger practices, government and in-house practice (based on lengthy secondments at two major energy firms during his career), marketing yourself and building a practice, and participating in the EBA.
Glenn Rippie has been in private practice focusing on energy regulation since 1988. A partner in the Energy Group at Jenner & Block LLP, Glenn was previously a partner of Foley & Larder and Hopkins & Sutter and co-founded and managed a 13-lawyer energy boutique for ten years. He has also been seconded to an energy sector client and acted as a strategic advisor to senior executive management of energy companies.
Glenn commonly represents investor owned utilities and holding companies, but has also represented public power, government, and private non-utility entities. Glenn most frequently appears before state and territorial commissions, but also works on FERC-jurisdictional matters and on matters straddling federal and state jurisdiction, as well as the financing of energy investments and the purchase and sale of energy assets and businesses. Glenn can share his thoughts on large and general versus small and boutique firm practice; firm (particularly small firm) formation, management, and succession planning; state jurisdictional practice and cross-jurisdictional practice outside of DC; and shaping a lifetime career trajectory. Glenn is primarily in Jenner’s Chicago office, but is often in Santa Fe, NM.
Christine Ryan is is General Counsel to Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. Prior to joining McCarter & English she practiced with Holland & Knight and Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts & Stone, a mid-sized firm where she served as managing partner. During her thirty plus year career, she has represented rural electric cooperatives on a wide variety of issues, including energy markets, power plant development, renewables, restructuring matters, regional transmission organizations, power supply and transmission agreements, and all areas of federal power marketing.
Christine’s experience makes her a good sounding board for anyone interested in big v. mid-size v. small firm experiences, law firm management issues, compensation structures, and work/life balance.
Robert H. Solomon
Robert H. Solomon (Bob) has been the Solicitor of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission since November 2005. The Solicitor’s Office is responsible for defending the agency’s orders, policies and initiatives, primarily in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, through the filing of written pleadings and the presentation of oral argument.
Bob personally has presented oral argument before appellate panels, in defense of the Commission, over 70 times. Bob previously worked for FERC Commissioners Bailey and Hebert, and held other supervisory and trial positions at the Commission; before then he was an associate attorney at a Washington, D.C. law firm.
Bob Solomon is a member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service, and a Master in the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court. He is an adjunct professor of law, teaching energy law and regulation classes, at both George Washington University Law School (since fall 2019) and the Washington College of Law, American University (since spring 2014).
Bob is happy to share his experience and judgment, on government v. private practice, or any other energy law subject.
Regina Speed-Bost began her career as a FERC trial attorney in the Enforcement Division, serving on the multidisciplinary team that conducted FERC's first audits for standards of conduct compliance. She later served as an advisory attorney analyzing rate and tariff applications and drafting Commission orders. She entered private practice after serving as Senior Legal Counsel for FERC Commissioner William L. Massey. Currently, she is the founder and managing partner of a minority-owned, woman-owned energy firm.
In addition to her government career, Regina has been a law firm senior associate, partner, practice group leader and office managing partner in a number of AmLaw 100 and 200 firms. She chaired or was a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committees at each of these firms. Regina has served in various volunteer roles at EBA, including Chair of the first EBA Ad Hoc Diversity Committee and FELJ President. Regina can share her thoughts on topics such as: BigLaw v. smaller law firm practice; law firm v. government practice; balancing work and parental responsibilities; the "less-than-linear" career path; the challenges and rewards of being a person of color and a woman in the practice of law; and the benefits of getting involved in EBA.
She can be reached at 202-963-2701 or by email at email@example.com.
Bob Weishaar is Chair of the Energy & Environmental Practice Group of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, located in the firm’s DC office. Bob has been at McNees for close to 25 years; his practice focuses primarily on electricity market, transmission, and distribution issues before FERC and numerous state public utility commissions. Bob’s practice also includes work on renewable and non- renewable generation regulatory matters, natural gas pipeline issues, and oil pipeline regulatory issues. Bob was EBA President in 2017 and has served in many leadership roles at EBA and CFEBA over the years.
Bob currently serves on the Board of the BlackRock Center for the Arts, volunteers with other non-profit associations, and is entering his 20th consecutive year as a youth baseball coach. Bob would be happy to share his experience with FERC and state regulatory commission practice, law firm management, business development, and balancing work and non-work priorities.
Andrea Wolfman is currently Of Counsel at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. She spent the first 24 years of her career at the FERC in positions of increasing responsibility, including 6 years in the Solicitor’s Office, and 15 years in senior executive positions as Assistant General Counsel for Pipeline Rates, and Associate General Counsel for Market Oversight and Enforcement. Since 2003, she has been in private practice at three different large law firms, where she has advised on regulatory compliance matters concerning FERC-regulated industries.
She has been very active in EBA, including stints as Chair of the Program Committee (now the Professional Education Council), President of the FELJ Board and the EBA Board of Directors. She is also a member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. She can share her thoughts on career strategies for diverse attorneys, government v. private practice, and the benefits of EBA involvement and networking.
Joel Zipp "mostly" retired from practicing law at the end of 2018. He began his career at the FPC where he was an attorney in the Office of General Counsel and an Assistant Director in the Office of Enforcement. He then joined a small DC energy boutique law firm, eventually becoming its Managing Partner. After nineteen years he merged the boutique firm with a large UK-based firm, in the first trans-Atlantic law firm merger, serving as Managing Partner of its DC office.
He eventually left the firm and practiced with the DC offices of three national law firms. While at these private law firms he also served as outside general counsel to some energy project companies. He was EBA President in 2000. He also taught energy law for two years at his law school alma mater. Joel can advise on the practice of law for a federal regulatory agency v. a law small v. large firm practice, law firm management, and client development strategies. Additionally, he can advise on getting and retaining clients.
A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.
Testimonial From a Mid-Career In-house Counsel
Although COVID presented a new set of challenges, the EBA Mentoring Program proved to be a success. The mentors were readily accessible and eager to share their knowledge and experience about their respective careers. I’m looking forward to maintaining connections with my mentors beyond the duration of the program.