Chris Hogan didn’t give the energy industry much thought until his first year of law school when he studied Pierson v. Post, a property law case that applies to oil and gas. “When I graduated and started working as an attorney in Texas, I was exposed to cutting-edge oil and gas case law,” he says. “While I’ve had occasion to dabble in other areas of the law, I’ve always found that oil and gas law is what I enjoy the most.”
Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?
“My biggest professional accomplishment was opening my own firm. Most new firms that open tend to have older, established lawyers in their 50s or 60s lead the firm. But my colleague Samantha [Thompson] and I started Hogan Thompson Schuelke in our 30s. We also opened the firm in February 2020, and immediately found ourselves in a tough environment for an energy-focused law firm (negative oil prices!), but were able to grow our firm and succeed to the point where we now have eight attorneys. I’m very proud of what we built.”
Which career milestone did you reach sooner than expected?
“In 2018, I was appointed by the Texas State Bar to the Pattern Jury Charge Committee for Oil & Gas. This Committee contains some of the foremost leaders of oil and gas law in the state and I was proud to get appointed at such a young age. I think my big help was having the support of the lawyers at my firm to sponsor me for this position and the respect of my fellow attorneys in the state.”
How have you exercised leadership to help shape your company?
“Since founding Hogan Thompson Schuelke with my colleague Samantha, I’ve worked hard to ensure that every member of our firm fits our mold. We pick every member of our firm to enhance the firm culture. We want to represent our clients as best as possible, but also ensure that everyone at the firm treats others with dignity and respect.”
Who is your mentor?
“Judge Jerry E. Smith of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. My first job out of law school was clerking for Judge Smith and I learned more during my year working for him than I have in any other job before or since. Judge Smith is one of the smartest people I know, a great legal mind, and genuinely a good person.”
What advice would you give other young professionals?
“Oil and gas is a small world and you need to keep that in mind when dealing with people. The people that you work with today will be the same people that you see for the rest of your professional life. If you burn bridges now, you will feel the effects of those decisions for decades to come. In the oil and gas field, there are a handful of lawyers that get tagged early on in their careers as untrustworthy. That is a tough stigma to overcome. I work hard to stay respectful and considerate in all of my dealings, and this has proven very helpful in my career development.”
- I’m an Eagle Scout and to this day can still tie many (but not all...) of the knots I learned during my time in scouting.
- My mom and dad are both from the Pittsburgh area. So, even though I grew up in California and now live in Texas (got here as soon as I could), I have a special place in my heart for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can usually find my son and me at one or more Steelers home games each year.
- I love collecting oil and gas coffee cups. When I am leaving a client’s office, I often awkwardly ask for a coffee mug to add to my collection. If you ever come to Hogan Thompson Schuelke’s office, they make up the majority of our coffee cup collection.