WASHINGTON, D.C., August 30, 2023―Sheila Slocum Hollis is the recipient of the 2023 American Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award in Environmental, Energy or Resources Law and Policy. The award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of major practitioners who have demonstrated a lifetime of achievement or leadership in developing environmental, energy or resources law and policy in the United States. Hollis will be recognized at a ceremony during the Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) 31st Fall Conference on October 13, 2023.
Hollis is chair of the Duane Morris Washington, D.C., office and was its founding managing partner, as well as the founding leader for the firm’s Energy, Environment and Resources Group. She was the first woman to serve on the firm’s Executive Committee, a position she held for more than a decade, and was a member of its Partners Board for 20 years. Hollis practices in the areas of energy transactional and regulatory law and international and administrative law before government agencies, Congress, state and federal courts and other entities. She focuses on domestic and international energy, water and environmental matters, representing governmental bodies, the power and natural gas industries and other entities.
Hollis has served twice in federal agencies. In 1977, she became the first director of the Office of Enforcement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, establishing the office and its policies and procedures, which remain in place today. She was a charter member of the Senior Executive Service. Hollis began her energy law career as a trial lawyer at the Federal Power Commission from 1974 to 1976, serving as lead counsel on the Pennzoil-United spinoff case. Over the course of her career, she has played a key role in the formation and implementation of energy law and policy. As a professorial lecturer in the law at George Washington University School of Law, she taught energy law for 20 years to more than 600 students in the Environmental and Energy Law Program and was recognized by the school for her teaching contributions. Hollis has given hundreds of presentations throughout the world over the course of her career on a broad spectrum of topics, including energy, environment, women’s empowerment issues, international law and cybersecurity. She is widely published in energy law and policy matters, having co-authored two energy law texts and a large number of articles on energy policy, energy enforcement, natural gas, independent power and cogeneration, hydroelectric energy regulation and related environmental topics.
With a long and venerable career representing clients in matters relating to infrastructure, nuclear power, hydroelectric power and all forms of energy supply sources, natural gas and oil development, transportation and distribution, energy reliability, enforcement and compliance, and international energy policy, Hollis has received many honors and recognitions from the energy and legal industries. In 2021, she was a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for the Corporate Counsel Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards. In 2018, she was honored as a “storied energy lawyer” with the Petroleum Economist’s Legacy Award, given to outstanding individuals for their industry contributions. In 2017, she was named by Super Lawyers as one of Washington, D.C.’s Top 100 Lawyers overall and one of the Top 50 Women over several years. She is the first energy lawyer to be named to this list. In addition, Hollis was recognized by the ABA as a “Trailblazer,” an honor given to women in law who “changed society.” She was among only 100 women to be so honored for breaking barriers for women in cutting-edge areas of the law. Her personal story is now at the Library of Congress, Harvard Law and Stanford Law libraries. In 2012, Hollis was inducted as a fellow into the American College of Environmental Lawyers, an honor bestowed upon a select group of lawyers with “distinguished experience and high standards.” She was also named one of the “50 Key Women in Energy Worldwide” and received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement in Energy in Platt’s Global Energy Awards. She is the first attorney in private practice to receive Platt’s award. Hollis has also been ranked by The National Law Journal as one of the United States’ top 20 energy lawyers and has received the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings for over 30 years of professional excellence. In addition, Hollis is listed in many biographical directories such as “Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the World,” “The World’s Leading Oil and Gas Lawyers” and “The World’s Leading Project Finance Lawyers.” Hollis was selected for inclusion in “Who’s Who Legal Directory for Oil and Gas.”
Hollis has served on a myriad of boards, committees and professional associations over the course of her career and has been extremely active in leadership roles in many of those organizations. She was chair of the Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress of the ABA from 2015 to 2018 and chaired SEER. Hollis also chaired the board of editors of the ABA magazine for several years. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Energy Bar Association and holds the distinction of being the only person to serve as both president of the Energy Bar Association and chair of the ABA’s SEER, the leading forum for thousands of lawyers working in areas related to the environment, natural resources and energy. She now serves on the board of governors of the ABA on behalf of SEER. Hollis also serves in the House of Delegates of the ABA as senior delegate from SEER. She served as president of the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment for five years and served on the board of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Hollis served a multiyear term on the advisory board of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.
In addition, Hollis is acting executive director of the United States Energy Association, having served as chair of its board. She also is a member of the Advisory Committee of the North American Energy Standards Board. Hollis serves on the board of trustees of the Center for American and International Law and was vice chair of its Institute for Energy Law. With an extensive background in international energy law, she is admitted as an honorary international member of the Commercial Bar of England and Wales. Hollis serves on the board of the American Friends of the Royal Society, which is one of the oldest scientific bodies in the world. She was chosen as a delegate of the ABA to the United Nations Rio+20 Conference in 2012 and other international events. Hollis also served a three-year term on the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary and in that capacity was one of the two primary investigators in the nomination of Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. She is a life fellow of the ABA and has been a member of the American Law Institute for 25 years.
Hollis is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Colorado. She is a Colorado native and a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law as well as the University of Colorado at Boulder, cum laude, in general studies and with honors in journalism. She has also studied international law at the University of Exeter in Exeter, Scotland.
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