Document Type

Student Article


In most states, the landman profession is unregulated and free to define itself. Work performed by landmen often flirts with the practice of law, but under Texas law much of the work that landmen perform is excepted from the unlicensed practice of law. Historically, the American Association of Professional Landmen (“AAPL”) has been influential in guaranteeing that this exception stays available to landmen all over the United States and that landmen are not subject to licensing requirements in the states they work in. In light of the recent, unsuccessful attempt by the Texas legislature to regulate landmen, this Article will analyze whether or not regulation would be beneficial for landmen, the energy industry, and the general public.

This Article will first discuss the historical roots and qualities of landmen. It will then address the duties and job functions of landmen. Section III will analyze why both the general public and the energy industry itself may distrust landmen and the job functions they perform. Section IV provides a contrast between landmen and the practice of law, in addition to identifying how the landman profession is relatable to the real estate profession. These comparisons help highlight the anomaly of the lack of regulation of landmen, even though there are similarities among these professions. Section V addresses the lack of regulation over landmen, including licensing theories, the regulation of comparable professions, and the licensure requirements proposed in Texas in 2009. Finally, Section VI presents examples of what other states have done to promote regulation, summarizes other regulatory recommendations, and ends by proposing regulations that Texas could enact to regulate landmen.



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