In 2008, WVU Law received the largest gift in its history — $8 million. The money came from the unclaimed portion of a $60 million settlement reached in a class-action lawsuit against one of the nation’s largest tax preparers. It changed the future of legal education in West Virginia.
The presiding judge in the case was Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis H. “Duke” Bloom, a 1981 graduate of WVU Law. Following a lengthy search to disburse all of the unclaimed funds, Judge Bloom worked closely with the defendant’s and plaintiff’s counsel — Charles R. Bailey of Bailey & Wyant and Trig Salsbery of Bailey & Glasser — to use the unclaimed money cy-prés, or “as near as possible.”
The result is the Kanawha County Class Action Settlement 2009 Charitable Trust at WVU College of Law. This transformative gift to the College provides substantial merit-based scholarships and will benefit students— and legal education in the state — for generations to come.
We refer to the students who receive these funds as Bloom Scholars.
Judge Louis H. “Duke” Bloom and Dean Joyce E. McConnell in 2013.