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WVU Law student at Legal Aid of West Virginia
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Center for Law and Public Service

The Center for Law and Public Service provides opportunities for students to engage in public interest law, fosters dialogue about current legal services and policy issues, and encourages students to become leaders who seek creative solutions toward achieving equal access to justice in society.

The Center offers a wide variety of externships in nonprofit, government, and judicial settings, locally and around the country, to help students with valuable career-building experience while serving the community.


  • The Pro Bono Program provides opportunities for students to dedicate time outside of the classroom to perform legal assistance to people in need.
  • The Center coordinates with the West Virginia Fund for the Public Interest and the  Public Interest Advocates student organization to provide fellowships to students interested in full-time summer work at legal service agencies throughout the state of West Virginia. The Fund and the Center also work together to provide a post graduate fellowship program for students pursuing careers in public interest law.
  • The West Virginia Access to Justice Commission seeks to identify, study, and promote measures that will increase the ability of the poor and others facing substantial financial, educational and/or geographic hurdles to gain access to quality legal services. To this end, the WVU College of Law will employ its resources to both support and complement the work currently being done by established legal services. 
  • The West Virginia Law Institute, established by the West Virginia Legislature in 1988, is the state’s official advisory law revision and law reform agency. It endeavors to promote and encourage the clarification and simplification of the law of West Virginia.
  • The  Public Service Externship program allows students to earn credit hours by working in non-profit and government agencies while developing key professional skills and an understanding of public interest law. Externships are available part-time or full-time both locally and beyond the Morgantown area. Qualified students may apply for a Federal Judicial Externship with a United States District Court or Circuit Court Judge. Summer externships are also possible. Assitant Dean Jennifer Powell oversees the externship program.

OUTCOMES

15 — PIA Fellows, summer 2021 (including 2 out-of-state). 
— students awarded Sprouse Fellowships that pays for them to work in a public defender’s office.
— students doing externships in government and public interest organizations, summer 2021.

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