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2018-19 Clinic Highlights

Child and Family Advocacy with Medical-Legal Partnership

  • Collaborated with Carlton University in Ottawa, Ontario, to help a victim of domestic violence tell her story by obtaining court documents and photographs.
  • Worked with the Michigan State Indian Law Clinic to serve as local counsel for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in an appeal before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
  • Expanded work in the medical-legal partnership to help pregnant women with potential legal issues who are receiving treatment in the Comprehensive
  • Opioid Addiction Treatment program at West Virginia University Health Sciences.
  • Collaborated with the WVU Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities to help in cases where one of the parties is not represented by counsel.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

  • Collaborated with the West Virginia Securities Commission to present a workshop to train entrepreneurs in creative options to raise money from West Virginia-based investors.
  • Created model documents and information sheets for small businesses interested in raising money using securities.
  • Helped 13 student-entrepreneurs register trademarks,and represented and advised over 50 student entrepreneurs on small business, tax, and IP matters.


  • Represented more than two dozen individuals and families in immigration court proceedings, USCIS applications, and ICE detention or supervision.
  • Two students argued an appeal in an asylum case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  • Consulted with criminal defense counsel to provide advice on the potential immigration consequences of guilty pleas or convictions.
  • Worked with groups around West Virginia to educate people about their constitutional rights if questioned or detained by immigration authorities, and assisted clients in asserting those rights if questioned.

Land Use and Sustainable Development

  • Spearheaded a transaction for a land trust client resulting in the acquisition of a 283-acre tract in a small southern West Virginia city; the tract is now in public ownership, and is protected and managed as a boulder park featuring a two-mile rock wall.
  • Assisted the Randolph County Commission in establishing an unsafe lands and building ordinance.
  • Continued work on a sweeping comprehensive plan for McDowell County and 10 municipalities. Hosted a dilapidated building summit for the Upper Kanawha Valley.
  • Hosted the third annual Mountain State Land Use Academy.

United States Supreme Court

  • Helped win Dawson v. Steager (129 S. Ct. 698, 2019), a tax discrimination case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the clinic’s clients, James and Elaine Dawson. At issue in Dawson v. Steager was whether the State of West Virginia can impose a heavier tax burden on federal retirees than it imposes on state retirees who performed the same job duties.

Veterans Advocacy

  • Secured a discharge upgrade from the VA for a U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran. Obtained disability benefits from the VA for a U.S. Army Reserve veteran who served in Kosovo, Iraq, and Djibouti.
  • Received a $5,000 gift from the EQT Foundation.
  • Received a $28,000 gift from the Michael Late Benedum Chapter of the American Association of Professional Landmen.

West Virginia Innocence Project

  • Introduced new medical evidence in a Shaken Baby Syndrome case that helped free a man from prison.
  • Overturned the conviction of a man in connection to a murder based on new DNA evidence.
  • Received the John A. “Jack” Rogers Award for Outstanding Leadership in Public Service on behalf of the state’s wrongfully convicted from the West Virginia Public Defender Services.

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