J. Franklin Long is a retired lawyer from Bluefield, Virginia, who has had a far-reaching impact on the legal profession and on college educational opportunities.
Long attended segregated and later desegregated high schools before completing his undergraduate degree at Bluefield State College. In 1977, he earned his J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law and established his law practice in Bluefield, West Virginia. He retired from practice in 2011.
He is a past chairman of the National Litigation Group and a past chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America Minority Caucus. He is a past member of the Executive Committee for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has presented Continuing Legal Education seminars across the country and in Canada, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.
In West Virginia, Long has served as president of the Trial Lawyers Association and president and chairman of the board of the Mountain State Bar Association. MSBA recognized Long as the state’s Most Outstanding Black Attorney. He is a past president of the West Virginia Bar Foundation.
Long has also served WVU and its law school. For 15 years, he was a board member of the WVU Foundation and is a Director Emeritus. He is a Dean’s Partner at the College of Law and was a member of the Visiting Committee.
Long is known for helping students. He funded a scholarship at the College of Law that supports minority recruitment. Individually, he has provided scholarships to more than 100 college students. He has also funded scholarships for the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia, the Concord University Foundation, the Southwest Virginia Community College Foundation and the Beckley Area Foundation.
Long is a founding board member of the Bluefield Area Foundation, a predecessor of the Community Foundation of the Virginias that serves the residents of Mercer Country, W. Va., and Tazewell County, Va. He is a past chairman of the Board of Governors of Concord University.
Long and his wife, Darnell Long, have a daughter, Traci Morris, and two grandchildren, Taylor and Dakota.