Skip to main content
WVU Law Louis A. Johnson Scholars

Louis A. Johnson Scholars: A Living Legacy

Meet the Louis Johnson Scholars

The Louis Johnson Scholarship at WVU Law was established with a $1.3 million gift from a trust created by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Louis Arthur Johnson.

“It’s one of our most prestigious scholarships,” said Beth Pierpont, assistant dean for enrollment management. “The selection committee invites 1L applicants based on their academic excellence and superior leadership skills.”

In 1913, Johnson and fellow UVA Law graduate Philip Steptoe founded the firm Steptoe & Johnson in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Johnson was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and he served in World War I. He was a leading figure in the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, working at the forefront of global affairs. He helped found the American Legion and he established the Washington, D.C. office of Steptoe & Johnson, which separated amicably from the West Virginia branch in 1980.

The current Louis Johnson Scholarship recipients exemplify his legacy of excellence and leadership.

WVU Law Blake Humphrey

Blake Humphrey is from Wheeling, West Virginia, and is set to graduate in 2021 with a dual J.D./Master of Public Administration. He earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and economics from West Virginia University in 2017. Last spring, Humphrey was a finalist in the George C. Baker Cup competition, which was cut short due to the pandemic. He and co-finalist Makeia Jonese chose to share the honor and the prize.

Humphrey is a founding member of the Federal Bar Association at WVU Law and Executive Alumni and Development Editor for Volume 123 of the West Virginia Law Review. He has also earned CALI Awards for scoring the highest grade in his Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure and Appellate Advocacy classes. During his 2L year, he served as a Dean’s Fellow for Professor Will Rhee.

In spring 2020, Humphrey completed an externship with the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

What is your main interest in the law?

I think the law––and for that matter, legal history––tells us wonderful stories that we can use to build a better future. My main interest is to understand how the law works, learn new areas of the law, and then use my knowledge and skills to eventually represent clients to the best of my ability, no matter where I end up practicing.

What are your career goals?

Following graduation, I will clerk for Judge Robert B. King on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. I hope to then engage in private practice.

What is your favorite law school experience so far?

My favorite experience would have to be making the friends I have made and meeting the people I have met––both classmates and faculty members. There are simply too many memories to count, but above all, the time spent in good company keeps me motivated. 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

When I was in kindergarten, I could name all (at the time) 43 presidents of the United States. I remember reciting this list for a talent show, and it went off without a hitch. As I have gotten older, I have added to this feat of recollection –– I can name all of the current 100 U.S. Senators and 50 U.S. governors. I am still working on the ever-changing House of Representatives. 

WVU Law Sydney Pack

Sydney Pack is from Staunton, Virginia. The 2L received a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in 2015. Following that, she received a Paralegal Certificate from the University of Tennessee.

Pack currently works as a paralegal at Wolfe, Williams, and Reynolds in Norton, Virginia. She has been a paralegal there for nearly five years and is helping retired coal miners fight for federal Black Lung benefits.

At WVU law, Pack is the Secretary of the Federal Bar Association and a member of the Women’s Leadership Council. She received 2019 CALI Awards for scoring the highest grade in her Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing and Contracts courses.

What is your main interest in the law?

My main interest is public interest because I want my work to make a difference in the community. 

What is your favorite law school experience so far?

My favorite experience is developing trial and litigation skills. During my 1L spring semester, I competed in the 2020 1L Lugar Competition, which was unfortunately cut short due to COVID-19, but I loved the experience of preparing and putting on a full trial.

I am currently in the Trial Advocacy course and it has given me true courtroom experience; now, I feel confident walking into a courtroom in the future and arguing a case.  

What are your career goals?

My goal is to work as a federal prosecutor. 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I have a fascination with sharks. In undergrad, I took a travel marine ecology class, during which I was able to swim with and hold sharks over 7 feet long. My dream is to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to see great white sharks breach. 

WVU Law Casey Putney

Casey Putney is from Urbanna, Virginia, and graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. He is a 2L at WVU Law pursuing a dual J.D./Master of Public Administration degree.

Putney is a member of the Federal Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Society and Lugar Trial Association. He also served as Elections Chair for the Student Bar Association in Spring 2020.

In summer 2020, he worked as an extern with the Hon. Irene M. Keeley, Senior District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia.

What is your main interest in the law?

My main focus and interest have always been criminal law. I obtained my undergraduate degree in criminal justice and spent several years working for a police department before coming to law school and working in those positions helped reinforce my interest to pursue further skills and knowledge in that subject area.

What is your favorite law school experience so far?

So far, my favorite law school experience was the opportunity to participate in the 1L Lugar Cup. We spent hours learning, reading, and trying to understand the law during that first year, and this competition was a chance to put everything into practice. Being a first-year law student, I was still unsure about whether I knew enough to be successful, so I was unsure if I wanted to participate.

As I want to be a prosecutor, I know trial skills will be very important to master as I continue through law school and into practice. The Lugar Cup provided me an opportunity to develop trial skills, put them to the test in a practical scenario and receive critical feedback on how to improve - all things that I would not have received had I chosen not to participate.

What are your career goals?

Given my background in criminal justice and my interest in criminal law, my overall career goal is to serve as a prosecuting attorney. I have always had an interest in helping others in my community, and I believe working as a prosecutor is my opportunity to do just that.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Prior to attending WVU, I worked as an emergency services dispatcher for nearly seven years. During that time, I also was a CPR instructor, a training officer, and I taught numerous other courses to both fellow dispatchers and police and fire department.

WVU LAW Facebook WVU LAW Twitter WVU LAW Instagram WVU LAW LinkedIn WVU LAW Youtube Channel