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WVU Law Students Win Cases for Two Veterans

WVU Law veterans clinic client McCloud

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Students at WVU Law are winning benefits for the state’s veterans.

Recently, student attorneys in the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic successfully appealed two denial of claim decisions by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The first case involved Steven McCloud of Clarksburg (left). McCloud served in the United States Navy from 1999 to 2006 and was on active duty in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2006 before being honorably discharged.

In 2016, McCloud underwent sleep studies that concluded he suffered from sleep apnea. When he applied to the VA with a service-connected disability claim and associated benefits, McCord was turned down. That’s when he reached out the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic.

Professors Tu, Wilson Named Associate Deans

WVU Law Associate Dean Professor Elaine Wilson

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Professors Shine “Sean” Tu and Elaine Waterhouse Wilson have been appointed to three-year terms as associate deans at the West Virginia University College of Law.

Wilson is the associate dean for academic affairs. She is responsible for curricular oversight and development, student academic achievement, and the college’s compliance with American Bar Association standards.

Tu is the associate dean for faculty research and development. His duties include supporting and increasing faculty scholarship, coordinating guest speakers, endowed lectures and workshops, and leading technology innovation in academics.

“Elaine and Sean are wonderful colleagues, and I am so pleased that they are now on the leadership team at WVU Law,” said Gregory Bowman, dean of the College of Law. "They have distinguished themselves through the excellence of their teaching, service and scholarship. They’ll be fantastic associate deans who will serve the law school, university and legal profession with integrity.”

Professor Van Nostrand: Saving ailing coal and nuclear power plants makes no sense

WVU Law Professor James Van Nostrand

(THE CONVERSATION) President Donald Trump recently ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take "immediate steps" to stop the closure of coal and nuclear power plants.

And according to a draft memo that surfaced the same day, the federal government may establish a "Strategic Electric Generation Reserve" to purchase electricity from coal and nuclear plants for two years.

Both proposals, which have garnered little support, are premised on these power plants being essential to national security. If implemented, the government would be activating emergency powers rarely tapped before for any purpose.

Based on my four decades of experience as a utility regulatory attorney and law professor, I can see why this proposal has caused much controversy, partly because of how energy markets work.

2018 land use academy focused on community development topics

WVU Law 2018 Mountain State Land Use Academy

The opioid epidemic received a lot of attention at the 2018 Mountain State Land Use Academy, hosted recently by WVU’s Land Use and Sustainable Development (LUSD) Law Clinic.

Held this year at Adventures of the Gorge in Fayette County, the MSLUA is an annual gathering to discuss issues that are critical to developing West Virginia communities. Participants include certified planners, legal experts, members of local governments, and other community leaders.

“The purpose of the academy is to empower citizen planners by giving them the knowledge and resources needed to address land use issues at the local level,” said Jesse Richardson, a land use attorney with the law clinic. “We focus on current land use issues that are most prominent and pressing in West Virginia.”

Anne Hazlett, assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), was the 2018 MSLUA keynote speaker. She spoke about ways the USDA is working with communities to help residents combat the opioid crisis in their own neighborhoods.

WVU Law Bids Farewell to the Class of 2018

WVU Law Dean Greg Bowman

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — WVU Law awarded degrees to the Class of 2018 at Commencement on May 11 at the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the WVU Creative Arts Center.

“You have mastered the academic challenges of law school. And now you take your rightful place in the world as lawyers fighting for justice. That is a noble cause and you should be proud; we are certainly proud of you,” Gregory Bowman, dean of the College of Law, told the graduates.

Jennifer Oliva, associate professor of law and public health, delivered the Commencement address. She was selected Professor of the Year by the Class of the 2018.

Oliva, director of the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic, praised the graduates for their accomplishments in and out of the classroom, including providing much-need legal services to West Virginians.

Class of 2017 Employment Rate Beats National Average

WVU Law Class of 2017

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — The employment rate for WVU Law 2017 graduates is higher than the national average.

According to data gathered by the American Bar Association (ABA), 82 percent of the WVU Law Class of 2017 secured full-time, long-term jobs that require passing the bar exam or where a J.D. is an advantage. The national average is 75.3 percent.

WVU Law’s 2017 employment rate places it in the top 60 of the 203 law schools in the country approved by the ABA.

“It is a clear sign that employers value a law degree from WVU,” said Gregory W. Bowman, dean of the College of Law. “We work hard to prepare our students to succeed in a very competitive job market.”

WVU Law Faculty Award Aloi, Stanley the 2018 Justitia Officium

WVU Law Hon. Michael J. Aloi

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Judge Michael J. Aloi and attorney Bruce E. Stanley are the recipients of the 2018 Justitia Officium Award presented by the WVU Law faculty

The Justitia Officium recognizes outstanding contributions and service to the legal profession. Founded in 1978, it is the highest award presented by the law faculty. Aloi and Stanley will receive their award at the College of Law’s Commencement on May 11.

Aloi is the United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia in Clarksburg.

He serves on the board of the West Virginia State Bar’s Judicial and Lawyer Assistance Program and he is a member of the bar’s Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. He is also an Instructing Judge for Basic Criminal Advocacy at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, and a faculty member at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC.

First Rural Practice Scholarship Awarded at WVU Law

WVU Law Class of 2020 Rural Scholarship Recipients Nathan Bennett and Sarah Petitto

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Nathan Bennett and Sarah Petitto are recipients of the first scholarship at WVU Law meant to increase the number of lawyers practicing in the state’s rural communities.

Established by the West Virginia State Bar, the Rural Practice Scholarship pays tuition and fees for three years of law school in exchange for the student’s commitment to three years of post-graduate legal practice in a rural county.

Bennett and Petitto were chosen for their academic performance and strong commitment to practicing law in the state’s under-served areas after they graduate in 2020. The inaugural Rural Practice Scholarship was offered only to members of the WVU College of Law’s Class of 2020.

“I applied for the scholarship because I want to dedicate my career to serving those who are in need of affordable, equal access legal representation in rural West Virginia,” said Bennett. “As a single parent, this scholarship will also allow me to concentrate less on the financial cost of law school and more on my family and my studies as I obtain my legal education.”

Dean Bowman, Professor McGinley Named WV Bar Foundation Fellows

WVU Law Dean Greg Bowman

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — WVU Law's Dean Gregory Bowman and Professor Patrick McGinley have been named Fellows of the West Virginia Bar Foundation.

Foundation fellows are a select group of the state’s lawyers and judges who have professionally and personally demonstrated dedication to the welfare of their communities and service to the legal profession.

Bowman is the William H. Maier, Jr. Dean of the WVU College of Law, a position he has held since 2015. A nationally recognized scholar in international trade law and remedies, he joined the WVU faculty in 2009. Bowman is a past recipient of the WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching and the College of Law Professor of the Year. Prior to his teaching career, he practiced law in Chicago and Washington, D.C. with Baker McKenzie.

Oliva Selected 2018 Professor of the Year

WVU Law professor Jennifer Oliva

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — WVU Law's Class of 2018 has selected Jennifer D. Oliva their Professor of the Year.

Oliva is an associate professor of law and public health, and director of WVU’s Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic. As Professor of the Year, she will deliver the College of Law’s commencement address on May 11.

“Professor Oliva is a true mentor in her instruction and willingness to assist students in and out of the classroom,” said Shane Young, president of the Class of 2018. “Her self-awareness and energy as an attorney are inspiring and energetic, and she brings exceptional teaching, research and service to the College of Law.”

Oliva is currently one of only four national Bellow Scholars selected by the American Association of Law Schools for conducting legal scholarship that promotes social justice. The focus of her work is interdisciplinary research to help veterans released from prison return to society and lead productive lives.

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