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News

2013 Fisher Lecture to Focus on Health Reform

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Health policy expert Sara Rosenbaum will deliver the 2013 John W. Fisher II Lecture in Law and Medicine at the West Virginia University College of Law on Thursday, April 11, at 12 p.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. A reception will follow the lecture.

Rosenbaum’s lecture at the WVU College of Law will focus on what health reform has—and has not—accomplished for low income and medically underserved populations. She will discuss the challenges of turning coverage reforms into sustainable solutions for urban and rural communities.

Matini Named Editor of WV Law Review

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —Imad Matini has been named the editor-in- chief of The West Virginia Law Review for 2013-2014. Matini is a second-year law student in the joint JD/MBA program at the West Virginia University College of Law and College of Business and Economics. He was elected to his new position by his peers.

Founded in 1894, The West Virginia Law Review is the fourth oldest law review in the country. It is a professional, student-governed legal journal that publishes articles of interest to legal scholars, students, legislators and members of the practicing Bar.

Matini said that the legal community should expect big things from The West Virginia Law Review.

“We are a very ambitious group,” he said. “We want to innovate and we want to build on the foundation that we have. Our goals are to provide an avenue for legal discourse, and to raise the prestige of our community and state in the process.”

Matini’s first duty as editor-in-chief was to appoint the executive board of the West Virginia Law Review Volume 116. In addition to running the publication, the executive board trains new members, selects articles for the multiple publications and begins preparation for the annual Law Review Symposium.

Texas Tech Wins WVU Law Energy Moot Court Competition

2013 FSU Team

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —Law students from Texas Tech had the winning argument at the third annual National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition at West Virginia University College of Law on Saturday. Florida State was the runner-up in the three-day competition that included 24 teams from 15 universities.

Watch the finals webcast

As hosts, WVU competed with two exhibition teams. Last year’s finalists, Duquesne and Louisiana State, were eliminated in the semifinals.

The arguments in the 2013 energy moot court competition involved the fictitious Franklin Gas Company, an owner/operator of hydraulic fracturing natural gas wells, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States of America. Under the fictional problem created for purposes of the competition, Franklin was charged with being a major source of air pollution under the Clean Air Act and with violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for the unintentional death of birds in an impoundment pond.

WVU College of Law rises in U.S. News & World Report top 100 rankings

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —The West Virginia University College of Law is again a top 100 law school according to  U.S. News & World Report. In its 2014 Best Graduate Schools guide, the magazine ranks the College of Law #91—up 10 spots from last year to its highest ranking yet —out of 148 Top Schools of Law.

“We are very excited about our U.S. News rankings and the national recognition it gives us,” said  Joyce McConnell, Dean of the College of Law. “It points to the hard work being done by the faculty and staff to ensure a top-flight legal education for our students and it reflects the high level of support we receive from our alumni, university leadership, and the law community.”

U.S. News & World Report collects a number of statistics to compile its annual rankings, including peer assessment, employment rate, and faculty resources.

This  U.S. News ranking comes at a time when McConnell, who has been dean since 2008, is overseeing an ambitious $25 million building and renovation project at the law school. She is also implementing a new five-point strategic plan to:

• Engage law students in a rigorous academic environment to become practice-ready lawyers and leaders;
• Excel in interdisciplinary research, curricular innovation, and technology for the profession;
• Foster justice, diversity, and an inclusive culture;
• Advance global engagement; and
• Enhance the well-being and quality of life of the people of the state, the country and the world through innovation, representation, and service.

While acknowledging the value of graduate school rankings like  U.S. News & World Report, McConnell points out that they are just one factor prospective students should consider when researching law schools.

“Rankings provide a valuable snapshot,” she said, “but students applying to law school should also consider other factors that could impact their learning experience, such as location, value, and fit. Fortunately, WVU College of Law is well-positioned in these areas. We are the same excellent law school today that we were yesterday.”

Verdict is in: Work with veterans gives WVU law students unique experience

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A 63-year-old U.S. Army veteran from a rural area in West Virginia had been battling with a neighbor over a land dispute for more than 10 years.

The neighbor had been using an easement on the veteran’s property to gain access to a county road.

Frustrated, bewildered and unable to afford a lawyer, the veteran turned to students at West Virginia University’s College of Law who took the case through the Veterans’ Assistance Project.

The students won the case and left the veteran, who requested anonymity, with a unique perspective on their courtroom prowess.

WV Supreme Court of Appeals to Hear Arguments at College of Law; Justices will also judge Baker Cup Moot Court Competition

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals will hear four cases on Tuesday, March 5, in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the West Virginia University College of Law. The court will convene at 10 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

“It is a very valuable opportunity for our students and the public to see the state’s highest court in action,” said  Joyce E. McConnell , Dean of the West Virginia University College of Law. “We deeply appreciate the justices’ willingness to conduct the court’s business at WVU.”

The justices will hear four arguments in the court’s morning session. Following a break, they will return to the Lugar Courtroom to judge the final round of the George C. Baker Moot Court Competition at 1:30 p.m. Since 1982, the annual competition requires second-year law students to write appellate briefs and present oral arguments on both sides of an issue. The case to be argued this year involves Fourth Amendment issues of search and seizure and probable cause.

In its morning session, the Supreme Court justices will first hear Jennifer Fillinger, R.N. v. Laura Rhodes, Executive Director, WV Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses. The petitioner is seeking a writ of prohibition to stop further proceedings on two complaints filed against her.

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