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Lofaso receives Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award

Associate Dean Lofaso will present a lecture entitled “The Autonomous Dignified Worker” on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 in Event Hall (room 180) at the WVU College of Law. The lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m. with a reception immediately following.

Anne Marie Lofaso, professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and development, is one of three WVU professors to receive the Claude Worthington Benedum Distinguished Scholar Awards for 2013-2014

Lofaso earned the award in the Humanities and the Arts category in recognition of her arguments for the legal protection and empowerment of working-class Americans. Articles she has written on workers’ rights have influenced federal lawmakers.

In “Toward a Foundational Theory of Workers’ Rights: The Autonomous, Dignified Worker,” Lofaso uses existing legal definitions of autonomy and dignity to argue that the possession of these two values are essential rights of all workers, rights that should be present in all workplaces and that the law should protect. It appeared in the University of Missouri at Kansas City Law Review in 2007.

Lofaso also argues several subsequent articles that collective bargaining power, as facilitated by labor organizations and unions, is a key tool to providing works with autonomy and dignity.
She has also addressed issues of dignity and autonomy for immigrant workers, as in a February 2013 article, distributed to the U. S. Congress by a progressive think tank, in which she argues that the National Labor Relations Board should have the authority to compel employers to uphold the labor rights of undocumented workers. The Senate version of the most recent immigration law incorporates one of Lofaso’s specific suggestions from this article, that employers who hire undocumented workers and then violate their collective bargaining rights be compelled to pay penalties to the U. S. Treasury.

Lofaso joined the WVU Law faculty in 2007. She earned her B.A. from Harvard, her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania law school, and her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. In 2013, she was a recipient of the West Virginia University Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching.

WVU College of Law Baker Lecture to focus on the First Amendment

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— First Amendment scholar Steven J. Heyman will deliver the third annual C. Edwin Baker Lecture on Thursday, April 3 at 12 p.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the West Virginia University College of Law

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. A reception in the College of Law lobby will follow the lecture. 

The topic of Heyman’s lecture is “The Conservative-Libertarian Turn in First Amendment Jurisprudence.” The First Amendment protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference.

Heyman is an award-winning professor of law at the Chicago-Kent College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he teaches criminal law, torts, legislation, constitutional law, and the First Amendment. He has written extensively on the foundation and limits of freedom of expression, including “Free Speech and Human Dignity” (Yale University Press, 2008) and “Hate Speech and the Constitution” (Garland/Rutledge, 1996).

The Baker Lecture at WVU Law is presented in honor of C. Edwin Baker, a leading constitutional law scholar who died in 2009. He was the Nicholas F. Gallicchio Professor of Law and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

In 2011, Baker’s family donated his papers to the West Virginia University College of Law. HHhHoused in the George R. Famer, Jr. Law Library, the C. Edwin Baker Collection is a window into the life and work of one of the 20th century’s foremost experts on constitutional law, free speech, and communication law. Portions of the collection will be on display as part of the Baker Lecture on April 3.

WVU national moot court competition to tackle power plant problem

Congratulations to Duquesne University School of Law, winner of the 2014 National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition, and the University of North Dakota School of Law, runner-up. Updated 3/31/14

Competition Schedule

Morgantown, W.Va. – Law students from across the country are competing March 27-29 in the annual  National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition hosted by the  West Virginia University College of Law. 

The first of its kind in the nation, the energy moot court competition was established in 2011 by WVU Law’s  Center for Energy and Sustainable Development.

The moot court competition is designed help students sharpen their legal skills and network with industry professionals and government regulators. Students also learn about important business and environmental issues facing the energy sector.

Antero Resources Corporation gives $100,000 to WVU Law

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—Management and employees of Antero Resources Corporation, a publicly traded oil and natural gas exploration and production company (NYSE: AR) with assets in the Appalachian Basin, have made a $100,000 pledge to the West Virginia University College of Law.

The gift will help support the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at the WVU College of Law. Founded in 2011, the center provides students with opportunities to gain the experience necessary to practice law in the energy sector. It also conducts objective, unbiased research and policy analyses on energy issues.

A portion of the Antero Resources gift will also establish the Kevin and Amy Ellis Endowed Scholarship at the College of Law. Kevin Ellis is a 2005 WVU Law graduate and is employed at Antero Resources in its Bridgeport, W.Va. office.

“We are deeply grateful to the leadership at Antero Resources for their significant support,” saidJoyce E. McConnell, Dean of the College of Law. “When a forward-thinking corporation like Antero makes an investment in legal education, it’s an across-the-board success for everyone involved, but it’s especially great for our students.”

Auction to raise funds for Public Interest Advocates

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —The West Virginia University College of Law will host its 26th annual Public Interest Advocates (PIA) Spring Auction on Thursday, March 20.

The “Great Gatsby” themed event will begin with a buffet-style dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the College of Law lobby, followed by the auction at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public, and tickets for the dinner can be purchased for $8 at the door.

Some of the items up for bid include gift baskets, Pittsburgh Pirates’ tickets, designer handbags, a basketball signed by WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins, weekend get-a-ways, and more.

PIA is a student organization that offers free legal services to clients in need in the community. The PIA Auction helps fund summer and graduate fellowships for law students who wish to work in public interest law.

For more information about the PIA, contact the College’s Center for Law and Public Service at (304) 293-8555 or



Ihlenfeld Lecture to explore Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —The Honorable James G. Carr, Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, will deliver the 22nd annual Charles L. Ihlenfeld Lecture on Public Policy and Ethics on Wednesday, March 26 at 12 p.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the West Virginia University College of Law.

Carr’s lecture will focus on the myths and realities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). FISA outlines the procedures for requesting authorization from the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to use physical and electronic surveillance for national security purposes.

Carr served as a judge for the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 2002 to 2008. He is also co-author of “The Law of Electronic Surveillance” (Thomson-Reuters), a two-volume treatise that analyzes the government’s use of electronic devices to gather evidence.

In 1994, Carr was nominated to be a federal district judge by President Bill Clinton. Prior to that, he had served 16 years as a United States magistrate judge. A graduate of Kenyon College and Harvard Law School, Carr began his law career in private practice in Chicago.

The Charles L. Ihlenfeld (1908-89) Lecture annually brings to the WVU College of Law distinguished speakers in public service and ethics. A prominent lawyer for 56 years and a former mayor of Wheeling, W.Va., Ihlenfeld devoted much of his life to public service. These lectures, established in his memory, honor a life and career marked by significant contributions to the practice of law, to the legal profession, and to civic affairs of his state and community.

WVU Law to host Evan Wolfson discussion on WV and marriage equality

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —Gay rights advocate Evan Wolfson, founder and president of the marriage equality campaign Freedom to Marry, will speak at the West Virginia University College of Law on Tuesday, March 18 at 6 p.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom. 

Wolfson will discuss West Virginia and marriage equality with radio talk show host Hoppy Kercheval. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

As an attorney, Wolfson has been involved in landmark marriage equality cases. He was co-counsel in Baehr v. Miike, one of the first lawsuits to challenge the denial of same-sex marriage. He also contributed to the legal teams in the Vermont case that led to the creation of civil unions, and Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which led to marriage equality in Massachusetts.

A 1983 Harvard Law School graduate, Wolfson is the author of “Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry” (Simon & Schuster, 2004). In 2004, he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and in 2012 he was a recipient of the Barnard Medal of Distinction.

In 2000, Wolfson argued before the United States Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court supported Boy Scouts’ right to expel Dale, a scoutmaster and Eagle Scout, based on his sexual orientation.

Radio talk show host Kercheval has been a broadcaster with the West Virginia Radio Corporation since 1976. He is a founder of West Virginia MetroNews and has been the host of Talkline, the network’s signature program, since 1993. Kercheval is a recipient of the Mel Burka Distinguished Broadcaster Award from the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.

WVU College of Law rises in latest U.S. News rankings

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —The West Virginia University College of Law is ranked a top law school for the third consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report. In its 2015 Best Graduate Schools guide, the magazine ranks WVU Law #83—its highest ranking to date—out of 194 accredited law schools.

Last year, U.S. News ranked WVU Law #91. Two years ago, the magazine ranked the school #101.

“This is exceptional news and we are very happy to see WVU Law continue to rise in these national rankings,” said Joyce McConnell, Dean of the College of Law. “This recognition speaks to the fine work being done by our faculty and staff to ensure a high-quality legal education and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of alumni, friends, university leadership, and the law community.”

U.S. News collects a number of statistics to compile its annual law school rankings, including peer assessment, employment rate, student-faculty ratio, and bar passage rate.

WVU Immigration Law Students Win Deportation Case

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — One thing law students hope to achieve is an education with a purpose. 

One way the West Virginia University College of Law is ensuring that happens is through its clinical law program, where students are gaining practice-ready experience while serving those in need. 

Third-year students Katie Wilson and Babatunde Adedapo recently experienced the professional and personal success of working on a real-world case. For the past several months, they have been helping a detained Mexican national as part of their work in the WVU Immigration Law Clinic.

Married, with five children, the client has been living with his family in the U.S. for more than a decade. Wilson and Adedapo took on the case last fall after an immigration judge ordered his deportation.

Wilson and Adedapo recently learned that the Board of Immigration Appeals, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, has sent their client’s case back to a lower court immigration judge for reconsideration. He is now one step closer to his dream of becoming a U.S. citizen and reuniting with his family.

To win their case, Wilson and Adedapo successfully argued that their client was not properly advised of the specific types of evidence he needed to support his application to stay in the U.S. 
They also proved that he was not made aware of free legal services, such as WVU’s Immigration Law Clinic.

Jackson Kelly's Michael D. Foster presents the McClaugherty Law Scholarship

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jackson Kelly PLLC Managing Member Michael D. Foster recently had the honor of presenting the Jackson Kelly PLLC/ John L. McClaugherty Law Scholarship to first-year law student Ben Hogan.

The scholarship fund was founded by Jackson Kelly and John L. McClaugherty in honor of law professor Forest Jackson “Jack” Bowman. This high academic honor is awarded to a first-year student who must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.4 (on a 4.0 scale), and rank in the 75th percentile, or higher, on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Second- and third-year recipients must have at least a “B” average in law school to receive (or renew) the scholarship.

Jackson Kelly’s longstanding relationship with WVU College of Law has included the creation of theWVU Law William T. O’Farrell Conference Room, and of the Jackson Kelly Professorship.

Client Focus, Industry Insight, National Reputation. Jackson Kelly PLLC is a national law firm with more than 200 attorneys located in eleven offices throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado and the District of Columbia. Focusing on clients’ industry-specific needs, the Firm serves a wide variety of corporate and public clients and enjoys a national reputation in business, labor and employment, litigation, government contracts, tax, safety and health, permitting, natural resource and environmental law. The Firm’s clients and peers recognize its commitment to providing superior client service as Jackson Kelly has repeatedly been selected as a Go-To Law Firm for the Top 500 Companies in the U.S. and is regularly named to BTI’s Client Service A-Team.

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