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Prof. Martin named to "50 Under 50" list

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –  West Virginia University College of Law faculty member  Jena Martin has been named one of the top minority law professors in the country. 

Martin, an associate professor of law, is featured in the “50 Under 50” list in the 2014 “Law School Diversity Special Issue” published this month by Lawyers of Color. 

A member of the WVU Law faculty since 2009, Martin teaches courses in business organizations, international business transactions, and securities regulations. Her areas of research include the growing field of business and human rights. 

Last fall, Martin organized a business and human rights conference at WVU. Supported by the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, it offered an examination of the issues and advances in the field with leading experts from around the world.

Earlier this year, Martin spoke at the Second United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.

Martin graduated with degrees in history and political science from McGill University in 1994 and she earned her J.D. from Howard University School of Law in 1997. She received her LL.M. in International Law from the University of Texas Law School in 2006.

Prior to joining the faculty at WVU Law, Martin worked as an associate at Ross, Dixon & Bell in Washington, D.C.; as a senior counsel for the United State Securities & Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement; and as a consultant for Bloomberg L.P. in Washington, D.C. She also worked pro bono for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

WVU law and medical school partnership earns national recognition

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A program between West Virginia University’s College of Law and School of Medicine has received formal recognition from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (NCMLP).

Based at George Washington University, the NCMLP works to build a better healthcare team that can identify, address, and prevent health-harming legal needs for patients, clinics, and populations. Only 37 law schools and 30 medical schools in the country are members of the program.

“Recognition by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership puts WVU among the top schools in the country,” Joyce McConnell, dean of the College of Law, said. “In addition to providing a valuable service to the community, the program gives our law and medical students the opportunity to deal with real-world situations faced by families.”

Established in 2010, the WVU Medical-Legal Partnership is a collaborative effort between the clinical law program at the College of Law and the Department of Pediatrics the School of Medicine.

Peck named WVU Law's Significant Scholarship Award Winner

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Associate Professor of Law Alison Peck has been named the winner of the College of Law’s 2013-2014 Significant Scholarship Award.

The Significant Scholarship Award is given annually to a law faculty member whose written work addresses an important public issue while demonstrating their ability to conduct thorough research through clear and concise writing.

Peck, who teaches and writes in the area of sustainable development law, won the award for her article, “Does Regulation Chill Democratic Deliberation? The Case of GMOS,” which takes a close look at the role administrative agencies play in the regulation of emerging technologies. It was published in volume 46 of the Creighton Law Review in 2013.

“This article raises important questions of administrative law and democratic theory, and lays groundwork for further discussion of the proper balance between regulatory and legislative action and potential legal reforms to assure that balance,” said Joyce McConnell, dean of the College of Law.

WVU Law professors Jena MartinBrad Smith, and Matthew Titolo served on the Significant Scholarship Award Committee.

“Professor Peck’s article meets all the hallmarks of outstanding scholarship,” the committee said in a joint statement.

In TIME, Prof. Smith defends SCOTUS ruling on political contributions

Morgantown, W.Va.—WVU Law professor Bradley Smith supports the majority opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC.

A conservative businessman, McCutcheon argued that the FEC limits on the amount he could contribute to a political campaign during a two-year period was a violation of the First Amendment.

Smith takes the stance that fears and not facts of corruption tied to campaign contributions has led to “tremendous regulatory overkill.”

Writing in TIME magazine’s April 2 issue, Smith said:

“The case turned on a substantial infringement on our First Amendment right to freely associate — the so-called “aggregate contribution limit.” The aggregate contribution limit should not be confused with “base limits.” Base limits restrict the ability of any individual to give unlimited sums to a candidate, party, or PAC.”

According to Smith, the government argument hinged on “a series of wild hypotheticals, completely unbound from common campaign practice or common sense.”

West Virginia Innocent Project students attend national conference

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—Third-year law students Natalie Arvizu and Kristin Kearns recently attended the National Innocence Network Conference in Portland, Ore., which provided them with an opportunity to share ideas with and learn from others in the specialized field of post-conviction relief. 

In addition to the education that Arvizu and Kearns received as a part of the two-day conference, they were given the chance to meet numerous exonerees and hear their stories. 

“Seeing all the exonerees on stage reminded me why I do this work,” said Kearns. “They are my inspiration going forward.” 
Arvizu and Kearns also attended the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Post-Conviction Training, which was held the day before the Innocence Network Conference.

“Each lecture gave us the opportunity to not only hear from people with years of experience, but also hear from people with different perspectives on the criminal justice system.” Arvizu said. “There were attorneys, scientists, policymakers, and exonorees all sharing their experiences and knowledge.”

Ultimately, the students learned techniques that will help them obtain post-conviction relief for their clients. In addition, they got the invaluable opportunity to meet people, both attorneys and exonerees, whose lives have been forever changed by wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system.

Stone named editor-in-chief of West Virginia Law Review

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University College of Law student David Stone has been selected by his peers to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of the West Virginia Law Review for the 2014-2015 academic year.

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. 

“We’ve got some brilliant, hardworking people on the law review, and to have been chosen to lead that group is quite an honor,” said Stone, who was an associate editor for the law review this year.

As editor-in-chief, Stone’s responsibilities will include publishing three issues that lend practical value to the legal community. He will work closely with faculty advisor Gregory Bowman, professor of law and associate dean for academic affairs.

A native of Morgantown, W.Va., Stone earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from American University, where he was also a member of the men’s golf team. After earning a master’s degree in sport management from WVU, Stone worked for a PGA golf tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the American Cancer Society in Washington, D.C.

Before enrolling in WVU Law, Stone was a fundraiser for the university. This summer, he will be working for the law firm Jackson Kelly PLLC in Charleston, W.Va.

WVU Law hosting mini conference with Pittsburgh law schools

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University College of Law is hosting the Mon River Law Faculty Colloquium on Thursday, April 10 and Friday, April 11.

The third annual event, formerly known as the Tri-School Colloquium, brings together faculty fromWVU College of Law, Duquesne University School of Law, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law to share research on a broad range of topics. Duquesne and Pitt have previously hosted the colloquium.

WVU Law’s Anne Marie Lofaso, associate dean for faculty research and development and professor of law, said the colloquium fosters collaboration between the Morgantown and Pittsburgh universities.

“It’s an opportunity to transcend school boundaries and work collegially toward increasing the body of knowledge in the field of law,” she said. 
Presentations at the Mon River Law Faculty Colloquium are split between junior faculty on April 10 and senior faculty on April 11. They will be held in the Davis Gallery and the new event hall at the College of Law. Following each presentation, faculty will have the opportunity to engage in discussion and offer feedback.

Law students visit WV Supreme Court to compete in moot court competition

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Students of the West Virginia University College of Law visited the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia on Wednesday, March 26, for the final arguments of the annual George C. Baker Cup Moot Court Competition.

Finalists for the 2014 George C. Baker Cup competition argued in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals after the original court date was canceled due to a winter storm earlier this year. Second-year law student Marissa Grace won the competition, with second-year Jeremy Hylton as the runner-up. The Best Brief and Best Oral Advocate awards were won by second-year Andrew C. Robey.

Competition winner Marissa Grace is from Williamson, W.Va. A WVU graduate with a B.A. in Political Science, she became a WVU Law student because of the college’s dedication to energy law.

“Having the opportunity to actually stand in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court and present an argument to the Justices that are helping to shape the legal landscape of West Virginia is something I will never forget,” said Grace.

Upon graduating, Grace hopes to work in the energy law field.

Wilson earns top average score on state CPA exam

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —Third-year West Virginia University College of Law student Alan Wilson has earned the top average score on the four-part West Virginia Certified Public Accountant exam.

The West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants will present Wilson with its 2014 Certificate of Merit Award on May 9 in Charleston. He earned an average score of 89.25 out of 99 on the exam.

On May 10, Wilson will graduate from WVU with a law degree. He has accepted a position to start this fall at the law firm WilmerHale in Washington, D.C.

According to Wilson, receiving the CPA award reassures him that he’s on the right career path.

Bowman Named Outstanding Teacher by WVU Foundation

Law professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Gregory Bowman is one of just three recipients of the 2014 Award for Outstanding Teaching from the West Virginia University Foundation

The WVU Foundation established the awards in 1985 as a way to celebrate faculty who’ve established patterns of distinguished teaching and exceptional innovation in teaching methods, course and curriculum design, and instructional tools. 

“I believe passionately in the importance of education as a way to better our society,” Bowman said. “And our students at WVU Law come from all walks of life and bring so many amazing and diverse talents and perspectives into the classroom. My job isn’t really to ‘teach’ them by imparting knowledge—my job is to help them discover and unlock their inner potential and take that potential out into the world.”

Bowman’s expertise is in the areas of administrative law, contracts, international law, and international business and trade law. He also helps lead WVU Law’s study abroad program. He joined the law faculty in 2009 as a visiting professor and was named College of Law Professor of the Year in 2011.

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