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Powell appointed to Equal Justice Works National Advisory Committee

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—Jennifer Powell, director of the Center for Law and Public Service at the West Virginia University College of Law, has been appointed to the Equal Justice Works National Advisory Committee.

Powell will serve a two-year term on the committee, working with fellow members to expand public interest opportunities for law students and lawyers.

“I am excited to participate and use what I learn to help our students begin and sustain careers in public interest fields,” she said.

Before becoming the Director of the Center for Law and Public Service in 2013, Powell spent nine years as the assistant dean for Career Services. She is a member of the West Virginia State Bar and she earned her J.D. from the WVU College of Law in 1997.

About Equal Justice Works

Founded by law students in 1986, Equal Justice Works (EJW) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. To achieve this, EJW offers a continuum of opportunities for law students and lawyers that provide the training and skills that enable them to provide effective representation to underserved communities and causes. To help foster public interest values in students, EJW collaborates with law schools to expand public interest programming on law school campuses and hosts one of the largest public interest law conference career fairs in the country, bringing students and public interest employers from across the country together in one place for job opportunities, networking and leadership training.

WVU Law names three new associate deans

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—Gregory Bowman, dean of the West Virginia University College of Law, recently appointed three faculty members to his leadership team. 

Professor Kendra Fershee will serve as the associate dean for academic affairs. She has been a member of the WVU Law faculty since 2012, teaching family law, civil procedure, and professional responsibility. Fershee is the associate editor of the Family Law Quarterly, an American Bar Association publication, and she will become editor-in-chief in fall 2016. She earned a J.D. from Tulane Law School and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Professor Joshua Fershee is the new associate dean for faculty research and development. The husband of Kendra Fershee, he also joined the faculty of WVULaw in fall 2012. A member of the college’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, Fershee’s research is primarily on energy and business law. He is also director of WVU’s LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law. Fershee earned a J.D. from Tulane Law School and a B.A. from Michigan State University.

Professor Jena Martin is serving in the newly-created position of associate dean for innovation and global development. A member of the WVU Law faculty since 2009, Martin teaches courses in business organizations, international business transactions, and securities regulations. Her research includes the growing field of business and human rights, and she hosted an international conference on the subject at WVU in 2013. Martin was featured in the “50 Under 50” list published by Lawyers of Color magazine in 2014.

Greg Elkins continues as associate dean for administration and finance, a position he has held at the College of Law since 2012. Elkins earned an Ed.D. from Texas Tech University and an M.A. and B.A. from Marshall University.



American Pain panel August 31 to explore painkiller epidemic

When West Virginia University Associate Professor John Temple read an article about the country’s deadliest pill mill, he was fascinated by the story and wanted to uncover more.

The result is his third book, “American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic.” The book is the true story of twin brothers Chris and Jeff George, who ran an illegal painkiller distribution scheme through a Florida-based chain of pain clinics. The clinic’s physicians distributed massive quantities of oxycodone to addicts posing as patients—giving rise to a new drug industry that tipped the current opioid crisis.

In recognition of the book’s debut, the WVU Reed College of Media and the WVU College of Law will co-host a panel discussion, “American Pain: Examining the Painkiller Epidemic,” to explore the painkiller epidemic in the United States and its impact on society. The event will be on Monday, August 31, at 7 p.m. in the College of Law’s Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom. Temple says it’s important to have this public conversation about painkillers because so many West Virginians have been affected by prescription drug abuse.

“There’s not a person in Appalachia who hasn’t been affected by the painkiller epidemic in some way,” said Temple. “I’m hoping this event and my book will help educate the public about the deadly effects of opioids. Just because these drugs are prescribed by a doctor doesn’t mean they’re safe.”

Meet the WVU Law Class of 2018

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—This is orientation week for the 103 members of the Class of 2018 at the West Virginia University College of Law.

Since Monday (August 10), these future lawyers have been learning the ins and outs of law school and getting to know each other and the faculty and staff.

The WVU Law Class of 2018 comes from 14 states and two-thirds are from West Virginia. Students who identify themselves as a minority make up 11 percent of the class and 42 percent are female. The age range is 21 to 49 years old; the median LSAT score is 153; and the median undergraduateGPA is 3.35.

Students in the Class of 2018 graduated from almost every college and university in West Virginia, including WVU, Marshall, Shepherd, Fairmont State, Wheeling Jesuit, and West Virginia Wesleyan.

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