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Harvard's Lani Guinier to discuss higher education reform in WVU Law lecture on November 5

Lani Guinier

Lani GuinierMORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Lani Guinier, Harvard law professor and pioneering civil rights advocate, will deliver the annual Baker Lecture at the West Virginia University College of Law on Thursday, November 5, at 12 p.m. in the event hall. 

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture. 

In her latest book, “The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America” (Beacon Press, 2015), Guinier calls for a reshaping of higher education to better serve society by educating more students from diverse backgrounds. The current higher education model in the U.S., she argues, fails its mission of equal opportunity and social mobility by continuing to serve and reward the privileged.

Guinier is the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law and the first woman of color appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School. Throughout her career, she has addressed issues of race, gender, and democratic decision-making, and sought new ways of approaching questions like affirmative action while calling for candid public discourse on these topics.

In 1993, President Clinton nominated Guinier to be the first black woman for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The nomination was withdrawn following a wave of controversy and negative press.

The Baker Lecture at WVU College of Law is presented annually 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.

Lister appointed to NALP regional council

Lister appointed to NALP regional council

Lister appointed to NALP regional councilMORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA— Rosalind Lister, assistant director of career services at WVU College of Law, was recently selected to fulfill the remaining 18 months of a term as a Regional Representative for National Association for Law Placement (NALP) Southeast Region.

Regional Representatives serve on the NALP Regional Resource Council and facilitate the flow of information between members and the NALPBoard, identify regional issues and volunteer opportunities, support the existing groups in the region, and participate in and plan annual education conference activities. NALP’s five regions are Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, and West/Rocky Mountain.

Lister joined the WVU Law staff in 2006. She earned her M.S.Ed. in Counseling & College Student Personnel and B.A. in Communication from Purdue University.


WVU Law Fisher Lecture to address copyrighting engineered DNA


MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Copyright protects original works of writing, music and art. Law professor and biotech scholar Christopher Holman wants to add engineered DNA to that list.

Holman will discuss broadening copyright laws to include engineered DNA when he delivers the annual John W. Fisher II Lecture in Law and Medicine at the  West Virginia University College of Law on Friday, October 30.

The lecture takes place at 12:00 p.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. A reception will follow in the College of Law lobby.

WVU Law offering a free IP seminar for entrepreneurs

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – In today’s competitive business world, entrepreneurs can face a variety of legal questions when it comes to protecting their original ideas and work, also known as intellectual property (IP), from unauthorized use.

To help answer some of those questions, the West Virginia University College of Law is hosting afree IP seminar for business owners, inventors, consultants, students and lawyers on Tuesday, November 3. Featuring patent attorneys and other experts, the seminar will be held from 2:00–5:30 p.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom.

The keynote speaker is Craig Morris, managing attorney for Trademark Outreach at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C. Presenters include experienced IP attorneys Dusty Gwinn, Monika Jaensson and Michael Smith, and WVU Libraries patent and trademark librarian Marian Armour-Gemmen.

Attendees will also learn from numerous entrepreneurs as they share stories about the creation and protection of their company’s IP.

Professor Fershee addresses shale oil and gas impact on transportation

Joshua Fershee, professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and development, recently spoke at the 14th Annual Kratovil Conference on Real Estate Law & Practice in Chicago, Illinois.

Hosted by The John Marshall Law School, the conference focused on “Fracking, Energy Sources, Climate Change and Real Estate.” 

Fershee’s presentation discussed the impacts of shale oil and gas on the future of personal and commercial transportation. 

“When gasoline and diesel fuels prices were climbing and with concerns about climate change increasing, the appeal of alternative transportation fuels was beginning to grow,” Fershee said. “But hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and natural gas lead to dramatically lower prices for both resources.”

Fershee discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the various fuel options in this new landscape. He suggested that the most sensible fuel switch for most residential transportation would be to electricity, via plug-in hybrid.

“With one fuel switch, electric vehicles can run on any fuel — coal, nuclear, gas, wind, solar, or hydro — that is used for electricity generation,” he said.

The Kratovil is the only conference presented by a law school that addresses the policy and practical implications of issues of concern to the real estate industry and to the attorneys who practice in the field.

WVU Law named a Best Value

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—West Virginia University College of Law is among just 20 law schools nationally to receive a Best Value grade of A- from The National Jurist/preLaw Magazine.

The magazines recognize Best Value Law Schools as those that provide students with “excellent chances of passing the bar and getting a legal job without taking on a ton of debt.”

“We appreciate the recognition of our efforts and results,” said Gregory W. Bowman, dean of the College of Law. “The faculty, staff and administration work hard to deliver the best possible legal education while keeping expenses for our students as low as possible.”

Ten months after graduation, the WVU Law Class of 2014 had an employment rate of 77.5% for full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required and J.D. Advantage jobs. The national average is 71.1%.

WVU Law also awards more than $2.3 million a year in scholarships and grants to help keep student indebtedness to approximately $24,000 lower than the national average.


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