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Professor McGinley wins Kravchenko Environmental Award

Patrick McGinley

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA --  Patrick McGinley, the Charles H. Haden II Professor of Law at West Virginia University, is the 2016 winner of the Svitlana Kravchenko Environmental Rights Award.

The award recognizes McGinley's "work as a legal scholar, teacher, and public interest environmental litigator [who] has been committed to the rule of law, speaking truth to power, mentoring law students and lawyers and empowering families and communities marginalized by discrimination based on race, wealth, and ethnicity."

The Land Air Water, the nation’s oldest and largest student environmental law society at the University of Oregon, presents the award annually at its Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.

McGinley has been a leader in environmental law during a career that has spanned more than 40 years. Among his accomplishments, he litigated —- and won —- the first mountaintop removal case; he represented a citizen’s group that preserved the Cranberry Backcountry in West Virginia’s Highlands as federal wilderness; and he is a leading authority on the Freedom of Information Act.

Energy conference to focus on the future of coal communities

John D. Rockefeller IV

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — The fifth annual national energy conference at West Virginia University will focus on the impacts of the global energy transition on coal communities in the state and Central Appalachia.

The conference takes place on Friday, April 8, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the WVU College of Law. It will feature experts from industry, public policy organizations, environmental groups, and academic institutions. Former Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) will deliver the keynote address.

The conference is sponsored by the College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development and WVU’s John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. Registration for lunch is required via the conference website.

Professor Cardi elected to The American Law Institute

Professor Vince Cardi

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—West Virginia University College of Law Professor  Vince Cardi has been elected to The American Law Institute (ALI).

Founded in 1923, the ALI is a nonpartisan organization that produces scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. Its membership is limited to 3,000 individuals “who reflect the excellence and diversity of today’s legal profession.” There are only seven ALI members in West Virginia.

The WVU Bowles Rice Professor of Law, Cardi began teaching at the College of Law in 1967. His expertise includes bankruptcy law, commercial law, legal drafting, sale and secured transaction, and contracts law. He is a former recipient of the  West Virginia University Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Cardi serves on the West Virginia State Election Commission, the West Virginia Commission on Uniform State Laws and the national Uniform Law Commission. For more than 20 years, he has been a member of the  West Virginia Law Institute Governing Council. He has also worked with the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review Advisory Board, Legal Aid of West Virginia, and the Ohio River Basin Energy Study.

Cardi received his bachelor’s degree and J.D. from Ohio State University and earned his LL.M. from Harvard University.

-WVU-

Law professor’s new book chronicles baboon conservationist

Because They Needed Me book cover

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — A new book by WVU Law professor Michael Blumenthal chronicles the life and work of conservationist Rita Miljo, who was known as “the Mother Teresa of Baboons.”

In 1989, Miljo founded the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education (CARE) in South Africa. Based on the edge of Kruger National Park, CARE is the world’s largest rescue and rehabilitation center for Cape baboons. 

In 2007, Blumenthal volunteered at CARE and began a deep and unusual friendship with Miljo: he, the son of Holocaust survivors, and she, a childhood member of Hitler Youth. 

Before she died in a fire in 2012, Miljo entrusted Blumenthal with the telling of her story. “Because They Needed Me: Rita Miljo and the Orphaned Baboons of South Africa” (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2016), is drawn from Miljo’s journals spanning 30 years. 

WVU Law continues to be ranked in the Top 100 by U.S. News

WVU Law entrance

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA —The West Virginia University College of Law continues to be ranked a top 100 law school by U.S. News & World Report. 

In its “2017 Best Graduate Schools” guide, the magazine ranks WVU Law #97 out of 196 accredited law schools. 

“The U.S. News rankings are highly competitive,” said Gregory Bowman, dean of the College of Law. “The fact that WVU Law is a top 100 law school is largely due to our innovative programs, the high-quality legal education we offer, and the career opportunities our students have when they graduate. Our faculty and staff work hard to make our law school exceptional, and it shows. We also benefit enormously from the generous support of alumni, friends, the legal community, and WVU’s leadership.”

To compile its 2017 law school rankings, U.S. News used statistics from 2014 and 2015, including data on peer assessment, LSAT scores, employment rate, and bar passage rate.

Jaci Gonzales Martin '10 to discuss her role in Obergefell v. Hodges marriage equality decision

U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality crowd

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA —A Mountaineer was on the front lines of history last year when the Supreme Court of the United States made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

Jacklyn “Jaci” Gonzales Martin was co-counsel for Jim Obergefell in the groundbreaking civil rights case Obergefell v. Hodges. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from West Virginia University.

Martin is returning to campus to discuss her part in the Supreme Court decision on Thursday, March 31, at 6:00 p.m. in the Event Hall at the WVU College of Law.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

WVU Law hosting a strategic cannabis conference

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — The West Virginia University College of Law is hosting a conference to discuss the legal medical and industrial use of cannabis in the state.

Land use clinic published legal guide to dilapidated property

dilapidated property

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Throughout West Virginia, communities trying to attract economic development are faced with abandoned and neglected buildings. In addition to being eyesores, these properties can be health and safety hazards.

To help local governments, a clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law has published a free guide to navigating the legal issues of dealing with dilapidated properties.

“From Liability to Viability: A Legal Toolkit to Address Neglected Properties in West Virginia” was written by the attorneys in the Land Use and Sustainable Development (LUSD) Law Clinic at the WVU College of Law.

The easy-to-use handbook identifies the various tools available to attorneys, mayors, code enforcement officers, land use planners and community leaders. It is based on dozens of interviews conducted statewide with experts as well as in-depth reviews of local ordinances. 

WVU Law offering LL.M. degrees online

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA —The West Virginia University College of Law will start offering its two Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees online beginning summer 2016.

The LL.M. is an advanced degree for lawyers seeking additional specialization to deepen their legal skills and improve job opportunities. The College of Law offers LL.M. degrees in Energy and Sustainable Development Law and in Forensic Justice.

“WVU Law’s two LL.M. degrees are international caliber programs,” said Gregory Bowman, Dean of the College of Law. “Now that we are offering them online, practicing lawyers and recent graduates living virtually anywhere can benefit from these degrees and WVU’s expert law faculty.”

The LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law is designed for attorneys seeking deeper knowledge of law, regulations, and policy related to energy, the environment and sustainable development. The degree is supported by the faculty and programs in the College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development and the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic.

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