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Professor Wilson wins faculty scholarship award

WVU Law Professor Elaine Wilson

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Tax law professor Elaine Wilson is the recipient of the 2016-17 Significant Scholarship Award at WVU Law.

She won the in-house award for her article Cooperatives: The First Social Enterprise, which will be published by the DePaul Law Review later this year. In the article, Wilson addresses the challenges faced by philanthropic organizations that pursue solutions to social problems by funding for-profit business.

According to Wilson, charitable values and economic benefits can be pursued at the same time with a cooperative business structure. She notes that several states have recently developed organizational models, such as low-profit limited liability entities and benefit corporations, that are designed to give profit to investors while spending money on charitable causes.

“This article exemplifies the outstanding scholarship our professors produce surrounding issues in their field of law,” said Joshua Fershee, associate dean for faculty research and development at the College of Law. “Professor Wilson addresses a relevant, widespread challenge and outlines ways to pursue productive enterprise while providing support for the cooperative movement in the charitable sector.”

WVU Law's employment rate beats the national average

WVU Law Class of 2016

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Graduates from WVU Law are employed at rates higher than the national average.

That is the message in employment data recently released by the American Bar Association (ABA) for the Class of 2016 from 204 law schools.

The employment rate for WVU Law’s Class of 2016 is 76.5 percent for full-time, long-term jobs that are "Bar Passage Required" or "J.D. Advantage" — the gold standard for law school graduates. That is almost four points higher than national average of 72.6 percent.

WVU Law Dean Gregory Bowman“A law degree from WVU definitely has value,” said  Gregory W. Bowman, dean of the College of Law. “It’s a competitive job market and we work hard to prepare our students for careers in the law. Employers like what they see in our graduates.”

The Class of 2017 graduates from WVU Law

WVU Law 2017 Commencement

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — The College of Law awarded degrees to 104 graduates on May 12 in a ceremony at the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the WVU Creative Arts Center.

"As you go forth to live your lives greatly within the law, it is vital that you do so with idealism, so as to bring distinction upon yourselves, upon your school, and upon the legal profession," Gregory Bowman, Dean of the College of Law, told the graduates.

John Taylor, the Jackson Kelly Professor of Law, was selected Professor of the Year by the Class of 2017 and he delivered the traditional commencement address.

Taylor advised the graduates that the world pays a lot of attention to talent, but talent alone does not make a good lawyer.

Barnhart argues in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

WVU Law student Kylie Barnhart Class of 2017

Kylie Barnhart graduates from WVU Law on May 12, yet one of the biggest days of her law school career already happened. 

Earlier this semester, Barnhart argued a case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia.

She was chosen to deliver the oral argument (MP3 audio) on behalf of Anthony Martin, a client of WVU Law’s United States Supreme Court Law Clinic.

Martin, who is incarcerated, brought First Amendment retaliation, equal protection and due process claims against an official in the South Carolina Department of Corrections (Anthony Martin v. Susan Duffy, Docket Number 16-6132).

Professor Oliva named a national Bellow Scholar

WVU Law Professor Jennifer Oliva

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Jennifer Oliva, associate professor of law and public health at WVU, has been selected a Bellow Scholar by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

Only four Bellow Scholars were selected this year and Oliva is the first WVU professor to be named a Bellow Scholar. The program recognizes and supports the research projects of clinical law teachers seeking to improve the quality of justice in communities, to enhance the delivery of legal services, and to promote economic and social justice.

Oliva is the director of the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic at WVU Law. She is conducting interdisciplinary research to help veterans released from prison return to society and lead productive lives.

For the next two years, OIiva will receive critical feedback and support for her research from former Bellow Scholars. In turn, she will present her work at AALS conferences and workshops throughout the country.

2L Ryan Wallace elected to Morgantown City Council

WVU Law student Ryan Wallace - Morgantown City Council

West Virginia University students make a difference in Morgantown in a variety of ways, but one WVU Law student will make his mark as a decision-maker on City Council.

Ryan Wallace, a rising third-year student, was elected in April and will begin his two-year term July 1.

Wallace, who plans a career in public interest law, campaigned on improving Morgantown’s infrastructure, quality of life, and community growth. He wants to help repair streets, sidewalks and lighting infrastructure, increase the transparency and effectiveness of the City’s Code Enforcement Department, and encourage a productive and goal-oriented working environment among city council members.

“After getting to know Morgantown’s politics and hearing concerns from other residents, I thought I could bring in a new perspective and some valuable skills to our local government,” he said.

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