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Landmen association raises $22,000 for veterans law clinic

WVU Law - MLBC logo

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — A local chapter of the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) recently donated $22,000 to the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic at West Virginia University.

The Michael Late Benedum Chapter of the AAPL raised the funds at its third annual Charity Clay Shoot, Dinner and Auction. The event received support from 27 oil and gas companies and service providers as well as numerous other firms and individuals.

“I’m very humbled by the support but I’m not surprised at all. We are surrounded by great people that show up and support worthy causes such as the WVU Veterans Law Clinic,” said Anthony Romeo, founder of the shoot, a veteran and an employee at Arsenal Resources.

The 2017 Michael Late Benedum Chapter is comprised of 1,500 land professionals engaged in the oil, gas, and mineral industries throughout the Appalachian Basin.

BrickStreet endows $100,000 scholarship at WVU Law

WVU Law - attorney Thomas Flaherty

A scholarship at WVU Law, endowed by The BrickStreet Foundation and honoring Charleston attorney Thomas V. Flaherty, was announced October 27 at the University’s  Board of Governors meeting. 

The $100,000 gift was announced by W. Marston Becker, a member of both the BrickStreet and WVU boards. Flaherty, also a member of both boards, is immediate past chair of the BrickStreet board and immediate past president of the WVU board. 

“The gift is modest recognition of all that Tom has contributed to both boards,” said Becker, a 1977 WVU Law graduate.

“This gift announced today is a way to honor a great West Virginian who has given so much of his time and effort to make a significant difference both at BrickStreet and WVU,” said Greg Burton, BrickStreet executive chairman. “It has been an honor and privilege to work side-by-side over the past 10 years with such an outstanding leader.” 

Global law firm CEO and WV native speaking at WVU on November 6

WVU Law - Dentons logo

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — West Virginia native Elliott Portnoy, the global chief executive officer of the world’s largest law firm, Dentons, will speak at the West Virginia University Erickson Alumni Center at 4 p.m. on November 6.

Portnoy will reflect on how his Mountain State roots and WVU connections have contributed to his professional success and continue to help him lead a $2 billion business. The title of his speech is “Go Big and Go Home!”

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. There will be a reception at 3:30 p.m. Please RSVP to

“My current success has everything to do with where it all started,” said Portnoy, who graduated from Morgantown High School in 1983, “including selling sodas at Mountaineer Field.”

Appalachian Justice Initiative panel to explore mass incarceration

WVU Law - The Divide - photo credit Raymond Thompson

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA - The Appalachian Justice Initiative (AJI) at West Virginia University is hosting a discussion about mass incarceration on November 1 at 5 p.m. in the Event Hall at the WVU College of Law.

Panelists for “Mass Incarceration in Appalachia” include Jeri Kirby, assistant professor of criminal justice at Fairmont State University; Betsy Jividen, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia; Rich MacAllaster, president of the re-entry organization Recidivism Zero (RZero); and Raymond Thompson, a WVU multimedia producer and freelance photographer.

WVU law professor Valena Beety , director of the West Virginia Innocence Project, will serve as moderator.  

 “AJI is about recognizing and listening to the voices of all of our community members, including those most stigmatized, such as Appalachian prisoners and former offenders,” said Beety, a founding member of AJI.

WVU Law named a Best Value Law School (again)

WVU Law Dean Greg Bowman

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA— The National Jurist and preLaw Magazine have once again named WVU Law a best value.

WVU Law scored an A-, which is a higher grade than 160 other law schools approved by the American Bar Association.

The publications selects Best Value Law Schools based on bar passage and employment rates, tuition, cost of living and average student indebtedness upon graduation.

“WVU Law’s consistent recognition as a Best Value Law School, year after year, shows just how deeply committed we are to providing students with affordable, high quality legal education that leads to meaningful careers,” said Gregory W. Bowman, dean of the College of Law.

Powell '85 sworn in as US Attorney for Northern District of WV

WVU Law - 1985 graduate William Powell

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – William J. Powell '85 has taken the oath of office to become the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia. Powell was nominated by President Donald Trump on August 3, 2017 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 3, 2017. 

Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh '89 administered the oath of office to U.S. attorney Powell today.

“I am honored and humbled to be named as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia. I’m excited to start working with the very fine staff and attorneys in the district on the very important work that needs to get done,” said Powell.

As U.S. Attorney, Powell is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Northern District of West Virginia, which includes offices in Wheeling, Martinsburg, Clarksburg, and Elkins. He oversees a staff of 45 employees, including 21 attorneys and 24 non-attorney support personnel. The office is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in the district, including crimes related to terrorism, public corruption, child exploitation, firearms, and narcotics. The office also defends the United States in civil cases and collects debts owed to the United States.

Former ACLU president speaking at WVU on October 24

WVU Law - Nadine Strossen - ACLU - NY Law School

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — The immediate past president of the American Civil Liberties Union and law school professor will speak at West Virginia University on October 24. 

Nadine Strossen, currently the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at the New York Law School, will speak at the JG Theater in the WVU Mountainlair at 4:00 p.m.  

The event is co-hosted by the WVU College of Law and the Center for Free Enterprise at the College of Business and Economics. WVU students, the West Virginia University community and the public are invited to attend the free event.

“No cause is more important than the defense and preservation of our constitutional rights,” said Gregory W. Bowman, dean of the WVU College of Law. “Organizations such as the ACLU and dedicated lawyers like Nadine Strossen fight for our rights every day.”

Oxford law professor to discuss private law and human rights

WVU Law - Oxford law professor Hugh Collins

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Oxford University law professor Hugh Collins will deliver this fall’s  C. Edwin Baker Lecture for Liberty, Equality and Democracy at the  West Virginia University  College of Law.

Collins will discuss “Private Law, Fundamental Rights, and the Rule of Law” on October 23 at 1 p.m. in the Event Hall at the College of Law.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

The lecture will address the impact of fundamental human rights on legal disputes between companies or private individuals, particularly in cases of contract, tort and property law.

WVU Law energy conference to explore state's economic opportunities

WVU Law 2017 National Energy Conference - coal-solar-wind-cracker plant

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — The sixth annual National Energy Conference at West Virginia University will look at the state’s the emerging energy economy.

The free, one-day conference will be held on October 20 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the WVU College of Law. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. Registration for lunch is required via the conference website .

The energy conference will feature experts from industry, public policy organizations, environmental groups, and academic institutions. It is being hosted by the WVU College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development and the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation.

“Our goal is to bring together policy makers and practitioners, with a focus on sound science, to help lead West Virginia into an environmentally responsible and economically viable energy future,” said Shanda Minney, executive director of the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation.

Clean Power Plan rollback will not help coal jobs - Professor Van Nostrand

WVU Law Professor Jamie Van Nostrand

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Professor James Van Nostrand, director of WVU Law's Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, has issued the following statement about the Trump administration's repeal of the EPA's Clean Power Plan:

The rollback of the Clean Power Plan will have little, if any, effect in bringing coal jobs back. The adoption of the Clean Power Plan had virtually no effect on the coal industry — it was years away before the regulations would have been implemented, in any event — and thus revoking the rule will have no positive impact on coal jobs. 

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