Skip to main content


WVU Law named a top environmental law school for second year

WVU Law - 2019 Top Environmental Law School Badge

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU Law has been named a top environmental law school for a second year.

In its current issue, preLaw Magazine gives WVU College of Law a grade of A for the range of its energy and environmental law classes and related opportunities. Just 14 law schools in the nation score higher.

“We are excited to receive this national recognition once again, especially for what it means to our students and alumni,” said Gregory Bowman , dean of the College of Law. “As a leading law school in a region rich in natural resources, we offer a well-rounded program in energy and environmental law and policy that prepares students for their legal careers.”

Students at WVU Law can earn a concentration in energy and sustainable development law or earn a dual degree J.D./LL.M. (Master of Laws) in energy and sustainable development law.

WVU national moot court competition March 7-9 deals with coal ash impoundment

Update (March 9, 2019): William & Mary emerged as the champion of our 9th Annual Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition, defeating Yale in the finals in arguments before six federal judges. The other semifinalists were LSU and George Washington.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Law students from across the country are gathering in Morgantown March 7-9 for the ninth annual  National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition, hosted by WVU Law.

This year's problem involves coal ash impoundments and whether there is jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act for pollutants that leak from a coal ash impoundment into navigable waters. The problem also involves a utility company’s ability to recover its costs for repairing environmental damages in rates charged to customers.

Nineteen law schools are sending 30 teams to the moot court competition, which is organized by WVU’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development.    

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia to Hear Arguments at WVU Law on March 5

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will convene at WVU Law on March 5 to hear arguments in three cases.

The court convenes at 10 a.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom. Admission is free and the court’s session is open to the public. Seating begins at 9 a.m.

In Heather Humphrey, et al. vs. Westchester Limited Partnership, et al. the justices will hear arguments in a case that involves a wrongful death action filed against the operators of a bar and grill in Fairmont.

The second case before the justices will be Certegy Check Services Inc. vs. Janice Fuller. It is a Motion to Compel Arbitration case involving the payment of a hotel bill with convenience checks and subsequent letters and calls from a collection agency.

March 4 Fisher Lecture to Address Intellectual Property in a Transitional Economy

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An expert in intellectual property and entrepreneurship will deliver the annual John W. Fisher II Lecture at the West Virginia University College of Law on March 4 at 12:00 p.m. in the college’s Event Hall.

Megan Carpenter, dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, will discuss intellectual property in a transitional economy. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Carpenter has used intellectual property law in underserved communities to help early-stage entrepreneurs, musicians and grassroots arts organizations. She writes and publishes in the area of intellectual property and innovation, including the book Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Evolving Economies: The Role of Law (Elgar Publishing, 2012).

Before joining UNH Law, Carpenter was founder and co-director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property at Texas A&M University School of Law, where she also served as a professor and faculty director of three intellectual property and entrepreneurship-related clinical programs.

In Conversation Feb. 25: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy

WVU Law - Appalachian Reckoning book cover

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Contributors to the new book Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy (WVU Press, 2019) will discuss J.D. Vance’s controversial memoir of life in the region on February 25 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in the Event Hall at WVU Law.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Vance's Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (Harper, 2016), has defined Appalachia for much of the nation. Appalachian Reckoning is a retort — rigorous, critical, angry, and hopeful — to the long shadow Vance's book has cast over the region and its imagining. It also moves beyond Hillbilly Elegy by allowing Appalachians from varied backgrounds to tell their own diverse and complex stories through an imaginative blend of scholarship, prose, poetry, and photography.

For the discussion on Feb. 25, Appalachian Reckoning editors Anthony Harkins of Western Kentucky University and Meredith McCarroll of Bowdoin College will be joined by contributors Crystal Good, an Affrilachian poet, and photographer Roger May. Audra Slocum, WVU assistant professor of English Education, will moderate the conversation.

Blackburn, Scott Reach the Last Rounds of ABA Moot Court Competition

WVU Law students Stephen Scott and Karissa Blackburn

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Two WVU Law students recently competed in the semifinals of an American Bar Association national moot court competition — and one advance to the final round.

Third-year students Karissa Blackburn and Stephen Scott both made it to the last stages of the ABA’s First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition in Miami, Florida.  

Blackburn and Scott earned one of the four highest brief scores in the competition’s quarterfinal. That put them on the road to Miami, where they competed against law students from Yale, Duke and Michigan State.

“Karissa and I were eager to compete because we wanted to improve our writing and oral argument skills, as well as further increase WVU Law's visibility and participation in the American Bar Association,” said Scott. “Preparing for and performing in the competition went extremely well because we have great synergy between us and we know each other's strengths. In each phase of the competition, we worked tirelessly to make WVU Law proud.”

U.S. Fourth Circuit Judges to Hear Arguments at WVU Law on Feb. 19

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —  A panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will convene at WVU Law on Feb. 19.

The judges will hear arguments in three cases beginning at 9:00 a.m. and the public is invited to attend. Security screening and seating begin at 8:00 a.m. and photo ID is required. Bags, backpacks, cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the courtroom.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for anyone interested in the law to see a federal appellate court in action,” said  Gregory W. Bowman, dean of the College of Law. “We are extremely grateful for the court’s willingness to conduct its business at West Virginia University and provide our students with this wonderful learning experience.”

The court will hear one civil case and two civil rights cases.

Cyphert Cited in Iowa Court Case

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Lecturer in Law Amy Cyphert has been cited by the Iowa Court of Appeals in a parental custody rights case.

The court cited Cyphert’s article " Prisoners of Fate: The Challenges of Creating Change for Children of Incarcerated Parents" in  In the Interest of R.B., Minor Child919 N.W.2d 769 (2018).

The appeals court upheld the district’s court ruling that terminated a formerly incarcerated mother’s parental rights to her child, who now resides with his grandparents.

Cyphert's article was cited by a judge who wrote separately to raise concerns that no case worker had reached out to the mother while she was incarcerated to arrange visitation with her son, and to urge the relevant departments to "not operate on the assumption that incarcerated parents are irredeemable and not worthy of pursuing reasonable efforts toward family reunification."

WVU LAW Facebook WVU LAW Twitter WVU LAW Instagram WVU LAW LinkedIn WVU LAW Youtube Channel