The Justitia Officium is the highest honor bestowed by the law faculty in recognition of outstanding contributions and service to the legal profession. Hicks received his award at WVU Law’s Commencement in Milan Puskar Stadium on May 16.
Hicks was inspired to become an attorney by the lawyers who led the Civil Rights Movement. He spent his first two years of college at Washington and Lee University, where he was the first African American elected to the Executive Committee of the Student Body. He later transferred to West Virginia University, earning his B.A. in 1978 and his J.D. in 1981.
After three years of solo practice, Hicks joined Kay Casto & Chaney in 1984, becoming only the second lawyer of color in West Virginia to be hired by a large firm. Fourteen years later, he became the first African American President of the West Virginia State Bar.