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WVU Law student awarded diversity and inclusion scholarship

WVU Law student Caroline Toler

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Caroline Toler, a 1L at WVU Law, is a recipient of the 11th annual Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship from the law firm Frost Brown Todd.

Toler earned her bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish from WVU with minors in philosophy and law and legal studies. She was named an Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior and earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to travel to Spain where she worked as an English teaching assistant at the University of Málaga and volunteered with La Voz de Los Adoptados.

A first-generation college student and former foster youth, Toler has worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer. After law school, she plans to practice family law, advocating for foster children and transforming how children are treated within the U.S. foster care system.

Frost Brown Todd awarded its 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships to just five graduate and law school students nationally. Winners were selected from 140 applicants for demonstrating the highest level of academic excellence and a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities.

Important announcement regarding WVCLE

WCLE logo

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —  For more than 40 years, West Virginia Continuing Legal Education (WVCLE) has been dedicated to the professional development of thousands of lawyers. It has proudly served the state’s attorneys by delivering premier, affordable, relevant and creative programming.

Recently, the WVU College of Law has implemented some strategic organizational changes regarding WVCLE. In the midst of changes to the landscape of continuing legal education services throughout the state and beyond, the WVU College of Law has decided to pause the business operations of WVCLE as a standalone unit.

As a result, WVCLE cannot provide ongoing continuing legal education opportunities throughout the year. However, WVU College of Law will be working alongside other entities to support their continuing legal education programs and, looking toward the future, we are exploring the ever-changing professional continuing legal education needs of attorneys and how the College might best meet those needs. 

WVU Law plans to rethink how to continue our commitment to serving the legal community by providing service-based continuing legal education programs through different centers and departments within the College and through strategic partnerships with organizations outside the law school.

WVU College of Law awarded IRS taxpayer clinic grant

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics logo

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A grant to the West Virginia University College of Law from the Internal Revenue Service is going to help more low-income taxpayers in the Mountain State.

The IRS has awarded $100,000 to convert the college’s Taxpayer Advocacy Law Clinic into the only Low Income Taxpayer Clinic in the state. The grant will help fund a new full-time program director and the clinic will be renamed the WVU College of Law Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

“We will now be able to serve more clients through statewide legal representation and community outreach,” said Nicole McConlogue, associate professor of law and clinic director. “It also means that the clinic can enroll more student attorneys interested in hands-on work experience in taxpayer advocacy.”

LITCs assist low-income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS and provide education and outreach to individuals who speak English as a second language. LITCs are independent from the IRS and from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS that ensures taxpayers are treated fairly.

Murder charge against WVU law clinic client dismissed

WVU Law Melissa Giggenbach, Nathaniel Barnett and Devon Unger

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After more than 14 years, Nathaniel Barnett has walked away from the Cabell County Courthouse in Huntington, West Virginia, a completely free man.

On October 5, the state dismissed murder charges against him because DNA testing identified the actual perpetrator. Barnett is a client of the West Virginia Innocence Project Law Clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law.

“It feels great to finally put this behind me,” he said. “Even though I was out of jail, having the charge and another trial hanging over me was extremely stressful. Now I feel like I can finally move on with my life.”

Charges were also dismissed for Barnett’s brother, Philip, and Justin Black. The Barnetts, Black and a fourth man, Brian Dement, were all convicted in 2008 of charges related to the murder of Deanna Crawford in 2002 despite the lack of physical evidence connecting them to the crime scene.

Lawyers and Leaders Class of 2021 inducted

WVU Law 2021 Lawyers & Leaders Class

Morgantown, W.Va. —  WVU Law and West Virginia Executive magazine recently inducted the Lawyers & Leaders Class of 2021. 

Founded in 2017, the Lawyers & Leaders program recognizes the accomplishments of exceptional legal professionals who have made a positive impact on the state and the nation and have dedicated their careers to serving others and their communities. Nominees are required to either be practicing law in West Virginia or be a graduate of WVU Law. 

The 2021 Lawyers and Leaders are:

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