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PIA Summer Fellows are helping West Virginians

WVU Law 2022 PIA Summer Fellow Madison Carroll

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Every summer, a group of law students from West Virginia University spread out across the state to help those in need.

These Public Interest Advocates Summer Fellows work in local organizations that provide legal services to low-income clients, the elderly, children, victims of domestic violence, veterans and others.

“It has been a very rewarding summer for our PIA Fellows, as they get hands-on experience while providing important support and staffing in various public interest law offices,” said Dan Kimble, director of the Center for Law and Public Service at the WVU College of Law. “In many cases, these experiences have launched our students to careers in public interest law or led them to provide pro bono legal services as they grow into the legal profession.”

PIA Summer Fellowships are full-time, paid 10-week appointments sponsored by the non-profit West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest. PIA, one of the most active student organizations at WVU Law, is a fundraiser for WVFLIPI.

WVU initiative born in the pandemic is helping community land use

WVU downtown campus and surrounding hills

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia University initiative born out of the pandemic is benefiting rural and urban communities across the mid-Atlantic.

In spring 2020, COVID-19 canceled the fifth annual Mountain State Land Use Academy. Founded by the Land Use and Sustainable Development Clinic at the WVU College of Law, the academy informs community leaders about issues in planning, economic development, resiliency and the law.  

The pandemic shutdown did not stop law professor Jesse Richardson and attorney Jared Anderson, who both work in the clinic. They began reaching out to associates and, within weeks, they established what has become the Mid-Atlantic Planning Collaboration

"Right after the pandemic started, Jesse reached out because he wanted to create a way that we in the Mid-Atlantic area could teach more people about issues that impact our region," said Alan Feinberg, a representative of the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association. "He and everyone in the Land Use clinic take a bird's eye approach to planning, in that they look out to the entire area around them during their efforts so they can do things to benefit everyone."

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