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WVU Law Grads Tackle New Positions Across Country

Nakia Ridgeway

WVU Law Class of 2023 graduates will spend their summers preparing for the bar exam and then dive into new careers, which range from clerkships with federal and state judges to positions in law firms and government agencies all across the country. Here are a few of their stories:

Nakia Ridgeway

Nakia Ridgeway

Ridgeway will begin a two-year clerkship with the Hon. Michael J. Aloi, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia, in Clarksburg. She served as a judicial extern in Judge Aloi’s chambers during law school and was eager to return to the “very hands-on opportunity.” While externing, Ridgeway attended hearings, helped write orders, and even assisted in handling two civil motions from start to finish.

Attorney Paul T. Farrell, Jr. Honored with WVU College of Law Justitia Officium Award

Paul Ferrell receiving award

Prominent trial attorney and West Virginia University College of Law alumnus Paul Thomas Farrell, Jr. is the recipient of the 2023 College of Law Justitia Officium Award.  Established in 1978 to mark the 100th anniversary of the College of Law, the Justitia Officium is the highest honor bestowed by the law faculty in recognition of outstanding contributions and service to the legal profession.  Mr. Farrell received his award at Commencement on May 12.

Paul understands how lives hang in the balance when injustice exists in our courtrooms and in our communities – and that, often, what can be accomplished in the courtroom can change the lives of countless others outside of it.  Although he’s most recently fought for justice from the opioid industry for the devastation it has caused throughout West Virginia, Paul’s passionate advocacy for all and his relentless dedication to the legal profession and its role in society have had an immeasurable impact throughout his career. We are so honored that he and his wife, Jackie, are our alumni and continue the Farrell family’s lasting legacy to the College of Law,” said WVU College of Law Dean Amelia Smith Rinehart.

WVU Law Professor Shares International War Crimes Experience

Cody Corliss

This spring, WVU Law students and members of the West Virginia State Bar have been learning about international and domestic terrorism from former international war crimes prosecutor Cody Corliss, a Wetzel County native who returned to West Virginia to join the College of Law faculty last August.

Prior to coming to WVU Law, Professor Corliss served in the Office of the Prosecutor at a United Nations criminal tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands. He was a member of the team that secured the conviction of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war.  

Corliss spoke to judges and practicing lawyers at the West Virginia State Bar 2023 Annual Meeting this spring and also taught a new law school seminar focusing on terrorism.

“What’s nice for me is that my talk for the bar and my scholarship dovetail really nicely with the seminar I’m teaching on domestic and international terrorism,” said Corliss, who holds degrees from Harvard University, Universiteit Leiden, and Cornell University. Fourteen students took the introductory terrorism seminar.

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