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Hon. Jeffrey Sutton to deliver Constitution Day lecture September 17

WVU Law 2019 Constitution Day speaker Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—A federal judge will discuss the states’ role in protecting individual liberties, such as free speech and equal protection, at West Virginia University’s annual observance of Constitution Day .

The lecture will begin at noon on September 17 in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at WVU Law. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

The Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, argues that much of constitutional law is made at the state level. This includes the bedrock guarantees of equal protection, criminal procedure, privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Sutton is the author of “51 Imperfect Solutions: States and the Making of American Constitutional Law” (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Constitution Day at WVU Law is co-sponsored by The Federalist Society student organization.

Meet the Class of 2022

WVU Law Class of 2022

MORGANTOWN, W. Va.—Members of the WVU Law Class of 2022 have begun their legal careers, and the women outnumber the men.   

There are 116 students in the WVU Law Class of 2022, which is an enrollment increase of almost 4.5% over last year. Women make up a majority of the class at 53%, which is the highest rate at the college in at least a decade.

The academic credentials of the incoming class are also higher than last year. The median LSAT score for the Class of 2022 is 154 and the median undergraduate GPA is 3.46. Eight percent of the class self-identify as a minority and the average age is 25, with an age range of 21 to 55. Almost one-third of the class is a first-generation college student

 “This kind of growth is a positive sign for WVU, legal education and the profession,” said Gregory Bowman , dean of the College of Law. “We welcome the class of 2022 to Law School Hill and look forward to the privilege of preparing them for a fulfilling and rewarding career in the law.”

Lawyers & Leaders Class of 2019 Announced

WVU Law 2019 Lawyers and Leaders

MORGANTOWN, W. Va.—Sixteen legal professionals have been named to the Lawyers & Leaders Class of 2019 by West Virginia Executive magazine and WVU Law. The inductees were honored at a reception at WVU Law on August 22.

The 2019 Lawyers & Leaders inductees are: 

Ola Adekunle, patent counsel for Google LLC; 

Prof. Taylor: "red flag" gun laws would survive legal challenges

WVU Law Professor John Taylor

WVU Law professor John Taylor believes ‘red flag’ gun laws, if challenged in court, would be upheld. Taylor, the Jackson Kelly Professor of Law, calls the proposals being floated in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton “compromise measures.”

Some prominent Republicans are supporting ‘red flag’ laws so that they can be seen as taking some sort of action in response to the tide of mass shootings. 

Professors McGinley and Weise fought to disclose federal opioid data

WVU Law Professor Suzanne Weise

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—Two WVU Law professors helped secure the recent release of data that is shedding light on the national distribution of opioids.

Patrick McGinley and Suzanne Weise represented pro bono the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette-Mail and its parent company, HD Media, in a year-long federal court legal battle to force the public release of government information identifying the volume of prescription opioid pills that flooded the United States and fueled a national health crisis.

An Ohio federal judge overseeing more than 2000 cases brought by states, counties, and cities, including many in West Virginia, had barred public disclosure of the data, which was also sought by The Washington Post. However, that ruling was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The data, gathered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, tracks every pain pill sold in the country, from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies. On average, 46 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Bowen '20 is a Steiger Fellow in the West Virginia AG office

WVU Law student Brian Bowen '20

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—A fellowship from the American Bar Association is helping rising 3L Brian Bowen get important work experience this summer.

Bowen is a 2019 ABA Steiger Fellow in the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the West Virginia Attorney General in Charleston. The $6,000 fellowship is awarded to just 37 law students nationally who are interested in consumer protection and public service.

“Receiving the Steiger Fellowship is particularly meaningful to me because I pursued a career in law to promote public understanding of consumer issues and to defend consumer rights,” said Bowen. “The attorney general takes on some of the most complicated and difficult consumer cases in West Virginia, and being exposed to these issues is allowing me to expand my skills, knowledge, and experience while I work with some of the most qualified people in the state.”

At WVU Law, Bowen is a member of the Public Interest Advocates and an inaugural fellow in the Center for Consumer Law and Education. He has also helped launch the student Consumer Law Group at WVU.  Bowen has been a legal extern at Mountain State Justice and an intern at Mobilization for Justice in New York City.

West Virginia Innocence Project law clinic receives award

WVU Law - WV Innocence Project WV Public Defenders award 2019

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—The West Virginia Innocence Project law clinic has received an award from the state’s public defenders.

West Virginia Public Defender Services recently presented WVIP with the John A. “Jack” Rogers Award for Outstanding Leadership in Public Service for its work on behalf of the state’s wrongfully convicted.

WVIP is a law clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law. Third-year law students in the clinic investigate and litigate cases where criminal defendants have been wrongfully convicted, and move to vacate sentences based on newly discovered evidence, actual innocence, or other constitutional claims.

WVU Law students are working in public service this summer

WVU Law 2019 Land Use clinic PIA Fellows

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—This summer, 25 WVU Law students are practicing public interest law across West Virginia.

As Public Interest Advocates Summer Fellows, these students are working in full-time, paid positions for 10 weeks serving the poor, the elderly, children, and victims of domestic violence, among others. They are gaining valuable experience in children’s advocacy, civil rights, consumer law, disability rights, and land use and conservation law.

PIA is a WVU Law student group that raises money to support the nonprofit West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest. Each year, the WVFLIPI sponsors paid summer fellowships that make it possible for WVU Law students to work for public interest law organizations throughout the state.

“PIA fellowships benefit the organizations who host our fellows and the clients they serve,” said Jennifer Powell, PIA advisor and executive director of WVFLIPI. “Fellows help give access to justice to so many West Virginians who could not otherwise afford a lawyer. Fellowships supported by PIA and the Fund have also helped launch hundreds of law students’ careers and inspired many to work in public interest law and provide pro bono legal services once they become lawyers.”

Professor Martin conducting research for consumer rights

WVU Law Professor Jena Martin

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—WVU Law professor  Jena Martin is exploring consumer rights issues with the goal of creating best-practice guidelines for policymakers.

Martin is the inaugural recipient of the Ralph C. Young Fellowship awarded by the Center for Consumer Law and Education, a joint program between WVU College of Law and Marshall University.

“The fellowship is giving me the opportunity to engage with regional, national and international audiences on issues of data privacy and access to justice,” said Martin

Martin’s consumer protection research is long-term. In the coming year, she will survey and interview victims of misused data, specifically asking them what satisfactory outcomes they would seek as a result of data-privacy violations.

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