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Kayla Aungst: Giving Clients a Voice

The favorite part of Kayla Aungst’s job is giving clients the opportunity to be heard while helping them navigate sensitive legal issues.

WVU Law 2021 graduate Kayla Aungst

Aungst, a 2021 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law, is working in a staff attorney fellowship for Legal Aid of West Virginia. She helps foster parents, kinship caregivers and clients in abuse and neglect cases with guardianship, adoption, visitation and other legal matters.

“I could not be happier to have accepted this fellowship, as it has enabled me to make a difference in my clients' lives and in the community,” Aungst said.

Aungst received her post-graduate fellowship from the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest to help her begin a career dedicated to serving others. The fellowship awards a $50,000 stipend to WVU Law students to work for one year at a West Virginia-based public interest organization of their choice.

“Without the assistance of Legal Aid of West Virginia and its attorneys, many families would be unable to obtain the legal representation they often need,” said Aungst, who works in Legal Aid’s Clarksburg office.

When she was a WVU Law student, Aungst tailored her law school experience to further her career goals. She pursued a concentration in Public Interest law and worked as a student attorney in the Child and FamilyAdvocacy Law Clinic. She was also an active member of the Public InterestAdvocates, the Community Service Council and the Women's Leadership Council student organizations, and she was the community service representative for the Class of 2021 Executive Board.

Aungst was a two-time PIA Summer Fellow during law school — at Senior Legal Aid in Morgantown and at Legal Aid of West Virginia in Clarksburg.

“Without the chances given to me at WVU Law, I would not be where I am today,” she said. “The Clinical Law program gave me practical experience that has been crucial throughout my fellowship. Faculty and staff also helped guide me as a young attorney and provided me with invaluable opportunities, advice and wisdom that helped solidify my passion for public interest law.

More About Kayla Aungst

Aungst is from Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Before law school, she worked with Clinton County (PA) Women’s Center and Children and Youth Services. She also served as a caregiver for elderly members in her hometown. She graduated from Penn State University in 2017 with a degree in Criminology. In her spare time, Aungst enjoys playing video games, reading, cooking and spending time with her cats. 

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