College of Law
About the College of Law
Misson Statement: Preparing 21st century lawyers and leaders to serve the public, government, and business—both locally and globally—while focusing on justice, ethics, professionalism, and service in a diverse, vibrant, and respectful community.
The West Virginia University College of Law was accredited by the AALS in 1914 and by the ABA in 1923.
The West Virginia University College of Law is fully approved by the American Bar Association Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
Since 1952, the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education as the recognized national agency for the accreditation of professional schools of law.
Further information as to the Standards and Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools by the American Bar Association may be obtained from the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 750 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611, Phone: (312) 988-6738, Fax: (312) 988-5681, and website: http://www.abanet.org/legaled.
Degree Designation Learning Goals
Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD)
The J.D. program forms students’ professional identities as lawyers and provides students with the core legal knowledge and practical skills to pass the bar exam and to serve their clients competently and ethically.
In developing professional identity and values, we seek to produce students committed to professional excellence, justice, leadership, public service, global engagement, and lifelong learning. Our graduates are trained to be legal problem solvers who possess a solid grasp of the substantive and procedural law of their chosen fields, understand their professional responsibilities and ethical obligations, and have the varied skills needed for successful practice, including: legal analysis, legal writing, legal research, factual investigation, client counseling, negotiation, drafting, and advocacy.
Master of Laws (LLM)
Our LL.M. programs offer post-J.D. students an opportunity to deepen their subject-matter expertise and skills in particular areas of the law.
Energy and Sustainable Development Law
The LL.M. in Energy & Sustainable Development Law provides lawyers with a deep and broad knowledge of law and policy in the critical areas of energy, environmental protection, and sustainable development. Students will master these areas through course work, writing projects, and a variety of experiential learning opportunities. LL.M. graduates will have the skills necessary to work as lawyers serving energy companies, investors, utilities, manufacturing companies, lawmakers, policymakers, regulators, land use professionals, and environmental organizations.
The LL.M. in Forensic Justice provides working lawyers with a solid grounding in the theory and practice of the forensic sciences and their application in the courts. LL.M. students will gain an understanding of scientific method and of critical areas of forensic science including biological and chemical evidence, impression and trace evidence, and statistics and probability. In addition, students will gain practical experience in working with this evidence in a courtroom setting. The degree will be especially valuable for prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys, enabling those on both sides of the criminal process to ensure that forensic science serves the ultimate goal of justice.
ADMISSIONS - DOCTOR OF JURISPRUDENCE
The following are the essential requirements to apply to law school:
- A bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year institution
- Completion of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
- Application for admission / Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report
For additional information, please visit the College of Law Admissions homepage.
A transfer student is a student who has taken some or all of his or her first-year curriculum at another law school and is admitted to earn a J.D. degree at the West Virginia University College of Law. The College of Law accepts transfer students only from other law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. The College will not accept transfer applicants from law schools that do not award letter grades (or their numerical equivalent) during the first year. All candidates who transfer to the College of Law from another ABA- accredited law school must satisfactorily complete courses aggregating at least forty-five credit hours at the College of Law. In addition, the last thirty credit hours for transfer students must be earned at the College of Law.
The College of Law will accept transfer credits only for courses where the student earned a grade of C or better. In exceptional circumstances, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may approve the transfer of a small number of pass/fail credits. The Associate Dean will determine the total number of credit hours that will transfer; only in exceptional cases will credit be given for more than thirty-two credit hours. The Associate Dean will also determine whether particular courses taken at another law school satisfy specific course requirements at the College of Law. Graded credits at other law schools that transfer to the College of Law will be entered on the student’s College of Law record as pass/fail credits and hence will not affect the student’s College of Law grade point average.
In order to graduate, all transfer students must obtain a cumulative grade point average of 2.30 or better on courses taken at the College of Law. Transfer students are not eligible for election to Order of the Coif at the West Virginia University College of Law.
The deadline for transfer applications is July 1. The West Virginia University College of Law has established the following guidelines for the Admissions Committee to use in reviewing transfer applications.
- In reviewing applications for advanced standing, the Admissions Committee will give preference to West Virginia residents.
- Applicants must have completed at least one academic year of studying or its equivalent at the institution from which transfer is being sought. For admission purposes, one year of study or its equivalent is equal to a minimum of twenty-eight credit hours of coursework. The twenty-eight credit hours should ideally include the following coursework, but we will consider transfer applicants who have a substantial number of the listed courses:
- Civil Procedure I & II
- Contracts I
- Torts I
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Property I
- Applications from students seeking to transfer from schools that are not accredited by the ABA will not be accepted under any circumstances. (The applicant may apply as a first- year student.)
- Applications for transfer to the College of Law for the second year will be considered by the Committee on the basis of the following:
- The size of the returning second-year class.
- The applicant’s grades and/or class rank at her/his law school. Applicants from law schools who do not provide either a GPA or class rank for 1L students will not be considered for transfer.
- Whether the applicant would have been admitted to the College of Law in the first year had the applicant applied.
- The academic strength of the law school attended by the applying student, including whether it is accredited by the AALS. (ABA accreditation is required.)
- Recommendation(s) from a law professor in whose class the applicant was enrolled. (At least one is required.)
- Residency of the applicant.
- All of those facts, performance records, recommendations, and other matters that the Committee normally considers for applicants to the first-year class, including everything that might implicate the student’s fitness for the practice of law.
- Any other activities and experiences of the applicant occurring since the student began law school.
- Any other information regarding the applicant that may be considered relevant to success in law school.
- In addition to the aforementioned criteria, applicants must meet the requirements set forth below.
- Applicants must conform to all other relevant criteria relating to first-year entering students as found in the admission policy of the West Virginia University College of Law.
- Applicants must submit a certified official transcript of their first-year law school grades and class ranking. If class ranking from the law school is unavailable, the applicant must submit sufficient information about grades from the law school attended to make a reasonable estimation of class ranking. No one will be admitted for transfer without class rank (or its reasonable equivalent) based on a full year of law school attendance.
- Applicants must provide a letter of good standing from the Dean of the law school (or his or her designee) from which the student is transferring.
- Applicants must submit a copy of their most recent LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report including a certified transcript of undergraduate school grades and the LSAT writing sample.
- Applicants must fully explain any ethical or other problems with admission that may appear in the file.
- Applicants must submit the completed file to the Admission Office by July 1 in order to be considered for transfer.
- In considering applications for admission from individuals with credits or degrees from foreign institutions, the Admissions Committee shall have the authority to make any of the below stated decisions with regard to the applicant:
- The Committee may admit the applicant as a first-year entering student.
- The Committee may admit the applicant with advanced standing by granting credit for specific course work completed at another institution. (AALS executive Committee Regulations 2.8 and 2.9 prescribe limitations on the award of advanced standing.)
- The Committee may admit the applicant as a special student for the purposes of auditing courses or transferring course work to another institution.
- The Committee may deny admission to the applicant.
The West Virginia University College of Law accepts transient students only from other law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. A transient student is one who has taken or will take most of his or her work toward a J.D. at another ABA-approved law school and will earn a degree from that institution. Transient students are permitted to earn some credits toward that J.D. while in temporary residence at the West Virginia University College of Law, provided that they obtain permission from their school and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
ADMISSIONS - LL.M. (MASTER OF LAWS)
energy AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
WVU Law's LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law will be a source for a high-quality professional legal education and a home for thought leaders in the areas of energy and sustainable development.
Minimum admission requirements for the program are as follows:
- A J.D. from an ABA-accredited school (or foreign equivalent, as determined by the College of Law in accordance with ABA guidelines).
- A J.D. (or equivalent) grade point average of at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or other demonstrated indicia of likelihood of success.
- A demonstrated interest in or commitment to the fields of energy and/or sustainable development.
For additional information, please visit the LL.M. in Energy & Sustainable Development Law homepage.
Minimum admission requirements for the LL.M. in Forensic Justice are as follows:
- A J.D. from an ABA (American Bar Association) accredited school (or foreign equivalent, as determined by WVU Law in accordance with ABA guidelines).
- A grade point average of at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or other demonstrated indicia of likelihood of success.
- A demonstrated interest or commitment to the fields of science, forensic evidence, and law.
LAW 600. Advanced Criminal Law:Case Studies. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 705. The examination of pre-trial, trial and post- trial issues in an actual criminal case, identifying legal errors in all aspects; jury instruction, testimony, evidence to support the conviction and decision.
LAW 601. Lawyers, Poets and Poetry. 3 Hours.
The exploration of American historical and contemporary lawyers as poets and the relationship of legal language and poetry, with a theme of reflection and introspection.
LAW 602. Lawyers and Film. 3 Hours.
Through the viewing of films and open discussion, this course is designed to initiate reflection and introspection, while analyzing the struggles that arise in the pursuit of justice.
LAW 603. Comparative Brazilian Law. 1-3 Hours.
(May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credit hours.) A 2-component study abroad course with initial classroom preparation and subsequent travel to Brazil. An immersive learning experience in Brazilian law, culture, and politics. Brazilian laws are examined and compared to American laws and practice.
LAW 604. Natural Resources. 3 Hours.
A survey course that includes law, theory, and practical management challenges of natural resource policy, with a strong substantive foundation in a broad range of resources, including water, timber, minerals, and wildlife.
LAW 605. Post-Conviction Remedies. 3 Hours.
The examination of post-trial issues in an actual criminal case, identifying legal errors in all aspects; jury instructions, testimony, evidence to support the conviction, and decision.
LAW 606. Medical Malpractice. 2 Hours.
The exploration of the conflict between health care availability and the rights of medical malpractice victims with components of cases, as well as tort reform and related health care reform in general.
LAW 607. Psychology for Lawyers. 3 Hours.
A practical approach to the basic concepts of psychology, including analytical psychology, family counseling and therapy, gender differences, narrative and historical differences, psychology of juries, and psychological perspectives useful for both client and lawyer self-awareness.
LAW 608. Art Law. 3 Hours.
A thorough examination of various legal topics and issues through the prism of art. Topic include intellectual property concepts of copyright, fair use and parody, First Amendment issues, non-profit organizations, sales warranties, authenticity, and salvage.
LAW 609. Child Protection and the Law. 3 Hours.
A primary focus on child abuse and neglect civil protection proceedings as defined by West Virginia Code, Chapter 49; and an examination of both federal law and West Virginia's statues, rules, and case law.
LAW 610. Comparative Law in Mexico. 1-3 Hours.
A 2-component, study abroad course with initial classroom preparation and subsequent travel to Mexico. An immersive learning experience in Mexican law, culture, and politics. Topics include: corporate governance, immigration and migration, and international human rights.
LAW 611. Consumer Protection Law. 3 Hours.
A practical survey of various state and federal laws designed to protect consumers, including WV Consumer and Credit Protection, Fair Debt Collection, Fair Credit Reporting, Truth in Lending, Fair Credit Billing and Gramm-Leach-Bliley.
LAW 612. Agriculture and Rural Land Use. 2-3 Hours.
A consideration of the impact of various aspects of law and policy (e.g., land use regulation, environmental law, property rights, subsidies) on agricultural and other rural lands and the resulting effect on the food system.
LAW 613. International Environmental Law. 2-3 Hours.
An issue- based approach to IEL, identifying pressing problems such as global climate change, ozone depletion, biodiversity, and studying some of the instruments and tools that have been created to deal with them.
LAW 614. Jewish/Islamic Comparative Law. 3 Hours.
A comparative law course that explores the foundations, structure, and general substance of both Jewish and Islamic legal systems with comparison to the American legal system.
LAW 615. Elder Law. 3 Hours.
A thorough examination of various legal topics and issues relating to the special needs of the elderly. Topics include legal capacity, surrogate decision- making, guardianship, Medicare, Medicaid, elder abuse, nursing homes and advance directives.
LAW 616. Cultural Property. 3 Hours.
This course will focus on issues concerning the restoration of artworks displaced during World War II, as well as the protection and preservation of cultural heritage and artifacts.
LAW 617. Geneva Study Abroad. 1-3 Hours.
(May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credit hours.) A 2-component, study abroad course with initial classroom preparation and subsequent travel to Geneva. This course addresses key subjects and themes in modern international trade regulation.
LAW 618. Criminal Procedure: Investigation. 3 Hours.
A course designed to cover all facets of the investigatory stage of criminal procedure: the right to representation by counsel, rules surrounding police practices and procedures of search and seizure, interrogation and identification.
LAW 619. Criminal Procedure: Adjudication. 3 Hours.
A comprehensive examination of criminal procedure adjudication covering regulation of prosecutors, defense counsel, pretrial legal issues, pretrial motions, plea bargains, and sentencing.
LAW 620. The Legislative Process. 3 Hours.
Exploration of the legislative process in America and its impact on judicial interpretation of statutory law. Numerous topics related to the role of legislators at all levels of the government's federalist system are surveyed.
LAW 621. Lawyers as Leaders. 3 Hours.
An exploration of topics related to the theory and practice of leadership by lawyers intended to develop effective leadership skills for application in both the legal profession and in society in general.
LAW 622. E-Discovery. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 706 and LAW 722. An introduction to the basics of identification, preservation, collection, search and production of Electronically Stored Information and effective utilization of procedural and evidentiary rules, practice pointers, and admissible evidence.
LAW 623. Election Law and Policy. 3 Hours.
A survey of American political structure and legal process, exploring the constitutional, administrative, and policy-related aspects of the political framework, including the right to vote, redistricting, political parties, campaigns, and campaign finance.
LAW 624. Advanced Legal Research. 2 Hours.
The course focuses on advanced legal research methodologies and strategies within the context of federal, state, and local law. It is designed to prepare law students for research in practical settings.
LAW 625. Nonprofit Organizations. 3 Hours.
An examination of the law as related to nonprofit organizations. Various organizational structures and the creation, organization, and dissolution of nonprofit organizations will be considered, as well as tax laws relating to nonprofit organizations.
LAW 626. International Trade Law. 3 Hours.
A study of laws that affect businesses buying and selling products or services beyond U.S. borders. Includes the structure of the WTO system, economic theories underlying free trade, and remedies for unfair trade.
LAW 627. Land Use/Sustainable Development Clinic 1. 4-6 Hours.
A clinical course offered to selected, upper level law students, who with faculty supervision, will provide transactional pro bono representation to clients regarding land and water protection.
LAW 628. Land Use/Sustainable Development Clinic 2. 4-6 Hours.
PR: LAW 627. A continuation of LAW 627, presenting an opportunity for a higher level of responsibility, finalization of matters, and continued assistance for actual clients regarding land and water protection.
LAW 629. Advanced Family Law Advocacy. 2 Hours.
A focus on laws and issues of a domestic relations practice by using West Virginia domestic law as a framework, with emphasis on practical application.
LAW 630. Energy Law. 3 Hours.
An examination of law and regulatory policies that govern and impact the energy industry, including all energy sources and alternative fuel possibilities.
LAW 631. Cyberlaw. 3 Hours.
Cyberlaw explores the application of law to all aspects of internet activity and function. Topics such as privacy, consumer protection, trademarks, copyrights, on-line contracting and jurisdiction will be covered.
LAW 632. Advanced Labor Law. 3 Hours.
LAW 741 recommended. Advanced topics in labor-management relations under the general jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the courts.
LAW 633. International Business Transactions. 3 Hours.
LAW 729 recommended. A foundation for the pursuit of a career as a corporate attorney with an international focus.
LAW 634. Energy Reg, Markets and Environ. 3 Hours.
This course focuses on the legal basis for the economic regulation of energy, the environmental impact of energy production, and the development of policies promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.
LAW 635. Land Use and Resilience Law. 3 Hours.
This course covers the multi-faceted nature of land use and resilience law, including common-law and private-law mechanisms and the regulatory state and planning. In addition, various topics in resilience law are introduced.
LAW 636. Copyright Law. 3 Hours.
PR: Student in College of Law. This course covers the basics of copyright, including copyrightable subject matter, formalities and copyright registration, and the substantive and procedural elements of infringement and defenses. Technological developments affecting copyright are also addressed (software/internet).
LAW 637. Transactional Skills. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 779. A practical approach to transactional skills development with in-class simulation of all aspects including, planning, interviewing, negotiating, and drafting of business contracts.
LAW 638. Legislation and Regulation. 3 Hours.
An introduction to the modern administrative regulatory state, addressing main instruments of governance, including legislation and agency regulations, as well as statutory interpretation and application.
LAW 639. Food and Drug Law. 3 Hours.
This course focuses on the historical development of food and drug law and issues involving carcinogens and risk assessment in food safety; regulation of nutrition, and approval of new drugs, devices, and vaccines for diseases.
LAW 640. Parent, Child, and State. 3 Hours.
An exploration of the role and responsibility of the state to protect children and appropriate legal intervention as based upon West Virginia laws.
LAW 641. Introduction to Legal Research. 1 Hour.
PR: Student in the College of Law. This course focuses on basic legal research methodologies and strategies within the context of federal, state and local law. It is designed to prepare law students for basic research in practical settings.
LAW 642. Law Practice Management. 3 Hours.
PR: Student in the College of Law. This course introduces law office business operations and simulates office decision making dynamics. Subjects include human resources, financial planning/management, marketing, project management, office design, technology, quality control and similar subjects.
LAW 643. Taxation of Business Entities. 4 Hours.
PR: LAW 719. A comparative survey of the federal income taxation of C corporations, S corporations, and partnerships.
LAW 650. Entrepreneurship Clinic 1. 4 Hours.
In a clinical setting, apply Intellectual Property and Business Law concepts to assist actual clients in entrepreneur endeavors, covering the basics of business organizations, IP protection, financing, and contracting and the effect on entrepreneurs.
LAW 651. Entrepreneurship Clinic 2. 5 Hours.
PR: LAW 650. A continuation of Entrepreneur Clinic 1 to assist actual clients in entrepreneur endeavors, covering the basics of business organizations, IP protection, financing, and contracting and the effect on entrepreneurs.
LAW 652. Jessup International Moot Court. 1,2 Hour.
PR: LAW 768. A required course for students selected for the Jessup International Moot Court Competition Team that provides oral advocacy instruction and training for the current year's Jessup competition.
LAW 653. Law and Public Service. 1,2 Hour.
PR or CONC: LAW 654. A practical course in which selected student will serve as externs to public service and government agencies. Classroom instruction and reflective writing requirements are included.
LAW 654. Public Service Externship. 2-6 Hours.
LAW 655. Law and Public Service Full-Time. 2-6 Hours.
PR or CONC: LAW 656. A practical course in which selected students will serve as externs to public service and government agencies on a full-time basis. Classroom instruction and reflective writing requirements are included.
LAW 656. Law and Public Service Externship Full-Time. 6-11 Hours.
LAW 670. LLM Seminar. 3 Hours.
A wide range study related to the degree program, exploring diverse advanced topics and perspectives. Rigorous preparation for discussion, a writing project, and in-class presentations are required.
LAW 677. United States Supreme Court Clinic 1. 4 Hours.
A clinical course that provides students with both instruction and practice in written and oral advocacy in appellate matters with emphasis on those before the United States Supreme Court.
LAW 678. United States Supreme Court Clinic 2. 4 Hours.
PR: LAW 677. A continuation of US Supreme Court Clinic 1 with additional emphasis on working with the government in Supreme Court mattes and amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs.
LAW 682. Practical Legal Writing 1. 1 Hour.
A bar review course focusing primarily on the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and Multistate Performance Test (MPT); includes strategies for taking the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE).
LAW 683. Practical Legal Writing 2. 1 Hour.
PR or CONC: LAW 682. Open by invitation only, a one-hour extension of Practical Legal Writing 1 for students who would benefit from additional review and who must register for Practical Legal Writing 1 concurrently.
LAW 688A. Seminar in American Constitutional History. 2 Hours.
A historical overview of American constitutional law from 1786 to present day, focusing on that part of history that still influences present-day constitutional law decision making.
LAW 688B. Seminar in International Trade Regulations. 2 Hours.
PR: Student in the College of Law. This course addresses various subjects in modern international trade regulation including foreign direct investment, trade in goods, and technology, and multilateral versus regional international trade regulation.
LAW 688C. Seminar in Corporate Governance. 2,3 Hours.
This seminar provides students an in-depth look at current laws and policies that affect corporate governance and corporate accountability systems.
LAW 689A. Seminar: Intellectual Property. 2 Hours.
Considers the economic and social role of intellectual property laws in American and world economics. Preparation of a research paper of publishable quality will be required.
LAW 689B. Seminar: Judicial Power and Restraint. 2 Hours.
This course critically explores the court's role in our constitutional democracy, including issues of federalism, separation of powers, recusal, interpretation, judicial philosophies, authority, judicial selection, abstention, remedial power, and judicial ethics.
LAW 689C. Seminar: Advanced Criminal Procedure. 2 Hours.
Explores criminal procedure, including bail application, motion, search and seizure, hearings, discovery of evidence, trial structure, appeal, and habeas corpus proceedings.
LAW 689D. Seminar: Environmental Law. 2 Hours.
This seminar provides a practical setting for environmental law in a litigation context that uses a case study method.
LAW 689E. Seminar: Land Transactions. 2 Hours.
This seminar provides the knowledge and practice of title examinations and the documents involved in conveyance. Students also submit a research paper on an issue involving real estate.
LAW 689F. Seminar: Lawyers and Legislation. 2 Hours.
Explores the role of lawyers in the legislative process with practical exercise in bill drafting and presentation to legislators.
LAW 689G. Seminar: Religion and Constitution. 2 Hours.
Explores the major doctrinal issues in the interpretation of the First Amendment's religion clauses. Related statutory schemes affecting religious liberty such as RFRA and RLUIPA will also be discussed.
LAW 689H. Seminar: Bioethics and the Law. 2 Hours.
An examination of the theological, philosophical and scientific foundations of bioethics; the operation of bioethical principles in the context of current bioethical controversies; and the relations between bioethics and the law.
LAW 689I. Seminar: Environmental Justice. 2 Hours.
A broad view of environmental justice issues and their impact on minorities and disempowered citizens and communities.
LAW 689J. Seminar: Civil Rights Litigation. 2 Hours.
Explores the history of the American Civil Rights Movement, the legal development of civil rights in the United States, and the development of legal precedents with emphasis on West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals cases.
LAW 689K. Seminar: Civil Disobedience. 2 Hours.
An examination of the justification and operation of civil disobedience.
LAW 689L. Seminar Health Care Regulations. 2 Hours.
Medical innovation development from concept to clinical application. Primarily designed for law students or business majors, but also extended to medical students. Includes guest lecturers in intellectual property and credentialing areas.
LAW 689M. Seminar: Race/Racism and American Law. 2 Hours.
This seminar focuses on historical and current event issues regarding race, racism and American law. It offers students the opportunity to advance in research and writing on the subject.
LAW 689N. Seminar: Refugee and Asylum Law. 2 Hours.
A research and writing seminar examining U.S. and international refugee and asylum law through reading, discussion and individual research.
LAW 689O. Seminar: Family Mediation. 2 Hours.
A comprehensive exploration of the usage of mediation for the resolution of disputes in the area of family law.
LAW 689P. Seminar: Gender and Law. 2 Hours.
The examination of the multiplicities of identity regarding the categories of gender, sex, sexual orientation, race and class as used to confer benefits and determine constitutional rights.
LAW 689Q. Seminar: Constitutional Litigation. 2 Hours.
This course explores the development of U.S. constitutional law from a litigation and advocacy perspective, focusing on theoretical doctrinal, and policy arguments that have been employed to expand constitutional rights.
LAW 689R. Seminar in Commercial and Business Law. 2 Hours.
The examination of various topics relating to commercial, business, or construction (contracting, architecture, engineering) law. A substantial research paper is required.
LAW 689S. Seminar: Law and Socioeconomic. 2 Hours.
Advanced topics in the interrelationship between law and economic/social processes.
LAW 689T. Seminar:Comparative and International Workplace Law. 2 Hours.
Comparative analysis of workplace laws across global jurisdictions.
LAW 689U. Seminar: Animal Law. 2 Hours.
An interdisciplinary study of the dynamics of the relationships between humans and animals in American, comparative and international law. This is a writing-intensive seminar with an oral presentation and a substantial research paper.
LAW 689V. Seminar: Juvenile Justice. 2 Hours.
An examination of the legal, social, and historical underpinnings of the juvenile justice system in the U.S., in both theory and practice, with attention to court decisions as affecting juvenile court.
LAW 689W. Seminar:Issues in Energy Law. 2 Hours.
This seminar provides an understanding of a variety of issues regarding energy law and policy, both past and present, in the United States. A research paper on an energy law issue is required.
LAW 689X. Seminar: National Security Law. 2 Hours.
The history and framework of U.S. national security law and policies, with a focus on national security in the context of the use of military force, the intelligence community, civil liberties, and counterterrorism efforts.
LAW 689Y. Seminar in Sustainable Development. 2 Hours.
Consideration and further development of concepts and methods relating to sustainable development, including methods for incorporating consideration of economic development, environmental conservation, and social equity in decision-making at the regional, national and global level.
LAW 689Z. Seminar in Advanced Torts. 2 Hours.
An examination of significant contemporary torts topics. Newer torts compensation systems and statutory substitutes for the traditional common law torts system will be covered. A substantial research paper is required.
LAW 700. Legal Analysis, Research and Writing 1. 2 Hours.
Introduction to legal analysis, research, and writing. Stresses basic law school skills including case briefing, statutory analysis, and synthesis. Drafting of various legal documents including an office memorandum.
LAW 701. International Human Rights. 3 Hours.
An examination of historical, philosophical and legal issues in defining, understanding, and enforcing fundamental rights in a world of conflict and diversity.
LAW 702. Forensic Mental Health. 2 Hours.
This course will address the interface between the law and mental health issues. Topics covered will include the insanity defense, competencies, emotional injury, expert witness, and civil commitment.
LAW 703. Contracts 1. 4 Hours.
The study of operation of contracts in society, what it means to have a contract, how contracts are made, and the manner and extent to which contracts and non-contract promises will be enforced.
LAW 705. Criminal Law. 3 Hours.
Substantive law of crimes including: (1) the philosophical basis for penal systems, (2) the characteristics of particular crimes, and (3) conditions of exculpation.
LAW 706. Civil Procedure: Jurisdiction. 2 Hours.
This required, first-year course covers key civil procedure concepts including personal jurisdiction, notice and opportunity to be heard, subject matter jurisdiction, diversity jurisdiction, removal, venue, and the Erie doctrine.
LAW 707. Property. 4 Hours.
Law of real property in historical and theoretical context. Includes estates in land and future interest, concurrent ownership, methods of obtaining title, modern land transactions, recording, title examination, and the law of servitudes.
LAW 709. Torts 1. 4 Hours.
The basic civil common law response to injury. The fault-based liability system for intentional torts, privileges, and negligence. Consideration of fact and proximate cause, joint tortfeasors, and limited duty.
LAW 710. Torts 2. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 709. A continuation of Torts 1. The tort law of land occupiers, damages, defenses, imputed negligence, strict liability, products liability, and modern statutory substitutes for tort law.
LAW 711. Legal Analysis, Research and Writing 2. 2 Hours.
PR: LAW 700. Continuation of LAW 700. Stresses research and writing. Drafting of various legal documents culminating in the preparation of a trial motion and memorandum and oral argument of the motion.
LAW 712. Analytical Methods for Lawyers. 3 Hours.
An introduction and overview of game theory, probability statistics, finance, accounting and economics, as they relate to the practice of law. Beneficial to students without undergraduate degrees in business or economics.
LAW 713. Toxic Torts. 3 Hours.
PR:LAW 709. An in-depth study of the law of toxic torts in the context of environmental harms.
LAW 714. Remedies. 3 Hours.
Equity, damages, and restitution. Survey of remedies available for harms.
LAW 715. Appellate Advocacy. 2 Hours.
LAW 716. Wealth Transfers. 3 Hours.
An analysis of the laws estate administration, trusts, and future interests governing intestate succession, wills, trusts, and other testamentary substitutes focusing on West Virginia law. Rules of construction governing iner vivas and testamentary dispositions shall also be investigated.
LAW 717. Domestic Violence and The Law. 3 Hours.
(LAW 769 is recommended.) The examination of civil and criminal statues and case law, as applied to domestic violence, focusing on national trends and West Virginia state law.
LAW 718. Advanced Bankruptcy. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 767. The exploration of bankruptcy code complexities with emphasis on Chapter 11 reorganization.
LAW 719. Income Taxation 1. 3 Hours.
Gross income, deductions, exclusions, and gains and losses from dealing in property.
LAW 720. Entertainment Law. 3 Hours.
A foundation for the pursuit of a transactional or corporate law career in the entertainment industry. Includes the law contracts, copyright, trademark, and agent representation issues.
LAW 721. Sports Law. 3 Hours.
A foundation for the pursuit of a transactional or corporate law career in sports law. Includes the practical application of law of contracts and the process of negotiation.
LAW 722. Civil Procedure: Rules. 3 Hours.
This required, first -year course examines most provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including coverage of pleading, pre-trial motions, joinder, discovery, summary judgment, jury trial rights, and post-trial motions.
LAW 723. Immigration Law. 2,3 Hours.
Constitutional underpinnings for immigration power; categories of and requirements for employment-based, family-based, and diversity-based immigration; visas for temporary visitation; problems with illegal immigration; removal procedures; and special policy issues, such as terrorism.
LAW 725. Constitutional Law 1. 3,4 Hours.
Basic study of the principles of constitutional decision making. Areas of emphasis include the allocation of power within the federal system, procedural and substantive due process, and equal protection of the law.
LAW 726. Constitutional Law 2. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 725. First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and petition.
LAW 727. Evidence. 3 Hours.
Rules, principles, and practice of the law of evidence covering judicial notice; real, demonstrative, testimonial and circumstantial evidence; hearsay; and other exclusionary rules, privileges, confidential relationships, witnesses, and other related subjects.
LAW 728. West Virginia Constitutional Law. 2 Hours.
A study of the West Virginia Constitution, its history, and its judicial interpretation with special emphasis on the branches of state government.
LAW 729. Business Organizations. 4 Hours.
Basic introduction to business organizations, their formation, maintenance, and dissolution. Includes agency, partnership, and corporations.
LAW 732. Construction Law. 3 Hours.
The course explores specialized legal issues in the law governing building construction including legal relationships among the primary participants in such projects and an examination of current decisional and statutory law affecting those relationships.
LAW 733. Education Law. 3 Hours.
A survey of major topics in education law with a focus on public primary and secondary education. The course includes consideration of both constitutional and statutory law affecting schools.
LAW 734. Intellectual Property. 3 Hours.
Legal problems in the protection of ideas including copyright, trademark, patent, and law of unfair competition; and their interrelationship.
LAW 735. Patent Law. 3,4 Hours.
The application and interpretation of patent law, including the requirements for obtaining a patent, infringement action, and other patent related law and policy.
LAW 736. Legal Estate Planning. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 716. The law in its relation to problems of intergenerational transfers, including federal transfer taxes (estate and gift tax), life insurance, revocable and irrevocable trusts, wills, and the probate process.
LAW 737. Land Use Planning. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 707. An in-depth study of the law of land use planning and zoning, generally and specifically in West Virginia, examining constitutional and statutory basis of land-use controls.
LAW 738. Business Torts. 3 Hours.
The study of trademark, trade secrets, and unfair competition law, with a strong emphasis on the development of these doctrines in American law from both a statutory and common law perspective.
LAW 739. American Legal History. 3 Hours.
The study of American law from the colonial period to the present with emphasis on the jurisprudential, social, economic, political and cultural influences that have shaped the development of a distinctively American legal system.
LAW 740. Conflict of Laws. 3 Hours.
Legal problems arising when an occurrence cuts across state or national boundaries, emphasizing questions of characterization, jurisdiction, foreign judgments, recognition and application of foreign law in selected fields of law.
LAW 741. Employment Law. 3-4 Hours.
The course primarily focuses on federal and state regulations of the employee- employer relationships and may include: wrongful discharge, employee discrimination, wage/hour issues, and occupational safety and health.
LAW 742. Professional Responsibility. 3 Hours.
Professional responsibility in the administration of justice in society; Code of Professional Responsibility examined in light of traditional and changing demands of the legal system.
LAW 743. Patent Prosecution. 3 Hours.
PR: LAW 735. The study of all stages of patent prosecution, with an emphasis on claims drafting and amendment of claims. Prosecution study emphasizes drafting responses to official actions.
LAW 744. Law and Economics. 3 Hours.
Legal rules and institutions from perspective of economics; basic assumptions and principles with application to private law (contract, tort, nuisance, litigation) and public law (regulations, taxation, redistribution.).
LAW 746. Lawyers and Literature. 3 Hours.
A course of literary readings (emphasizing fiction and novels) that involve lawyers and focus on the theme of reflection and introspection.
LAW 747. Health Care Law. 3 Hours.
This introductory course in health care law includes state and federal regulation of the business of health care, system managed care, fraud and abuse, and health care transactions.
LAW 748. Presidential Powers. 2 Hours.
This course explores the role of the executive vis-a-vis Congress and the Judiciary through a study of the historical, textual, and functional bases of executive power, as well as the limitations on it.
LAW 750. Alternative Dispute Resolution. 3 Hours.
A theoretical and practical examination of negotiation, court-annexed and private mediation and arbitration, summary jury and minitrials, and other alternative dispute resolution processes; an assessment of the appropriateness of ADR for particular legal disputes.
LAW 752. Jurisprudence. 3 Hours.
Introduction to legal philosophy. Major jurisprudential issues; definition of law, concept of justice, relation of law and morality considered in light of specific legal theories and contemporary issues.
LAW 753. Estate and Gift Taxation. 3 Hours.
Application of federal transfer taxes (estate and gift tax) and West Virginia inheritance tax; inter vivos transfers; joint interests; life insurance; valuation; exemptions, exclusions and deductions; marital deduction.
LAW 754. State and Local Taxation. 2,3 Hours.
Constitutional limitations; examination of specific taxes such as ad valorem, sales and use, business and occupation, and income taxes; tax exemptions; and tax procedure.
LAW 755. Partnership Tax. 2 Hours.
PR: LAW 719. The study of Partnership Tax with an emphasis on reading the appropriate sections of the Internal Revenue Code and applying them to various problems to instill in the students the fundamentals of partnership tax.
LAW 756. Trial Advocacy. 4 Hours.
PR: LAW 727. Introduction to techniques of, and moral and ethical questions associated with trial practice, jury selection, opening statement, direct and cross examination, closing argument. Lecture, discussion, and simulation.
LAW 757. Law Review 1. 1 Hour.
PR: Student in college of law. (May be repeated for a maximum of 2 credit hours.) Legal research, writing, and editing involved in the production for publication of analytical and scholarly commentary on the law. Enrollment is limited to third-year students who are members of the West Virginia Law Review.
LAW 758. Law Review 2. 1 Hour.
LAW 759. Civil Rights. 3 Hours.
Survey of federal civil rights and statutes; causes of action to vindicate constitutional rights and remedy discrimination; primary emphases on substance, procedures, and defenses under 42 U.S.C. 1983.
LAW 760. Workers Compensation Law. 3 Hours.
A study of the compensation system for work related injuries.
LAW 762. Federal Courts. 3 Hours.
Jurisdiction and procedure in federal courts. Federal question and diversity jurisdiction; removal jurisdiction and procedure; the law applied in federal courts, and procedural rules unique to the federal system.
LAW 763. Employment Discrimination. 3 Hours.
Survey of federal and state statutes prohibiting discrimination in employment practices on grounds of race, gender, national origin, religion, age, or disability.
LAW 764. Administrative Law. 3 Hours.
Creation and operation of administrative agencies, common procedural practices and requirements of administrative procedure acts, judicial control of administrative agencies.
LAW 766. Coal/Oil and Gas. 3 Hours.
Nature of ownership of subsurface minerals; methods of transferring ownership thereof, partition among co-owners, analysis of leasehold estates, and rights and duties thereunder, coal mining rights and privileges.
LAW 767. Bankruptcy: Creditors and Debtors Rights. 3 Hours.
Federal bankruptcy law including consumer and business liquidation in Chapter 7 and rehabilitation in Chapter 11 and Chapter 13. Actual preparation of filings and plans. Introductory coverage of state debtors in collecting debts and enforcing judgments.
LAW 768. International Law. 3 Hours.
The law governing the behavior of nations; overview of customary law, treaties, dispute resolution, armed conflict, and recent specific problems for the United States in the world community.
LAW 769. Family Law. 3 Hours.
The law in its relation to creation, stability, and breakdown of domestic relations including engagement, marriage, annulment, separation, divorce, alimony and child support, custody, and adoption (Based on national and West Virginia law.).
LAW 770. Insurance. 2 Hours.
A survey of the basic principles, rules, and issues from the formation of the insurance relationship including indemnity, protections afforded, claims, and payment.
LAW 771. Labor Law. 3 Hours.
Labor-management relations under the general jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board and the courts. Collective bargaining, administration, and enforcement of labor agreements and enforcement and protection of rights of employees, unions, and the public.
LAW 773. Payment Systems. 2 Hours.
The law dealing with bills, notes and checks. The relationship of banks with depositors and other banks; commercial credit operations; creation and protection of claims, and UCC Articles 3, 4 and 4a.
LAW 774. Local Government. 2 Hours.
Distribution of governmental authority among local, state, and national governments; public office and employment, liability risks of local governmental action; taxing and budgeting.
LAW 775. Pre-trial Litigation. 3 Hours.
This course will immerse students in the daily work of civil litigators. Students will learn the procedural and substantive contours of litigating a hypothetical case from its inception through the eve of trial.
LAW 776. Sales and Secured Transactions. 4 Hours.
Functional approach designed to use the UCC for commercial and consumer problems. Focus on sale of goods, security interest in personal property, and Articles 1, 2, 6, and 9 of the UCC.
LAW 777. Health Care Torts. 3 Hours.
Introduction to legal issues that arise in the U.S. health care system relating mainly to patient care; emphasizing topics such as medical malpractice, informed consent, patient confidentiality, quality and accessibility of health care to patients.
LAW 778. Trade Regulation. 3 Hours.
Federal and state controls of vertical and horizontal integration and the legal limits upon the concentration of economic power in the United States.
LAW 779. Business Transactions Drafting. 4 Hours.
Focuses on the process and principles of drafting documents used in connection with various types of business arrangements. Such documents establish norms, or rules of expected behavior between the parties in the business context.
LAW 780. Federal Judicial Externship 1. 2-8 Hours.
PR: LAW 727 and PR or CONC: LAW 780A. Strongly recommended that students take LAW 618 and LAW 762 prior to enrolling in this course. A two-component, practical course in which selected students will serve as regular, full-time clerks to federal district court and appellate judges for one semester. Classroom instruction and writing requirements are included.
LAW 780A. Federal Judicial Externship 2. 6-11 Hours.
LAW 781. Postmodern Jurisprudence. 3 Hours.
This course explores contemporary legal philosophy. It examines reactions of postmodern schools - law and literature, law and economics, critical race, gender law, queercrit, pragmatism, therapeutic jurisprudence - to classical jurisprudence including natural law, positivism and realism.
LAW 782. Legal Clinic 1. 7 Hours.
LAW 783. Legal Clinic 2. 7 Hours.
LAW 784. Securities. 3 Hours.
Federal and state regulations of the distribution of and trading in securities, including the Blue-Sky Laws and federal acts.
LAW 785. Federal Corporate Taxation. 4 Hours.
PR: LAW 719. Application of federal income taxation to corporations and shareholders; distributions and redemptions; complete liquidations; corporate acquisitions and divisions; and Subchapter S.
LAW 786. Lugar Trial Advocacy. 1,2 Hour.
An extensive lecture series and trial simulation program designed to provide opportunities for students to develop advanced litigation skills. Students must participate in six full-scale mock trials and one outside trial competition.
LAW 787. Intercollegiate Moot Court. 1,2 Hour.
Appellate brief writing and argumentation for members of intercollegiate moot court teams.
LAW 788. Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation. 3 Hours.
This course provides instruction in the lawyering skills involved in interviewing and client counseling as well as negotiation on a client's behalf. Simulations are employed to develop and enhance these practical lawyering skills.
LAW 789. Law of Environmental Protection. 3 Hours.
Problems of identifying and evaluating scientific evidence of air and water pollution; weighting the benefits of economic and technological progress against resulting harm to the quality of life; choice among alternative forms of litigation and public regulation as methods of social control.
LAW 791A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.
PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.
LAW 792A-Z. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.
Directed study, reading, and/or research.
LAW 794A-Z. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.
Research seminar in various topics. Substantial writing is required under close supervision of the faculty member. (Enrollment limited).
LAW 795. Independent Study. 1-9 Hours.
Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.
LAW 797. Research. 1-15 Hours.
PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).
Professors of Law
- Gerald G. Ashdown - J.D. (University of Iowa)
James H. "Buck" and June M. Harless Professor of Law
- Robert M. Bastress - J.D. (Vanderbilt University); LL.M. (Temple University)
John W. Fisher, II Professor of Law
- Gregory W. Bowman - J.D. (Northwestern University)
- Thomas C. Cady - LL.B. (University of Texas); LL.M. (Georgetown University)
- Vincent P. Cardi - J.D. (Ohio State University); LL.M. (Harvard University)
Bowles Rice Professor of Law
- Charles R. DiSalvo - J.D. (University of Southern California)
Woodrow A. Potesta Professor of Law
- James R. Elkins - J.D. (University of Kentucky); LL.M. (Yale University)
- Joshua Fershee - J.D. (Tulane University)
- James J. Friedberg - J.D. (Harvard University)
Hale J. and Roscoe P. Posten Professor of Law
- David C. Hardesty, Jr. - J.D. (Harvard University)
President Emeritus, West Virginia University (1995-2007)
- David L. Krech - J.D. (Cornell University)
Director of Legal Research and Writing; Director of Appellate Advocacy
- Anne M. Lofaso - J.D. (University of Pennsylvania); Ph.D. (University of Oxford)
Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development
- Jena Martin - J.D. (Howard University); LL.M. (University of Texas)
- Joyce E. McConnell - J.D. (Antioch School of Law); LL.M. (Georgetown University Law Center)
WVU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Thomas R. Goodwin Professor of Law
- Majorie A. McDiarmid - J.D. (Columbia University); LL.M. (Harvard University)
Steptoe and Johnson Professor of Law and Technology; Director of the Clinical Law Program
- Patrick C. McGinley - J.D. (Duke University)
Charles H. Haden II Professor of Law
- James A. McLaughlin - J.D. (Ohio State University)
Robert L. Shuman Professor of Law
- Dale P. Olson - J.D. (University of Minnesota); LL.M. (Yale University)
- Thomas O. Patrick - J.D. (West Virginia University)
- Alison Peck - J.D. (Yale Law School); LL.M. (University of Arkansas)
- William Rhee - J.D. (Northwestern University)
- John E. Taylor - J.D. (University of North Carolina); Ph.D. (Stanford University)
- Hollee S. Temple - J.D. (Duke University)
Associate Professors of Law
- Valena Beety - J.D. (University of Chicago)
Deputy Director of the Clinical Law Program; Chair of the West Virginia Innocence Project
- Valarie Blake - J.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
- Atiba R. Ellis - J.D. (Duke University)
- Kendra Fershee - J.D. (Tulane University)
- Jessica A. Haught - J.D. (West Virginia University)
- Lynne Maxwell - J.D. (Duquesne University School of Law)
Law Library Director
- Jesse Richardson - J.D. (University of Virginia)
- Camille M. Riley - J.D. (St. Louis University)
- Arthur Rizer - J.D. (Gonzaga University); LL.M. (Georgetown University)
- Matthew Titolo - J.D. (University of California); Ph.D. (University of California)
- Shine (Sean) Tu - J.D. (University of Chicago); Ph.D. (Cornell University)
- James Van Nostrand - J.D. (University of Iowa); LL.M. (Pace University)
Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development
- Kirsha Trychta - J.D. (Duquesne University)
Director of Academic Excellence
- Elaine W. Wilson - J.D. (Boston University)
Land Use and Sustainable Development Clinicians
- Jared Anderson - J.D. (Catholic University of America)
Supporting Land Use Attorney
- Christy Burnside DeMuth - M.S. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
Land Use Planner
- Nathan Fetty - J.D. (West Virginia University)
- Katherine Garvey - J.D. (University of Missouri-Kansas City); LL.M. (Vermont Law School)
Director of the Land Use and Sustainable Development Clinic
- Jason Walls - J.D. (West Virginia University)
Land Conservation Attorney
- Michael Blumenthal - J.D. (Cornell University)
Co-Director of the Immigration Law Clinic
- Barton Z. Cowan - J.D. (Harvard University)
- Larry Starcher - J.D. (West Virginia University)
- Suzanne M. Weise - J.D. (West Virginia University)
Director of the Child and Family Law Clinic
- Joshua Weishart - J.D. (University of California)
- Forest J. Bowman - J.D. (West Virginia University)
Jackson and Kelly Professor of Law Emeritus
- Franklin D. Cleckley - J.D. (Indiana University); LL.M. (Harvard University)
- John Fisher - J.D. (West Virginia University)
William J. Maier, Jr. Dean Emeritus; Robert M. Steptoe and James D. Steptoe Professor of Law Emeritus
- Robert Lathrop - LL.M. (New York University)
- Gregory W. Bowman - J.D. (Northwestern University)
Dean and Professor of Law
- Gregory Elkins - Ed.D. (Texas Tech)
Associate Dean for Administration and Finance
- Anne M. Lofaso - J.D. (University of Pennsylvania); Ph.D. (University of Oxford)
Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development, Professor of Law
- John E. Taylor - J.D. (University of North Carolina); Ph.D. (Stanford University)
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor of Law
- Janet Long Armistead - M.A. (West Virginia University)
- Amber Brugnoli - J.D. (West Virginia University)
- Bill Coates - B.A. (West Virginia University)
- Jessica Stolarik - J.D. (West Virginia University)
Continuing Legal Education
- Tina Jernigan - M.S. (Marshall University)
- James Jolly - B.A. (Radford University)
Marketing and Communications
- Lynne Maxwell - J.D. (Duquesne University)
- Stenja McVicker - M.P.A. (West Virginia University)
Business Planning Officer
- Jennifer Powell - J.D. (West Virginia University)
Center for Law and Public Service
- Keith Walton - B.S. (West Virginia University)
Law School Technology
- Rosalind Lister - M.S.Ed. (Purdue University)
- Elissa Momen - B.S. (West Virginia University)
- J.J. Davis - M.B.A. (Fairmont State University)
College of Law
- Eric Meadows - B.B.A. (Marshall University)