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West Virginia University College of Law

West Virginia University
College of Law
Established 1878
Type Public
Dean Gregory Bowman (Interim)[1]
Students 410
Location West Virginia, USA
Campus Urban

The West Virginia University College of Law is the professional school for the study of law at law school was established in 1878 as the first professional school in the state of West Virginia. It remains the only law school in the state.

The law school is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is accredited by the American Bar Association.


  • Admissions 1
  • Rankings 2
  • West Virginia Law Review 3
  • Moot Court 4
  • Bar Passage Rates 5
  • Clinics 6
  • Employment 7
  • Cost 8
  • Notable alumni 9
  • Footnotes 10
  • External links 11


Class of 2016 Profile

For the Class of 2016, we enrolled 118 students with an average age of 25. The age range is 21 to 44; with 69 % male and 31% female; 8.5% are minority students.

The average LSAT is 153 and average GPA is 3.47. There is no set minimum GPA or LSAT required for admission. The admissions committee considers the entire application to determine the applicant’s likelihood of success in law school.

Residents of West Virginia comprised 73% of the entering class with 27% non-resident. The mission of West Virginia University, as a state land-grant institution, is to educate students in this state. Therefore, residents of West Virginia receive preference in the admission process. No additional preference is given to WVU students.[2]


U.S. News & World Report listed WVU's full-time Juris Doctor program as 83rd in the nation in 2014.[3]

  • Best Schools of Law 2015 (Ranked #83) – U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 25 Law School for Corporate Leadership – independent research by Professor Robert Anderson, Pepperdine University
  • Top 5 Regional Law School for Black Law Students – On Being a Black Lawyer (2012, 2013)
  • 2012 Excellence in Pro Bono Award (Clinical Law Program) – Super Lawyer (2013)
  • #33 “Go-To” Law School – National Law Journal (2012)(1 of 2 law schools in the Big 12 Conference – WVU & University of Texas-Austin)
  • #16 Best Value Law School – preLaw Magazine (2012)
  • #15 Best Law School for Public Interest Law – preLaw Magazine (2011)[4]

West Virginia Law Review

Founded in 1894, the West Virginia Law Review is the fourth oldest law review in the United States and publishes three issues each year. The West Virginia Law Review is a professional, student-governed legal journal that publishes articles of interest to legal scholars, students, legislators, and members of the practicing Bar. The publication, which includes notes, comments, and articles of scholarly and practical value to the legal community, is published by a student editorial board. [5]

Moot Court

What is Moot Court? Moot Court encourages the development of skills in brief writing and oral advocacy and recognizes those students who excel in developing these skills, ending in an appellate-level legal argument made before a panel of judges. No member of the Moot Court Board may be a member of Law Review. The skills that you learn in your Legal Research, Reasoning, and Writing classes will be the exact same ones that you will employ as a Moot Court justice. Moot Court prepares you for the legal world.

To participate in Moot Court, you must take Appellate Advocacy in the fall semester of your second year. Eighteen students are accepted into the organization based on their brief and oral argument scores from the fall semester Appellate Advocacy class. All students accepted must compete in the Baker Cup intramural competition in the spring semester. The remaining two positions are filled by the “write-on”? competition during the Baker Cup. All second year students who have passed Appellate Advocacy in the Fall or are currently taking Appellate Advocacy in the Spring are eligible to participate in the Baker Cup. “Write-on” students have a long history of success in the Baker Cup.

In the Baker Cup competition each student is given approximately one month to research the issues given and submit an appellate brief. Once briefs are served, three preliminary rounds of oral arguments are scheduled. Students advance into the later rounds based on a combination of their brief and oral scores. The final six justices who make the semi-finals are accepted on to the National Team and have the privilege of participating in one of the most prestigious advocacy competitions in the United States: the National Moot Court Competition. At the conclusion of the Baker Cup, awards are given for the Best Oralist and Best Brief. Furthermore, the two student advocates in the Final Round have the rare opportunity to argue in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The finalists receive an award and a cash prize for their outstanding achievement. The W.Va. Supreme Court determines the winner of the Baker Cup.

All other Moot Court members will represent West Virginia University College of Law in national competitions during their third year. Moot Court Traveling Team members travel to competitions in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, Fort Lauderdale during the spring, Boston, New York, and Canada, among other locations. Successful tenure on Moot Court earns 3 hours of credit during your final year.

Why is Moot Court Important? Written and oral advocacy are two basic skills required of any attorney, irrespective of the area of law practiced. Even attorneys who never appear before a court must explain legal principles, answer legal questions, and persuade clients to pursue a proper course of action. Moot Court develops these legal skills through first-hand experience. Confidence is gained as you receive feedback on oral argument style and presentation techniques from practicing attorneys and sitting judges. Your appreciation of the effort, time, and preparation that is required to be a competent attorney is immeasurable. If practicing law in a courtroom is your goal, Moot Court will set you up to be successful![6]

Bar Passage Rates

The most common bar for a student out of West Virginia University College of Law is the West Virginia Bar Exam.

  • July 2013: WVU (79.30)
  • July & February 2012: WVU (76.92) State Avg. (81.57)
  • July & February 2011: WVU (78.95) State Avg. (82.88)
  • July & February 2010: WVU (72.82) State Avg. (76.44)[7][8]


  • General Practice Law Clinic
  • Child & Family Law Clinic with Medical-Legal Partnership
  • Domestic Violence Law Clinic
  • Immigration Law Clinic
  • West Virginia Innocence Project Law Clinic
  • Taxpayer Advocacy Law Clinic
  • Veterans Assistance Project Law Clinic

Additional Clinics:

  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation Law Clinic
  • Land Use & Sustainable Development Law Clinic
  • U.S. Supreme Court Law Clinic[9]


According to West Virginia University College of Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 56.9% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[10] West Virginia's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 16.9%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[11]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at West Virginia University for the 2014-2015 academic year is $32,732 for WV residents, and is $49,022 for non-residents.[12] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $129,033 for WV residents, and is $191,600 for non-residents.[13]

Notable alumni

Graduates of the West Virginia University College of Law practice in 46 states in the nation, as well as every county of West Virginia.[1] The law school has many notable alumni, which include former governors, judges, businessmen, congressmen, and diplomats:


  1. ^ "WVU's Wheatly stepping down; Gee names McConnell to provost position July 1". WVU Today ( 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "ABA Required Disclosure". 
  11. ^ "West Virginia University Profile". 
  12. ^ "Cost of Attendance". 
  13. ^ "West Virginia University Profile". 
  14. ^ "Carl George Bachmann". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "William W. Barron". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Irene C. Berger". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "John T. Chambers". NNDB. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Robert Charles Chambers". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "William G. Conley". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  20. ^ "Joseph S. Farland". NNDB. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "John W. Fisher, II". West Virginia University. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Mike Florio". The West Virginia Record. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  24. ^ "Gina Marie Groh". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  25. ^ "Ulysses Jaen". AMSL. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "Jeffrey V. Kessler". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  27. ^ "Menis E. Ketchum". The West Virginia Judicial System. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  28. ^ "Robert Bruce King". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  29. ^ "Jon D. Levy". Maine Judicial Branch. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  30. ^ "William C. Marland". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  31. ^ "Thomas E. McHugh". The West Virginia Judicial System. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  32. ^ "Alan Mollohan". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  33. ^ "Arch A. Moore, Jr.". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  34. ^ "Robert C. Skaggs, Jr.". NNDB. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  35. ^ "Harley O. Staggers, Jr.". NNDB. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  36. ^ Stephanie Thacker

External links

  • Law School Transparency
  • WVU's Law School Transparency
  • WVU College of Law
  • WV Law Review
  • WV Law Libray

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