June 10th, 2014
Joyce McConnell, Dean of the West Virginia College of Law, Receives 2014 West Virginia Association for Justice Public Service Award
I recently had the pleasure of presenting the 2014 Public Servant Award at the annual meeting of the West Virginia Association of Justice. WVAJ is a group of trial lawyers in the state of West Virginia who have chosen to represent the interests of injured victims. I have been privileged to be on the Board of Directors for many years.
The recipient of the Public Service Award was Joyce McConnell, who has been the Dean of the West Virginia College of Law since 2008. She is well educated, highly respected in her profession and a real God-send to the law school. In addition to teaching and running the law school on a daily basis, Dean McConnell has undertaken a huge expansion at the law school. New classrooms, practice courtrooms and talented faculty members have been added.
More importantly, under her leadership, the number of clinics has grown from one to nine. Clinics give law students hands on experience with real cases under the guidance of experienced lawyers. Just as important is the role the clinics play in helping clients in West Virginia who would otherwise not have access to legal services. Added clinics include those that deal with Children and Families, Domestic Violence, Land Use and Sustainable Development, the Innocence Project (representing those wrongly convicted of crimes who are serving time in prison), Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Immigration, Taxpayer Advocacy, Veterans Assistance and United States Supreme Court cases.
Dean McConnell has made the College of Law a place all West Virginians can point to with pride. If you see her, be sure to offer her your congratulations!