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WV Fund for Law in the Public Interest

We still have tax credits to award! The WV Neighborhood Investment Program has awarded the WV Fund for Law in the Public Interest several thousand dollars of WV state tax credits! We can now give those to our donors who contribute $500 or more. If you donate $500 or more, you get half the donation back in the form of a WV tax credit. You can use this credit for your WV personal income tax, corporate net profits tax, or business franchise tax liabilities.

If you are interested in receiving WV state tax credits, please feel free to send your donations of $500 to me, c/o The West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest (WVFLIPI) at P.O. Box 6130, Morgantown, WV 26506. Our annual mailer is on its way to all members of the WV Bar, so feel free to use that to send in your donation if that is more convenient. You can also donate by credit card on our website, www.wvpublicinterest.org. We welcome donations of any size and are grateful for your support.

Thank you for supporting our work. Last summer we were able to fund 22 law students to work 10 weeks, full time, in public interest organizations around the state and two post-graduate fellows who worked for a year at Legal Aid of WV. We are able to do that because of generous donors like you. Thank you for helping us serve low income West Virginians who are in dire need of legal services.

The West Virginia Fund for Law in Public Interest is a non-profit organization that works to fund fellowships for WVU College of Law students to spend the summer working in public interest organizations throughout West Virginia. Founded in 1987, the fund seeks to help students gain a deeper understanding of the grave importance of public interest work. These students provide legal services to help West Virginians, including the elderly, the poor, children, and victims of domestic violence.

The Fund for the Public Interest consists of the board directors: one faculty member; two attorneys working for the Public Interest; and six students – three second year and three third year students. The Fund meets quarterly to discuss future programs and current initiatives.

Public Interest Advocates (PIA)

The PIA is a student organization at the WVU College of Law that works closely with the Fund to help facilitate the candidate selection process. This organization supports the fund by conducting fund raising activities throughout the year, including raffles, online textbook sales, a benefit concert each semester at 123 Pleasant Street, and the annual Spring Auction.

Fellowships

The Fund awards PIA fellowships annually to West Virginia College of Law students through a competitive selection process. Since its inception, over 350 students have received fellowships at public interest organizations. These include Legal Aid of West Virginia, Senior Legal Aid of West Virginia, Mountain State Justice, the Public Defender’s Office, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, ACLU of WV, Disability Rights of WV, and ChildLaw Services, Inc.

The Sprouse Public Defender Fellowship is particularly competitive and students apply in the fall to be awarded this opportunity. One student who is awarded the Sprouse fellowship will work with a state public defender and the other with a federal public defender.

The Charon Fellowship is a new PIA fellowship that has been created in honor of the late Regina Charon, Esq. This fellowship, established by Regina’s husband Nyles, honors Regina’s legacy as a legal services attorney. This fellowship will be awarded annually to a student who will be employed at one of the branch offices of Legal Aid of West Virginia.