Randy Yohe Published

Second West Virginia Law School Proposed For Marshall University

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Del. Mathew Rohrbach, R-Cabell, is sponsoring House Bill 4425 to create a law school at Marshall University. Rohrbach said he has no data, but insists this would fulfill an unmet need in southern West Virginia.

“This is to allow people who probably are not going to show up in statistics, But see a real value in getting a legal education to further their professional careers,” Rohrbach said.

Rohrbach proposed the Marshall Law School be housed at the university’s South Charleston campus, and that it offer a non-traditional schedule.

“Probably more night and weekend classes than you would have in a traditional law school.” Rohrbach said. “It’s geared more at people in banking, insurance and mineral law.”

Del. Joey Garcia, D-Marion, is a lawyer who graduated from the state’s only law school at West Virginia University. Garcia said with no data, he’s skeptical at best about a second law school at Marshall.

“The question is do we really need any more lawyers? I think if you went down the street and asked any person, they would say we’d probably need less.” Garcia said. “And, how is that going to affect the West Virginia University College of Law and what it does?”

Marshall’s Communications Director Leah Payne said while a law school is something they’ve considered, the bill proposal came as a surprise.

“There will be a lot of due diligence, studies about need, how a law school could be implemented,” Payne said. ”It’s very premature at this point.”

Currently, the Marshall Law School bill is stalled in the House Education Committee.