Marshall College of Law – Fulfillment of an Unmet Need

Dr. Jamil Chaudri

 I am absolutely delighted that Delegate Rohrbach has introduced HB 4425, for a Second Law School in West Virginia. 

  Now, roughly speaking West Virginia has TWO areas of population-concentration:

•North: Monongalia, Marion and Harrison counties.

The South-West: Cabell, Putnam, Kanawha, Raleigh and Mercer counties.

  Furthermore,  West Virginia is slated to have only two seats in the US House of Delegates. Roughly speaking that divides the state in terms of North and South.  

  The population distribution has  over the years shifted in such a way that the  south-western part of the state is badly served in term of opportunity for Law Education. 

  On the other hand, the Office of Management of Budget (OMB) computes the population of the Core-Based Statistical Area of the Conurbation (Charleston, Huntington, Ashland) at 776,694

 Morgantown’s location prevents those living in the South-West of the State from becoming day scholars. 

Thus, establishing a Law School at Marshall University (Charleston Campus) will open opportunities for the population of the South-Western conurbation to study Law.  It will also make Marshall a Comprehensive University.

   Given the Law College Education in America is Graduate Education, by the time one is ready for Law college, most people have obligations to family. Quite a number of couples I know, where one already had a higher degree (often a doctorate) and the other would have preferred to study law, but was prevented on account of lack of viable opportunity. 

   I have a Doctorate from a Business School.  After joining the Faculty at Marshall, in 1984, it slowly dawned on me that a lot of things in Management (as in most other spheres of human endeavour) require procedures which must be defined and subsequently monitored for compliance.  That aroused my curiosity and interest in  how the legal frameworks underpin societally defined space regarding acceptable and unacceptable business decisions.  
I was very interested in studying for the JD degree.  To my surprise I found that the only Law School in West Virgina was in Morgantown.   Of course, I wanted to study Law on a part time basis.  But the problem of travelling to Morgantown proved insoluble.  Now, I have nothing against WVU, (I even taught Summer School there in 1985 or 1986), but unfortunately its physical location is at the outer edges of population concentration areas. 

Dr. Chaudri is a professor in the computer science department.