CHARLESTON -– Since its inception in 2002, the Campaign for Legal Aid has done a remarkable job of making the support of legal services the primary focus of charitable giving from West Virginia's legal community.
The 2009-2010 Campaign Co-Chairs John Cooper of Cooper & Preston in Parsons and J. Tyler Dinsmore of Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso in Charleston hope to lead the effort to record-breaking success by meeting their fundraising goal of $1 million.
"I began my career as a lawyer for Legal Aid in Wheeling," Cooper said. "I quickly learned that Legal Aid is one of the most vital components of the legal system. The notion of 'Justice for All' has little meaning if we exclude those without a means to pay for non-fee-generating legal services."
Cooper and Dinsmore will be supported in their fundraising efforts by a statewide Leadership Committee of nineteen volunteers, whose goal is to secure donations to the Campaign from attorneys in their firm or county.
The Leadership Committee members include:
* Hunter Mullens – Mullens & McGuire – Philippi
* Steve Davis – Breckinridge, Davis, Sproles & Chapman – Summersville
* Terry Butcher – Butcher & Butcher – Glenville
* James 'Jay' Geary – Geary & Geary Law – Petersburg
* Jeff Bowers – Jeff Bowers Law Office – Franklin
* Joyce Stewart – Joyce E. Stewart Law Office – Moorefield
* Mike Mullens – Mike Mullens & Associates – Elkins
* Charles Piccirillo – Shaffer & Shaffer – Madison
* Allen Riley – Allen Riley Attorney at Law – Romney
* David Webb – David H. Webb Attorney at Law – Keyser
* Jim Wright – Steptoe & Johnson – Wheeling
* Gretchen Callas – Jackson Kelly – Charleston
* Andy Arbogast – Spilman, Thomas & Battle – Charleston
* Brace Mullett – Dinsmore & Shohl – Charleston
* Diana Johnson – Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love – Charleston
* John Lukens – LAWV Attorney Emeritus – Charleston
* Kate McCoy – Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso – Charleston
* John McGhee – Kay, Casto & Chaney – Charleston
* Paul Farrell – Greene, Ketchum, Bailey & Tweel – Huntington
"I have been involved with the Campaign for Legal Aid for years, both as a donor and Committee member, and now as Co-Chair," Dinsmore said. "Given the current economy, this may well be one of the most important opportunities of our lifetime: securing legal services for the increasing population of those in need, but unable to pay.
Legal Aid of West Virginia is a private, non-profit corporation established for the purpose of providing civil legal assistance and advocacy to low-income residents of West Virginia. Legal Aid's priorities include helping victims secure protection from domestic violence, helping individuals and families make the transition from welfare to work, handling cases that gain access to necessary health care services, helping individuals secure social security income and other benefits for which they legally qualify, insuring that poor families are able to maintain or secure safe and affordable housing and shelter, assisting individuals to gain access to education and training, and providing legal assistance in consumer and employment-related matters.
For more information about Legal Aid, visit at www.lawv.net.