MORGANTOWN -- This year's recipients of the WVU College of Law Justitia Officium award are Charles M. Love III and Robert M. Steptoe.
The WVU College of Law Justitia Officium Award recognizes outstanding contributions and service to the legal profession and is the highest honor the College of Law bestows on an individual. Established in 1978, in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the College of Law, the Justitia Officium Award is presented annually. An individual bronze plaque bearing the recipient's name and the year the award was presented is mounted in the lobby of the WVU Law Center.
Love is currently employed at Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP in the position of Partner. He is the Leader of the firm's Litigation Practice Group.
Love has served as President of the West Virginia State Bar and as President of The West Virginia Bar Association. He is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.
Love served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (1981 to 2003) and was a member and officer of the Board of Trustees of the Herbert J. Thomas Memorial Hospital. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association, a Fellow of the West Virginia State Bar and a member of the Executive Council of The West Virginia Bar Association. He has served as Chairman of the Legal Ethics Committee of the West Virginia State Bar; Chairman of the Visiting Committee of the College of Law of West Virginia University; and Chairman of the National Development Council of the College of Law of West Virginia University.
Love earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1962 and his law degree in 1965, both from West Virginia University.
He was admitted to practice in West Virginia in 1965, before the Court of Appeals for the United States Fourth Circuit in 1967, the United States Supreme Court in 1969 and the United States Tax Court in 1980. Mr. Love is a member of the Kanawha County Bar Association; the West Virginia State Bar; The West Virginia Bar Association; the American Bar Association; and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
For more than 40 years, Robert M. Steptoe Jr. has focused his practice in the areas of labor and employment law and civil litigation. In addition to counseling clients, Steptoe has tried more than 100 jury and non-jury cases, and has argued about 50 appeals in the West Virginia Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals. He serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Steptoe and Johnson.
Steptoe is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an Advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a Fellow of the West Virginia Bar Foundation, a member of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys, a member of the AAA National Roster of Neutrals, and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of alternative dispute resolution, commercial litigation, and labor and employment law.
Steptoe is also recognized in the 2007 Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He was named to Who's Who in West Virginia Business by The State Journal for 2007.
Within the legal profession, Steptoe has served as President of the West Virginia State Bar, President of the West Virginia Bar Association and President of the West Virginia Bar Foundation. He has served as Adjunct Professor (Appellate Advocacy) at West Virginia University College of Law, and Chair of the Advisory Group for the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 (Northern District of West Virginia).
Within the community, Steptoe has served as President of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, President and Campaign Chair of the United Way of Harrison County, member of the West Virginia Ethics Commission, Board member of United Hospital Center, Inc., and Chairman of the Board of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as Trustee of the West Virginia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
Steptoe received his legal education at West Virginia University College of Law in 1970, where he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and a member of the National Moot Court Team. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Virginia in 1965, after which he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve and served two years on active duty.
The WVU College of Law Hooding and Commencement ceremony including the Justitia Officium presentation can be viewed at online.