Letter to the Editor: Marshall law school would have many positives

By The West Virginia Record | Feb 22, 2007

Dear Editor:

Regarding Brent Williams' recent opinion piece, I agree that competition is needed for our higher education entities to thrive.

However, the real problem is not West Virginia University College of Law's request for more funding. It's the fact that they actively impede Marshall's pursuit of another law school to serve the state.

Huntington residents must realize that our state leadership's allowance of their monopoly also negatively affects our city economically.

Aside from needed academic competition, a law school at Marshall University would have many positive effects on our area.

First, it would provide needed professional education opportunity for the Advantage Valley and Southern West Virginia. Many local students and professionals desire to pursue law degrees, but cannot afford to leave families or careers to move to Morgantown.

Second, locally educated lawyers would give our area more power in state government and force the legislature to better address our area's needs.

Finally, the positive economic impact from the increased number of faculty, students, and their respective spending would lead to needed redevelopment and an economic boost to a city blighted over recent years. For example, the law school could be located in a refitted Huntington East High School and rejuvenate the entire East end.

Marshall University is Huntington's main economic engine, and any impediment of her growth negatively affects the overall quality of life of every single resident.

Our local representatives must realize that if they support WVU-centric legislation that prevents Marshall's growth, they suppress opportunity and economic recovery for our city and the constituency that elected them.

In closing, I ask them to please not limit educational and economic opportunities for both Huntington and West Virginians. It would be a wonderful tribute to the school's namesake to establish the John Marshall School of Law!

Ed Miller

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