MORGANTOWN -- Kimberly S. Croyle has been named West Virginia University's general counsel and vice president for legal affairs.
Croyle earned her undergraduate and law degrees from WVU and has been a partner in the Morgantown office of Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love since 1999. She joined the firm in 1992 as an associate.
Croyle said in her new role she will serve as general counsel for WVU.
"The legal staff will answer all legal questions that people in the community might have," she said. "If someone has legal issues or needs a contract read, we'll be here to help."
Croyle said she and the legal staff will also monitor all litigation cases that WVU is involved in.
In fifth grade, Croyle said, she decided she wanted to interview a lawyer and see what law was about for her school's career project. Her teacher set up an interview for her with a local attorney named Ward Stone.
"I always had TV images of what law was like," Croyle said. "My interview with Mr. Stone turned out being an interview with him interviewing me."
Croyle said Stone told her being a lawyer was about helping people.
"He told me law was all about solving people's problems. That struck a chord with me and I always remembered it," she said.
Croyle's interview was supposed to be a two-part interview, but between the first and second meeting, Stone passed away.
"I've carried his philosophy with me since then. Law was calling and I've been happy it's what I've done for my career," she said.
Croyle said didn't grow up with any lawyers in her family.
"I think it's really important for lawyers to recognize you can be a role model for someone and change the course of their lives," Croyle said. "If I had not spoken to Mr. Stone when I was in fifth grade, I might not be in the field of law today."
When WVU President James P. Clements called to ask her to be part of the team, Croyle said it was a very difficult decision for her.
"I've been with the same firm since I was a first year law student," she said. "I love it here, but it is just one of those things you have to do."
Croyle said she is honored by the fact she's been called to work with WVU.
"I'm nervous, but I'm looking forward to it," she said. "When WVU calls and says they want your help, you've got to do it!"
Clements said Croyle has the type of legal and managerial experience WVU was looking for.
"Her background in and knowledge of education law is especially well suited for this role," Clements said. "I am pleased to welcome her back to her alma mater as part of our leadership team."
WVU Board of Governors Chairwoman Carolyn Long said she was impressed with Croyle's legal experience and management style.
"It's an exciting and important time to be a part of this University, and I look forward to working with her," Long said.
Croyle is a life-long resident of West Virginia and grew up in Morgantown.
"I know how important WVU is to this state and this community," Croyle said. "I am so humbled to be a part of a University that means so much to me."
Among Croyle's clients are boards of education throughout West Virginia on education law issues such as the open governmental proceedings act, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Title IX compliance and others. As such, she litigates cases in state and federal court and appears before the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance board at administrative hearings and mediations.
She is a frequent presenter at law conferences and has been published in publications of the American Association of School Administrators and National School Boards Association, among others. She is licensed in West Virginia, the U.S. District Courts for both the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Croyle resides in Morgantown with her husband, Terry Croyle, and twin sons, Drew and Park.
At WVU, Croyle will oversee a current staff of seven attorneys, two senior legal administrative assistants and two legal graduate assistants. Her annual salary will be $197,000.