CHARLESTON – Charleston native Rebecca Mathews is helping to stimulate the economy in the Gulf Coast of Florida after it was badly hurt by the oil spill last year.

Mathews said lawyers are required to have at least 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education done in person, which is why she is trying to get West Virginia attorneys to complete the mandatory training at the Emerald Coast at what she is calling a continuing education vacation.

"Lawyers can complete 12 hours of CLE, enjoy golf, tennis or the sugar-white sand and emerald water of the Florida panhandle," Mathews said. "They can deduct most of the trip and do a good deed for the hard hit businesses along the Emerald Coast."

Mathews said most attorneys choose to complete their CLE in West Virginia, but after the brutal winter, many may want to consider the Emerald Coast of Florida with its restored world-class beaches with clear emerald water and white sand.

Mathews, a Charleston attorney and former member of the state Legislature, relocated to the Florida panhandle due to a serious illness in her family.

"We've been approved for 12 credits," Mathews said. "We suspect you can deduct almost everything...but a lawyer should check with his/her tax professional before registering."

Mathews said the continuing legal education will include a speaker on profiling and jury selection that is in worldwide demand, as well as a stress course with a simple acupressure technique and an English professor to help with common mistakes.

Mathews said South Charleston Attorney Wyatt Hanna might be in attendance for the spring conference.

"He told me he was thinking of coming," Mathews said. "His wife wants to bring the grandkids. She thinks it's a great idea because it's been such a brutal winter in West Virginia."

Mathews said everyone in the country wants to support the recovery along the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill.

"You really have to see how beautiful it is here to believe it," Mathews said.

For more information, contact Mathews at or 304-533-5771, or visit

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