CHARLESTON – Allen H. Loughry II has worn many hats in his lifetime — from senior assistant attorney general to special prosecuting attorney to special assistant to a Congressman — but through all of that, he is looking forward to being West Virginia’s newest State Supreme Court justice most of all.
Loughry was born and raised in West Virginia. He was born in Elkins, grew up in Parsons and now resides in Charleston with his wife Kelly Loughry, who is a native of Morgan County, and their son, Justus.
From the age of six, Loughry has had an interest in politics.
“I was always fascinated with politics,” Loughry said. “I look at it as a public service—a way to change people’s lives in a positive way.”
Loughry has four law degrees, but he also has a degree in journalism from West Virginia University and he was a reporter for the Parsons Advocate and The Dominion Post, as well as a freelance writer for The Associated Press.
“I enjoyed journalism very much,” Loughry said. “In order to be a good lawyer, you have to be able to communicate and write well, and that is what journalism taught me.”
Loughry said he is honored to be elected to serve as West Virginia’s newest Supreme Court justice.
“I’m an average West Virginian and my family is an average West Virginian family,” he said. “I want the next generation to know that they can count on me; they can participate and be a part of a positive change for this state.”
Loughry said looking into the future, he sees himself running for re-election in 12 years to the same position.
“I love my job at the Supreme Court and I know I will love being a Supreme Court justice,” Loughry said. “I love West Virginia and I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve West Virginia as a Supreme Court justice.”
One of Loughry’s law degrees is from the University of London. Loughry said studying overseas was an incredible experience.
“It was an incredible and different experience,” he said. “It’s a completely different culture. Sometimes, I think we take for granted how things work in America, because it’s a different experience over there. It was fascinating and challenging, but it was an extremely valuable experience and it’s helped me look at things differently.”
Loughry said his book, “Don’t Buy Another Vote: I Won’t Pay for a Landslide” began as his thesis while he was finishing one of his law degrees.
“Part of the reason I wrote the book was because I want to see a positive change in my state,” Loughry said. “It’s a non-partisan look at our state’s history of political corruption.”
Forewords for the book were written by U.S. Sen. John McCain and the late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd. Loughry said the foreword Byrd wrote for his book was the only foreword Byrd ever wrote.
Loughry said he is looking forward to working hard for West Virginians.
“I said many times during my campaign that if you honor me with your vote, I will serve you with honor, and that’s exactly what I plan to do,” Loughry said.
Loughry was a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the West Virginia Attorney General's Office from 1997 to 2003. He served in both the Appellate and Administration Divisions. Loughry was also appointed as a special prosecuting attorney on numerous occasions to handle criminal cases throughout West Virginia.
Loughry served as a special assistant to U.S. Rep. Harley O. Staggers Jr. and as a direct aide to West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton. He also served as a personal assistant to the Tucker County Prosecuting Attorney in 1988 and 1989.
His law degrees include an S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) from The American University, Washington College of Law; an LL.M. (Master of Laws in Criminology and Criminal Justice) from the University of London; an LL.M. (Master of Laws in Law and Government) from The American University, Washington College of Law; and a JD (Juris Doctor) degree from Capital University School of Law, where he graduated with the honor of Order of the Curia.
Loughry also studied law in England at the University of Oxford and received the program’s top political science award.