CHARLESTON – Kathy A. Brown faced a situation that many
others in the television news business have experienced. She felt it was time
to move on from the profession as younger colleagues came onto the scene.
Kathy A. Brown
Brown’s career change, however, was anything but typical.
After working in journalism for more than two decades, Brown
attended law school at West Virginia University College of Law, while still
working part-time as a reporter. She graduated from law school in 2001, and in
2009 she opened her own practice, Kathy Brown Law PLLC.
“My time ran out [at the television station],” Brown told The West Virginia Record. “I wanted to do something where I could continue to
Based on her recent recognition by The American Institute of
Personal Injury Attorneys (AIOPIA) as a 2016 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys
for Client Satisfaction, her clients are glad she made the switch.
“It’s a great honor, and I’m glad that my clients feel that
way about me,” Brown said.
AIOPIA is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes
an annual list of the top 10 personal injury attorneys in each state. Attorneys
who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass a selection process based on
client and/or peer nominations, thorough research and AIOPIA’s independent
One of the main elements Brown thinks helped her earn her
client’s respect was accessibility.
“I’m available to talk to them, any time of the day or
night,” Brown said, adding that she makes a promise to try to get back to them
within 24 hours of contacting her. “I’m very accessible to my clients, and I
think they all appreciate that.”
Of course, Brown’s new career choice does not necessarily
stray too far from her days in journalism. As a reporter, Brown said she
covered much court news. In addition, she said her experience as an
investigative reporter helped her know where to turn to get the information she
needs as an attorney. Brown said this is a skill that many lawyers just
starting out in the profession may not possess.
“You’re gathering information to make a case, so it’s very
similar,” Brown said.
Brown opened her practice March 8, 2009. She said she
chose March 8 because it was her father’s birthday, and he had a great
influence on her life, fueling her desire to help people.
At her law school graduation, Brown was one of only 10
members of her class awarded the Order of Barristers, bestowed because
of the ability to make oral and written arguments.
“The sacrifice was worth it for me,” Brown said.
By the time she decided to pursue her law degree, Brown had
already established a successful career in investigative journalism at WSAZ in
Charleston. She helped reveal major errors in the West Virginia State Crime
Lab, which in turn led to the exoneration and release of several innocent
prisoners. She also uncovered corruption in Mingo County, resulting in the
indictment of more than 80 people.
Brown’s “Kathy’s Kids” segments spotlighted critical
children’s issues, bringing their issues to the forefront and providing them
with a staunch, tireless advocate.
In law school, Brown was published in Law Review, and
eventually named executive editor of the publication. Also while still studying law at WVU, Kathy
was hired by former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman’s
private practice. In that capacity, she was permitted to argue a case before
the state Supreme Court, and she remains one of only a handful of students ever
to do so.
Combining her two careers and passions, she created and
presented a legal segment for WSAZ called “Your Legal Right”, in which she
discussed topical issues related to the law.
Brown is a member of the West Virginia State Bar, the West
Virginia Association for Justice, where she is chair of the Women’s Caucus, the
Kanawha County Bar Association and the American Association for Justice. She is
also licensed to practice in North Carolina.
Brown is an outdoor enthusiast and do-it-yourself hobbyist.
She also enjoys gardening and completing home projects. Her daughter and
son-in-law, Sonya and Aaron, are expecting their first child this fall.