WHEELING – Legal Aid of West Virginia has selected a new supervising attorney at its Wheeling office. Attorney J. Michael Prascik has taken over the position, which began at the end of last year.

Prascik has been practicing law for more than 14 years and previous served as a member at Hartley & O’Brien PLLC. He is excited about taking on such a big role in the company, but most importantly to him, the opportunity to be involved with his local community.

“Being named supervising attorney for Legal Aid’s Wheeling office provides me with a chance to participate in my community in a way I’ve never been able to before,” Prascik told The West Virginia Record. “Most people don’t have frequent formal contact with the legal system, and their views of it are usually shaped by limited encounters. It’s a privilege to have a chance to make those encounters positive, and hopefully not just solve individual problems, but also play a part in benefiting the legal system as a whole.”

Prascik owes his reputable experience for the position to his work community at LAWV’s Wheeling Office.

“When I first started at Legal Aid, I was concerned about the steep learning curve I expected to have, having limited experience in some of the types of law on which the organization focuses,” Prascik said. “The folks in the Wheeling office and Legal Aid as a whole have done a great job easing my transition, though. I’m extremely lucky to have joined an office with a very high collective level of expertise, as well as a staff of individuals patient and helpful enough to get me settled in.”

Before his work with Legal Aid, civil legal work wasn’t something that Prascik was always passionate about—but, he was always concerned about people.

“Ever since I was in law school I had a high regard for Legal Aid’s work, although I’m not sure I appreciated what a broad range of work Legal Aid does until more recently,” Prascik said. “There are certainly areas of substantive law I’m doing now that I wouldn’t have seen myself doing in the past, but the common thread of protecting people’s rights that runs through Legal Aid’s work is very consistent with the type of work that has always appealed to me.”

Prascik is replacing longtime former Legal Aid attorney Nan Brown. Brown has worked in the Wheeling office for more than 30 years – 20 of those he served as the supervising attorney. Prascik would like to continue the work that Legal Aid’s Wheeling office has done in the past, and continue to cultivate relationships.

“The people in the Wheeling office have done wonderful work for a long time, so what I’d like to do first is earn their trust and respect,” Prascik said.

Prascik has been in his new position since October 2016.

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