PARSONS – West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Allen H. Loughry II is proud of his Tucker County roots and welcomed the chance to show Tucker County High School students that hard work can help anyone achieve their dreams.
Loughry spoke to students at the high school on April 3. The next day, the students got to witness the state’s high court in action as part of the Legal Advancement for West Virginia Students (LAWS) program. Through that program, the court’s docket came to the Tucker County Courthouse for the day.
“It was such an honor to return to my home county and to my alma mater as the Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court,” Loughry told The West Virginia Record. “I was thoroughly impressed with the interest and enthusiasm of the students.”
Elkins-born Loughry grew up in Parsons. According to a news release from the court system, he is the first Tucker County native to serve as a state Supreme Court justice.
Before his legal career, Loughry worked in his father’s store, The Parsons News & Novelty. He also was a reporter for The Parsons Advocate.
“I am better for all of those experiences,” Loughry said.
Tucker County has also recognized the justice and his achievements, giving him the Tuckineer Award in 2014. The award recognizes “civic commitment and service to Tucker County,” according to the release.
Loughry said he has always encouraged young people in the community, telling them “they do matter, they do count, and they can achieve anything they set their minds to if they work hard and play by the rules.”
For their parts, the Tucker County High students also enjoyed hearing from Loughry and witnessing three actual cases being argued at the Tucker County Courthouse.
“It is really neat that someone with such a high position came from our high school,” Tucker County senior Ryan Hart told The West Virginia Record. “After studying the cases, I thought differently about the judicial system and what you have to go through.”
Loughry said in a press release he was “especially excited that students from my alma mater will be able to see the Supreme Court in-person and to learn about our judiciary. It might even cause some of them to gain an interest in public service or to pursue a career in law.”
In addition to Loughry’s visit and witnessing the live case proceedings, a Supreme Court attorney also came to the school to speak with the students about appeals.
According to the release, the Supreme Court held the first LAWS program in Beckley in 1999. Since its inception, about 5,700 high school and college students in 33 counties have participated.