CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Bar Foundation has honored Charleston lawyer Rebecca Tinder by naming her to its list of 2017 Fellows.
Tinder did not start planning for a career in the law; instead her earliest ambitions were focused on medicine.
"I started college with an intent to be a doctor, specifically psychiatrist," she told The West Virginia Record. "I ended up majoring in psychology and working in that field before, on the advice of my parents, attending law school."
She graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor's degree in psychology, but went on to follow her parents' advice and earned a Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University College of Law.
After completing her Juris Doctorate, Tinder's legal career began in 1987 when she started working as a lawyer for a solo attorney in Morgantown. Then she moved on to work in Mercer County where she began work as a solo practitioner at a firm called Bell and Griffith, while partnered with Mary Ellen Griffith, another local lawyer.
In 2000 she transitioned to a role as the general counsel to the West Virginia Board of Education and Department of Education, and stayed there until 2005. When she took on her current position at Bowles Rice where she advises, represents and conducts trainings for school districts, regional education service agencies, and multi-county career and technical education centers.
In addition, over the course of career she developed experience in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, medical malpractice, family law and abuse and neglect. She has also developed skills as a trained mediator, with extensive experience in civil and family law mediation.
"I have practiced law from the plaintiff’s perspective, the government’s perspective, and the defendant’s perspective," she said. "It has all been meaningful work and I have loved every legal position that I have held."
She is currently a member of several local professional organizations including the West Virginia Bar Association and the Education Law, the Government Lawyers and the Animal Law Committees of the State Bar. And she is active as the local community West Virginia State We the People Coordinator.
Despite not being a member of the West Virginia Bar Association, she has been named to the organization's list of Fellows for 2017. The West Virginia Bar Association is a philanthropic organization for the legal profession. For 19 years it has selected legal professionals whose careers have demonstrated dedication to the welfare of their communities and honorable service to the legal profession with the individuals selected reflecting the diverse nature of the legal profession in West Virginia.
Tinder was named along with 15 other lawyers and judges, including Robby J. Aliff, W. Marston Becker, Charles O. Lorensen, Dale W. Steager and Tomas R Vernon at the Bar Foundation Fellows Dinner.
"I was inducted with a very deserving and well-respected group of attorneys which makes it all the more special," she said. "It is rewarding to know that others have noticed me and my contributions among so many hard-working and deserving West Virginia lawyers."