CHARLESTON – Steptoe & Johnson attorney Kathy G. Beckett was recognized recently for her reputation in environmental law by being named a fellow of The American College of Environmental Lawyers, according to a statement released by the firm.
Beckett credited her West Virginia heritage, in part, for her success in the field.
“West Virginia has an abundance of natural resources, which include clean water, clean air, timber, oil, gas, coal, etc.,” Beckett told The West Virginia Record. “The comprehensive scope of activities in our state informs environmental policy for other states with similar resources.”
In addition, Beckett said West Virginia is also the origin for significant national environmental policy development such as the Emergency Planning and Right to Know Act, developed by chemical industry representatives in the Kanawha Valley.
A West Virginia native, Beckett said “my favorite thing about living and working in West Virginia is the rich sense of community that exists in our mountain state. I value the close working relationships West Virginians have with one another. It is very satisfying to identify a collective goal and work with others to make it a tangible reality.”
Beckett said membership in the ACOEL is by invitation to attorneys who are recognized by their peers as preeminent in their field.
“To become a fellow, one needs to have practiced environmental law for at least 15 years and (to have practiced) for the five years prior to nomination for membership has been at least 50 percent in environmental law.”
“I have practiced environmental law since I graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 1988,” Beckett said, adding that she has maintained her practice in Charleston.
In addition, Beckett said she is a member of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and have chaired its environmental committee for almost 10 years. Beckett also serves as chairman of the U.S. Chamber Energy, Clean Air, and Natural Resource Committee.
“My environmental law career has been significantly impacted by working with the business membership of both organizations,” Beckett said.
Beckett received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and is licensed to practice law in West Virginia and Kentucky.