MORGANTOWN -- West Virginia University is introducing a legal certification class on title research for students who are graduating and are interested in continuing their career in the energy sector. 

"Two major natural gas pipeline projects were recently approved in West Virginia, and we anticipate an increase in the need for attorneys with efficient and accurate title chain research skills," Heather Spielmaker, assistant dean for career service at WVU, told The West Virginia Record.

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For students at the university, having the appropriate training at the right time will ensure they are ready to meet workplace demands.

"In a state that is so heavily involved in mineral rights and energy law, that skill will make our recent graduates much more attractive to firms across the state, and it will allow them to do better work, more quickly, when they arrive at their new jobs," Spielmaker said.

The new program will include classroom instruction, field work in county record rooms and an exam.

"By the end, participants should be able to efficiently and accurately research title chains," Spielmaker said. "This program is being offered through the WVU College of Law Career Services Center."

The law firm Gemondo and McQuiggan will provide the instruction and field work supervision, as well as example files for the participants to research.  

"They will likely contribute 70-plus for the course, and we are extremely grateful for their generous donation of time," Spielmaker said.  "Additionally, the county clerks in Monongalia and Marion counties have agreed to waive the copy fees for students completing work associated with this program. We really appreciate their support." 

Students who graduating from WVU Law this month are eligible to enroll.

"In the future, we hope to expand the program to include newer licensed attorneys through WVCLE," Spielmaker said.

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