Browsing Posts in News

COVID-19 Vaccines Providing Protection at No Cost

Below is information about COVID-19 vaccines, shared from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Today, the Department of Health & Human Services announced that people with Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, private insurance coverage, or no health coverage can get COVID-19 vaccines, including the updated Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, at no cost, for as long as the federal government continues purchasing and distributing these COVID-19 vaccines.

That means those that still need a COVID-19 vaccine can get one for free for now.

For resources to help educate the public about COVID-19 vaccines visit the HHS We Can Do This campaign.

People can visit vaccines.gov (English) or vacunas.gov (Spanish) to search for vaccines nearby.

Link to full News Alert https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/news-alert/updated-covid-19-vaccines-providing-protection-against-omicron-variant-available-no-cost

Frost Brown Todd Wins Pro Bono Law Firm Award

LEGAL AID OF WEST VIRGINIA & THE WEST VIRGINIA STATE BAR CONGRATULATE FROST BROWN TODD, RECIPIENT OF THE 2022 PRO BONO LAW FIRM AWARD

“Attorneys at Frost Brown Todd pursue pro bono work they believe in, and it shows. They are passionate about helping vulnerable people navigate complex legal problems. ”

Jared Tully of Frost Brown Todd accepts Distinguished Pro Bono Firm Award from Legal Aid Executive Director Adrienne Worthy

Frost Brown Todd is a full-service law firm with more than 500 lawyers operating in 15 markets across nine states and Washington, D.C. The Charleston, West Virginia office was established in 2007 and is led by Member-in-Charge Carte Goodwin. The Charleston office has strong ties to every major industry in the region, from health care and manufacturing to energy, insurance, and industrial hemp production.

At its core, Frost Brown Todd is a service-oriented organization. They are committed to being both powerful advocates for their clients and difference makers in their local communities. The work they do is grounded in a strong sense of civic responsibility, and one of the ways they honor this responsibility is by devoting significant time each year to pro bono cases and projects. During 2021, Frost Brown Todd attorneys in the Charleston Office donated over 120 hours of pro bono service to Legal Aid of West Virginia clients, helping with property and housing cases to stabilize living situations and drafting wills for vulnerable West Virginians. 


About the Pro Bono Law Firm Award

Legal Aid of West Virginia’s Pro Bono Law Firm award is presented to the law firm in West Virginia that has provided the most hours of pro bono representation to West Virginians during a given year.

Spilman Thomas & Battle Wins Distinguished Pro Bono Award

LEGAL AID OF WEST VIRGINIA & THE WEST VIRGINIA STATE BAR CONGRATULATE SPILMAN THOMAS & BATTLE, RECIPIENT OF THE 2022 DISTINGUISHED PRO BONO AWARD

“Spilman Thomas & Battle has a long-standing commitment to pro bono and their attorneys are active in and believe in the firm’s mission to give back.”

Spilman Thomas & Battle accept 2022 Distinguished Pro Bono Award from Legal Aid Executive Director Adrienne Worthy


Spilman Thomas & Battle is a full-service, super-regional law firm serving local, regional, national and international businesses. The firm has seven offices located in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina and lawyers admitted to practice throughout the country. The firm was founded over 150 years ago with a strong focus on providing innovative, client driven solutions.

Spilman also encourages their lawyers to make a difference in their community, with members serving as civic leaders, mentors for young people, participants in church councils, and volunteers for neighborhood activities. In 2021, Spilman attorneys also used their professional talents to donate over 70 hours of pro bono assistance to Legal Aid of West Virginia clients, with significant time spent helping families adopt children.  

Spilman Thomas & Battle previously received the Pro Bono Law Firm Award in 2016.


About the Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award

Legal Aid of West Virginia’s Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award recognizes a lawyer or law firm whose pro bono efforts in a given year have gone “above and beyond” the call of duty and are deserving of special recognition.

John Hedges Named Kaufman Award Winner

WEST VIRGINIA STATE BAR CONGRATULATES JOHN HEDGES, RECIPIENT OF THE 2022 KAUFMAN AWARD

“ John is always eager to offer a legal hand to help; from simple wills to complex civil litigation, the knowledge and assistance he provides to pro bono clients is an invaluable asset.”

John Hedges accepts the 2022 Kaufman Award

Upon graduation from the West Virginia University College of Law, John Hedges began his legal career in Charleston, West Virginia in 1984 as a law clerk for Justice Darrell V. McGraw, Jr. with the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Upon completing his clerkship, John  opened his own law firm in Charleston, where he practiced from 1986-1994. In 1994, John moved his practice to Morgantown. In 2011, he was a founding member of the law firm of Hedges & Lyons where he practiced until he retired in 2018. During his career, John engaged in diverse civil ligation and appellate practice with a focus on employment law, government civil rights and tort liability, and insurance coverage litigation. He has also served as Counsel for the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners , co-authored several judicial bench books and manuals relating to various areas of the law, and assisted with the most recent revision of the West Virginia State Bar Constitution & Bylaws.  

Pro bono service and assisting low-income and vulnerable West Virginians has always been an important part of John’s legal practice. While John practiced in Morgantown, he regularly volunteered to help victims of domestic violence seek protection orders. His firm, Hedges & Lyons, received the Pro Bono Law Firm Award in 2017. Since his retirement in 2018, John has become a regular volunteer for Legal Aid of West Virginia’s Elkins Office.  In 2021, John donated over 400 hours of pro bono assistance to represent Legal Aid clients with property and housing issues and drafting wills. 

About the Kaufman Award                                        

The Kaufman Award is awarded in recognition of a West Virginia lawyer who has provided outstanding work pro bono publico and is presented to the individual attorney who has done the most pro bono work during the past year by providing free civil legal services for the low income citizens of the state. The Award is named after Paul J. Kaufman, who was a leading public interest lawyer prior to his untimely death. Mr. Kaufman’s son, Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tod Kaufman, presents the award to the recipient.

Legal Aid of West Virginia receives Pro Bono Innovation Grant

The Legal Services Corporation recently announced that Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV) is among 12 legal aid organizations across the U.S. that will receive a Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant.  LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income individuals with civil legal issues. 

In West Virginia, the grant will support LAWV’s efforts to transform its statewide pro bono program to bring in more volunteers to meet the high priority legal needs of low-income West Virginians. After completing a statewide evaluation of pro bono services,  a new pro bono supervising attorney will help lead LAWV’s efforts to develop replicable statewide pro bono projects and better integrate technology to deliver free services throughout the state.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said, “Ensuring every West Virginian has access to legal aid is vital. I am pleased the Legal Services Corporation is investing in the Legal Aid of West Virginia pro bono program to provide low-income West Virginians with legal services, and I will continue to advocate for resources that support every West Virginian in their time of need.” 

Read about all the grant awards here. 

Legal Aid Community Navigators can help apply for benefits

Please note: As of 2022, our Community Navigators are no longer active.

Legal Aid of WV now has Community Navigators who can assist low-income West Virginians, particularly those who lost jobs due to COVID-19, with completing forms, reviewing applications, and processing requests. Community Navigators will work with clients from June 1 to August 20, 2021 and can help with:

  • Public benefits
  • Unemployment
  • Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program
  • Taxes (including child tax credit)
  • Other programs available to low-income West Virginians

There are four Community Navigators in total, serving all 55 West Virginia counties.

CONTACT A COMMUNITY NAVIGATOR

Brian Fletcher – Huntington

bfletcher@lawv.net

Serving Counties: Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam, Wayne, and Webster counties,

Nick Helmick – Morgantown

nhelmick@lawv.net

Serving Counties: Berkeley, Brooke, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Jefferson, Marion, Marshall, Mineral, Monongalia, Morgan, Ohio, Preston, Tyler, and Wetzel counties,

Donna Franks – Lewisburg

Dfranks@lawv.net

Serving Counties: Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, and Wyoming counties,

David Strange – Clarksburg

dstrange@lawv.net

Serving Counties: Barbour, Calhoun, Doddridge, Grant, Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson, Lewis, Pendleton, Pleasants, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, Wirt, and Wood counties,

Steven R. Broadwater, Jr. wins 2021 Kaufman Award

Steven Broadwater accepts award

West Virginia State Bar Congratulates Steven R. Broadwater, Jr., Recipient of the 2021 Kaufman Award.
Originally from Charleston, Steven R. Broadwater, Jr. graduated from Bethany College with a B.A. in Political Science in 2007 and from the West Virginia University College of Law in 2010. He began his practice of law at the law firm of Hamilton, Burgess, Young and Pollard in Fayetteville upon his admission in 2010. His practice focuses on protecting consumers from debt collectors. As an attorney, Steve has experience with various consumer issues including credit card debt, personal loans, auto loans, home loans, student loans and debt consolidation. 

Steven has donated over 120 hours of pro bono time to represent Legal Aid of West Virginia clients in 21 bankruptcy and consumer cases over the past year or so. He has volunteered regularly with Legal Aid since 2015. During that time, he has assisted Legal Aid clients with bankruptcy and consumer issues in over 50 cases helping low income West Virginians better understand how to move forward financially after experiencing stressful financial situations.
  
The Kaufman Award is awarded in recognition of a West Virginia lawyer who has provided outstanding work pro bono publico and is presented to the individual attorney who has done the most pro bono work during the past year by providing free civil legal services for the low income citizens of the state. The Award is named after Paul J. Kaufman, who was a leading public interest lawyer prior to his untimely death. Mr. Kaufman’s son, Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tod Kaufman, presents the award to the recipient.

Monongalia County Bar Awarded Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award

Monongalia County Bar representatives accept award

Legal Aid of WV and the West Virginia State Bar Congratulate the Monongalia County Bar Association as Recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Pro Bono Award

Established in 1897, the Monongalia County Bar Association (MCBA) has grown to become an active and congenial fraternity of practicing attorneys and judges in the county. The MCBA offers a monthly CLE, awards an annual scholarship to local high school students, and supports other organizations through fundraising and volunteerism. 

Since the pandemic, members have raised funds to provide a holiday party for nursing home residents, to donate lunch to essential workers at local hospitals, and to donate to the local domestic violence shelter for its clients and their families. The current leadership is amplifying community service efforts through its 2021 MCBA Gives Back Initiative, organizing regular volunteer opportunities for members and continuing its fundraising for local programs.Over the years, its members have also regularly assisted low-income and other vulnerable individuals and families through Legal Aid of West Virginia and WVU College of Law. In 2020, MCBA attorneys provided over 384 hours of pro bono service in 81 Legal Aid cases. Many of these hours were provided through the Domestic Violence Assistance Project, which provides legal assistance to petitioners at final protective order hearings. 
Legal Aid of West Virginia’s Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award recognizes a lawyer whose pro bono efforts in a given year have gone “above and beyond” the call of duty and are deserving of special recognition.

Sal Sellaro Culpepper Awarded Distinguished Pro Bono Law Firm

Jeff Culpepper accepts pro bono award plaque from Kate White

Legal Aid of WV and the WV State Bar Congratulate Sal Sellaro Culpepper Legal Group, Recipient of the 2021 Pro Bono Law Firm Award

Sal Sellaro Culpepper, founded in 2007, comprises attorneys Natalie Sal, Amber Sellaro, Jeffrey Culpepper, and Matthew Thorn. In addition to providing exceptional legal services to their clients, all member attorneys are active in their communities, from volunteering with local schools and churches to donating their time and expertise to area charitable organizations.

Although the firm’s makeup has changed over the years, its commitment to pro bono service has not, as the partners built pro bono work into the practice from the beginning to make it an integral part of the firm culture. The firm’s attorneys have a long history of pro bono service, including hosting free legal clinics, participating in the Domestic Violence Assistance Project, and providing direct representation to low-income clients. 

Improving the lives of those most vulnerable remains a core value to Sal Sellaro Culpepper, and its attorneys continue to make a meaningful impact throughout the region. In 2020, the firm provided over 70 hours of pro bono assistance in more than 16 cases through Legal Aid. Sal Sellaro Culpepper is the previous recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Pro Bono Award and the 2015 Pro Bono Law Firm Award. Legal Aid of West Virginia’s Pro Bono Law Firm award is presented to the law firm in West Virginia that has provided the most hours of pro bono representation to West Virginians during a given year. 

LAWV and Unicare Launch Medical-Legal Partnership

Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV) and Medicaid provider UniCare, recently formed a medical-legal partnership that will train UniCare staff to identify civil legal issues affecting their more than 180,000 members and make direct referrals to LAWV for assistance.

The medical-legal partnership is a model successfully used in communities across the United States that approaches health holistically and includes addressing legal problems that may be affecting the overall well-being of clients or patients. Legal issues are expected to include many family-oriented challenges, such as custody, adoption, protection from domestic violence, housing issues, help with public benefitsa, nd many others.

“Healthcare research consistently demonstrates that social drivers of health such as poverty, race, geography and more have direct impacts on an individual’s health and well-being,” says Tadd Haynes, plan president, UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia. “Helping our members resolve issues outside of traditional healthcare support can directly affect their overall health and wellness. UniCare Health Plan continues to find innovative solutions for our members and the community that are vital in reducing stress and alleviating the burden.”

LAWV attorney Olivia Haught, based in Morgantown, is working directly with UniCare staff to educate them on the services provided by LAWV and train them to spot civil legal issues and make referrals.

“I am excited to be able to take on this pilot program,” Haught says. “I will be able to help people throughout my home state. I consider it a great privilege to work with a provider like UniCare that searches for opportunities to improve their members’ lives.”