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Celebrating 20 Years – Tom and Grace Hurney

Written by Legal Aid WV

04/04/2022

When Tom and Grace Hurney are in the same room together, it’s easy to see these Jackson Kelly attorneys are cut from the same cloth. Both father and daughter share the ability to speak on topics as wide-ranging as their recent trip to see the Rolling Stones (they report that Mick and Keith still rock), to the fine points of constitutional law. They also share a love of their community and a commitment to doing their part to ensure the legal system in West Virginia serves all people. As Tom says, “As attorneys, I believe we all have an obligation to keep justice accessible to all people—whether that’s through sharing our time, our treasure, or both.”

Both he and Grace not only talk the talk, but they also walk the walk. Tom has supported LAWV since its inception in 2002 – not only as a donor, but also as a volunteer and fundraising chair. Following in her father’s footsteps, Grace is a donor, has worked closely with Legal Aid on pro bono activities, and she also serves as a Jackson Kelly Team Leader for Legal Aid’s “Just One” law firm fundraising challenge. Last year, she and fellow leaders Nick Presley and Nicole Johns raised over $40,000 from their firm colleagues to support Legal Aid. To her, this kind of leadership is a natural outgrowth of her family’s long tradition of service and the firm’s belief in giving back. She says, “At Jackson Kelly we expect people to not only be exceptional attorneys, but exceptional members of the community.”

As a newly minted Member in her firm, Grace is eager to see a younger generation of attorneys carry on the legacy of service and excellence that preceded them. When asked what she would say to attorneys of her generation and younger about fundraising for Legal Aid she responds, “Supporting Legal Aid is a perfect opportunity to lead by example, and to do something concrete and meaningful to ensure more West Virginians have access to the justice system. It’s our chance to step up.”

Tom agrees, adding, “Access to justice is so critical, because our system only works when the people believe in it, when they see that the idea of equal justice under the law is true for everyone. When we help people get that access, we’re also fostering belief in—and respect for—our system of law.”

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