HUNTINGTON — Marshall University and the West Virginia University College of Law have established a one-of-its-kind Center for Consumer Law and Education to build advocacy for those in West Virginia and beyond.
The universities officially launched the CCLE at special events on their campuses Thursday and Friday.
CCLE's mission is to serve as a principal consumer, law, policy, education and support resource in West Virginia and nationally. It is the only center of its kind on the East Coast and the only one that is a collaboration between two universities.
"We are pleased we will have the opportunity to work in synergy with West Virginia University to develop and deliver consumer-related information and programming for West Virginians," Marshall President Jerome Gilbert said. "Our universities will support each other in this new joint project to develop original scholarship and research to address emerging issues in consumer law and policy."
"I am proud that our university has partnered with Marshall University and many others in the state to help West Virginia move forward and to help our consumers be protected," said Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University. "We have an opportunity to improve the lives of West Virginians. This is about education, but it is also about advocacy. It is about making certain we continue to make progress in this state."
"Our duty is to serve, and to serve everyone," said Gregory Bowman, dean of the WVU College of Law. "It is my hope both for this center and for our collaboration with Marshall University to make an enormous impact, regionally and nationally."
CCLE is directed by Damien Arthur at Marshall University and Jonathan Marshall at WVU. Through outreach efforts, including a website, CCLE will provide the public with access to consumer and financial literacy information, and it will serve policymakers through new research on emerging consumer issues.
The center will also offer experiential learning opportunities and scholarships for law students and provide continuing legal education programs for lawyers.
The donations to Marshall and WVU that established CCLE were spearheaded by consumer attorney David J. Romano of Clarksburg, West Virginia. Romano attended Marshall in the early 1970s and graduated from the WVU College of Law in 1977. While at Marshall, Romano was a student of now-retired political science professor Simon Perry, who, according to Romano, had a significant impact on his decision to become an attorney.
"The goal of the joint project is to ensure all hardworking West Virginians will have resources available to protect their property and to be informed of their rights as consumers," Romano said.