Patrick McGinley, the Charles H. Haden II Professor of Law at West Virginia University, is the winner of the Svitlana Kravchenko Environmental Rights Award.

The award is bestowed by Land Air Water, the nation’s oldest and largest student environmental law society. It is based at the University of Oregon School of Law.

The Kravchenko Award recognizes McGinley’s life-long “work as a legal scholar, teacher, and public interest environmental litigator [who] has been committed to the rule of law, speaking truth to power, mentoring law students and lawyers and empowering families and communities marginalized by discrimination based on race, wealth, and ethnicity.”

McGinley has been a leader in environmental law during a career that has spanned more than 40 years. Among his accomplishments, he litigated — and won — the first mountaintop removal case; he represented a citizen’s group that preserved the Cranberry Backcountry in West Virginia’s Highlands as federal wilderness; and he is a leading authority on the Freedom of Information Act.

He also served on the West Virginia governor’s independent investigative team for the Sago Mine and Upper Big Branch coalmine disasters, where 41 miners lost their lives due to failures to employ and enforce federal mine safety laws.

The award’s namesake — Svitlana Kravchenko — was a Ukrainian and American law professor and scholar. In 2012, Kravchenko was posthumously honored by the American Bar Association for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy. Throughout her career, she helped build the connection between human rights and environmental protection. In addition to her international work, Kravchenko was a reformer advocating democratic principles in Ukraine.

Previous Kravchenko Award winners include Professor Raquel Gutierrez of Mexico, Professor William Rodgers of the United States, and Professor Antonio Oposa of the Philippines.



CONTACT: James Jolly, College of Law

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