Morgantown Attorney Jane Peak 2016-17 WVAJ President
Charleston, W.Va. – Morgantown attorney Jane E. Peak has been elected the 2016 – 2017 President of the West Virginia Association for Justice. Originally from Hurricane, Peak has practiced with the Morgantown firm of Allan N. Karlin and Associates since graduating from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1996.
“It is a tremendous honor for me to be named president of the West Virginia Association for Justice and represent the lawyers who are members of our association. Our members promote justice and protect the rights of West Virginia’s consumers, workers and small businesses,” said Peak.
“At the same time, it is also a huge responsibility because that right to trial by jury is threatened by corporate special interests who believe their profits are more important than our constitutional rights. Most West Virginians don’t understand how important that right is until they need it. Educating West Virginians about the importance of that right and what they can do to protect it is critical. They need to act now before it is too late.”
Peak’s practice areas include employment law, medical negligence and workplace and personal injury cases. She is a past president of the West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association, and in 2005 was named Practitioner of the Year by the WVU College of Law’s Women’s Law Caucus.
Prior to law school, Peak worked in television for more than 10 years. She earned her undergraduate degree from Marshall University in Speech Broadcasting. She began her career with two West Virginia stations. She later worked at stations in Fresno, California and Cincinnati. Ohio. It was while she was in Cincinnati that she decided to return to West Virginia and enter law school.
“I first thought of a career in law when my dad served in the legislature,” said Peak. Her father is Raymond Peak, who represented Putnam County in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1973 – 1977 and was a long-time mayor of Hurricane.
“I thought about it again while I was completing my undergraduate degree at Marshall, but I didn’t pursue it at that time. It became more and more important to me though. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, and I believed that law school and a career as an attorney would allow me to do that.”
Peak first became active with the West Virginia Association for Justice, then the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, while in law school at WVU.
“My friend, Sandra Harrah, was a member of the student association and insisted that I join too. I saw what the association was about and learned a lot from the member attorneys who helped the student group. I knew then that it would be an important part of my education and my future as a practicing attorney.”
It was as a student that she also began working with Morgantown attorney Allan Karlin. She accepted a position as a summer clerk between her second and third years of law school—and never left.
“I knew that I wanted to spend my legal career helping people, but I wasn’t really sure how to do that until I started working with Al. It was a very eye opening experience. While they teach you a lot in law school, they don’t teach you how to practice law. Al showed me what you can do with a law degree, how you could help people and make a huge difference in people’s lives.”
She clerked with the firm during her final year of school and while studying for the Bar exam. She spent her final spring break working with Karlin to prepare for a public hearing before the West Virginia Human Rights Commission on a gender discrimination case. She joined the firm as an associate the day she was admitted to the Bar.
Karlin, who is a past president of WVAJ, believes that Peak is not only an exceptional attorney, but will be an outstanding WVAJ leader as well.
“I’ve worked with Jane for more than 20 years. She’s an excellent trial lawyer who is passionately devoted to the needs, cares and lives of the clients who are fortunate enough to have her as an attorney. I know that her passion and dedication extends to WVAJ and every West Virginian represented by its members. There is no better advocate to protect our constitutional rights and our civil justice system,” said Karlin.
The West Virginia Association for Justice represents more than 500 plaintiffs attorneys throughout West Virginia and in surrounding states. WVAJ members are committed to preserving and improving our civil justice system in order to ensure that any person who is injured by the misconduct and negligence of others can obtain justice in America’s courtrooms. WVAJ members work to protect West Virginia families by promoting safe workplaces, safe products, quality healthcare, a clean environment and corporate responsibility.
WVAJ AFFINITY PARTNERS