Charleston Law students and professor help journalists with open courts guide

AUG. 9, 2019 – Four students who took Professor Michelle Mensore Condon’s fall 2019 course on Lawyers and the Media had the opportunity to apply their study of media law to help journalists and others seeking guidance on legal issues involving access to the West Virginia court system. The students worked with Professor Condon and Charleston, West Virginia attorney Sean McGinley on West Virginia’s section of the Open Courts Compendium published online this month by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The West Virginia Open Courts Compendium will serve as a resource for the press, lawyers and others. Paul Danna (’20), Stephanie Hooper (’19), Shannon Nihiser (’19) and Lisa Walden (’20) assisted with the compendium this past spring under Professor Condon’s supervision as part of Charleston Law’s pro bono program.

“I am very proud of my students’ diligent and thoughtful work and hope to involve more students on future media law pro bono projects. It is gratifying to help promote access and understanding of the court system,”  said Condon, who directs the pro bono program and teaches media law courses as an adjunct professor. Condon formerly practiced media law defense in West Virginia before serving as the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia’s first public information director.

The Reporters Committee serves the nation’s leading news organizations, along with thousands of reporters, editors, media lawyers and others who use their online and mobile resources. The Reporters Committee also provides pro bono legal representation, a legal defense hotline, and amicus curiae support to protect First Amendment freedoms and newsgathering for journalists. They also offer fellowships and internships to train the next generation of media lawyers. More information about the Reporters Committee is available at

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