West Virginia Executive magazine partners with the West Virginia University (WVU) College of Law to create annual Lawyers & Leaders awards. The honors program recognizes elite legal professionals who either practice in the Mountain State or graduated from the WVU College of Law and are making a positive impact on the state and the nation. Hurricane native Caroline Leadmon was among the eleven named to this year’s class.
Caroline, 25, is the daughter of Michael and Stacy Leadmon and granddaughter of Joe and Marsha Leadmon and Jerry and Carol Phillips, all of Hurricane. She graduated from Hurricane High School in 2016.
The following by Maggie Hatfield was published in the summer issue of West Virginia Executive:
WVU College of Law Lawyers & Leaders 2023 Awards
Caroline Leadmon, WVU College of Law Class of 2023
Originally from Hurricane, WV, Caroline Leadmon grew up in a family of Mountaineers.
“Both my parents are West Virginia University (WVU) alumni, and because they fostered Mountaineer values in me, attending WVU was a family tradition that I was proud to carry on,” Leadmon says. “I ultimately chose WVU for my undergraduate studies because of the support o the WVU Foundation Scholarship, but I chose to stay for my legal education because Morgantown and WVU were home.”
In 2020, Leadmon graduated from WVU as a member of the Order of Augusta with bachelor’s degrees in both biochemistry and animal and nutritional sciences. Because of her technical background, she found an interest in intellectual property law. Even though Leadmon couldn’t imagine obtaining her legal degree anywhere else, she realized that law school comes with its own set of challenges, such as the harsh grading curve and appellate briefs.
“Despite the various struggles I have had during my law school education, I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” she says. “Every opportunity to cheer on the Mountaineers or to sing Country Roads with my classmates has truly been a highlight of my time at WVU.”
Leadmon’s class entered law school at the height of the COVID pandemic, so the experience was not typical.
“Starting law school in fall 2020 was no easy time ñ the school was on lockdown, and it was incredibly hard to form connections with your classmates. However, the WVU College of Law class of 2023 rallied, and we ended up supporting each other in ways I didn’t know were possible,” says Leadmon.
During her time at WVU College of Law, Leadmon served as both president and fundraising chair of the Student Bar Association; vice president and event planner of the Women’s Leadership Council; and executive alumni, development editor and associate editor for the West Virginia Law Review.
Leadmon credits her success and drive to her family. Without them, she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all she did over the last three years.
“The most influential people in my life during law school were without a doubt my family. I am so thankful for their daily calls, their willingness to help me move from location to location as I worked around the southeast and their constant encouragement,” she says.
During law school, Leadmon won the 2L Emerging Leader Award. She was also awarded the CALI Awards in six courses, including Torts I; Legal Analysis, Research and Writing II; Patent Law; Copyright; Appellate Advocacy; and American Constitutional History Seminar.
Even though her studies were demanding, Leadmon was able to give her time to other organizations outside of WVU.
She was a member of the U.S. Supreme Cout Litigation Clinic, where she was afforded the opportunity to attend arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court.
“For me, the opportunity to have attended arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court is likely once-in-a-lifetime, so my time as a clinician at WVU College of Law was incredibly transformative on my career,” she says.
Leadmon was also involved with the WVU Alumni Association and served as the co-chair for the Mountaineer advisory Council. A figure skater herself, she worked as a figure skating coach at Morgantown Ice Arena.
Leadmon graduated with honors, including as a member of the Order of the Coif. After the bar exam, she plans to start her career as an associate attorney at Dority & Manning, P.A. in Greenville, SC.
“West Virginians are fiercely resilient and always fight for what is right, which are traits I hope to only build upon in my legal career,” Leadmon says. “I am incredibly proud to be a WVU alumna, and my time at WVU has forever left a mark on me. I will forever bleed gold and blue.”