Our staff includes experienced attorneys and land use professionals backed by the resources of the WVU College of Law.
Katherine “Kat” Garvey began her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII in the National Agricultural Compliance Assistance Center and with the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. Garvey is an ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Certified Lead Auditor. She developed and audited environmental management systems for military and large agricultural operations. Garvey transitioned from federal to local government in 2006, when she worked for the City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri as the Environmental Coordinator. She helped the City comply with permitting requirements for their airport and landfill. In addition, she helped the City develop a solid waste management plan, stormwater plan, stream buffer ordinance, and a natural resource inventory map. She continued her focus on local protection of natural resources as an Assistant Professor of Law and Staff Attorney at the Land Use Clinic at Vermont Law School. In Vermont, Garvey worked with local governments, land trusts and other non-profits to address legal questions related to land conservation in the Northeast. Professor Garvey received her JD from the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 2004, and LLM from Vermont Law in 2010.
Lead Land Use Attorney
Jesse J. Richardson, Jr. is a Professor of Law and the Lead Land Use Attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law. Before coming to WVU, Professor Richardson was an Associate Professor in Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He began his legal career in private practice in his hometown of Winchester, Virginia. His research and experience focus on energy law, agricultural law, land use law, and water law.
Professor Richardson previously served on the Board Directors of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA), including stints as President-Elect and President of that organization, the Virginia Water Policy Technical Advisory Committee, the National Cave and Karst Research Institute Board, and the Board of the American Water Resources Association. He was honored with the 2022 AALA Distinguished Service Award, 2022 AALA Professional Scholarship Award, 2009 University Certificate of Excellence in Outreach and the 2004 William E. Wine Award for a history of teaching Excellence from Virginia Tech (the highest teaching award granted by the university), and the AALA 1999 Professional Scholarship Award.
Jason Walls is the Managing Attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic. Walls graduated Order of the Coif in 2005 from the West Virginia University College of Law and graduated magna cum laude in 1996 from WVU with a BS in Geology. Following law school, he served 2 years as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Irene M. Keeley, then Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. Walls then worked several years as a litigator and title attorney for firms in Morgantown, West Virginia. His practice experience includes real property disputes, wills and estates, and real estate law.
Senior Staff Attorney
Staci Thornsbury is an attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic. Staci obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science from West Virginia University in 1994 and then graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 1997. Following law school, Staci clerked with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. After her clerkship, she entered private practice. Staci brings to the clinic almost 25 years of practical legal experience with a large part of that focusing on real property, real estate title, and real estate transactions. Additionally, Staci has worked as an instructor at the undergraduate level teaching courses on various legal topics, including real property, wills and estates, mineral title and contracts. She loves the opportunity to help underserved areas of West Virginia through her work with the LUSD.
Jared Anderson, AICP
Land Use Attorney
Jared Anderson is the Land Use Attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic. Jared received his B.A. in Geography with a minor in Economics from West Virginia University. After graduation, he began work for a private engineering firm in Virginia focusing on GIS mapping. He later obtained a Master of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaii. He then spent several years as a local government planner primarily in Virginia. Most recently, he obtained his Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Since 2012, when he started at the Clinic, Jared has been one of the only attorneys in West Virginia who is also a certified planner. Jared has assisted communities throughout the state complete comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, SALDOS, and has expertise in land use, open meetings laws, floodplain management, and addressing abandoned and dilapidated structures. Jared grew up in Glen Dale and Moundsville, WV and currently resides outside Morgantown with his wife, 3 kids, and a large dog.
Julie Hawkinberry is a staff attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic. Julie obtained her Bachelors in English and Masters in Education from West Virginia University in 2004 and taught high school English in Charleston, West Virginia. Julie returned to school and then graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 2009. Following law school, Julie entered private practice with a focus on property law, including complex title examinations and transactions. Julie brings to the clinic almost 15 years of practical legal experience. Additionally, Julie works as an instructor for the WVU Department of Administration’s Masters in Legal Studies Program, teaching Constitutional Law and is also a certified yoga teacher. She enjoys the nature and beauty of the Mountain State and is grateful for the opportunity to combine her background in teaching with her practice of real estate law to improve the quality of life for all West Virginians.
Christy Burnside DeMuth, AICP
Land Use Planner
Christy DeMuth is the Land Use Planner at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic. With almost twenty years of land use planning experience, both in the public and private sector, Christy now applies her expertise to manage several planning projects throughout West Virginia. Her current responsibilities include development of comprehensive plans, zoning ordinance, and SALDOs, facilitating and coordinating public participation efforts, oversight of law students on planning projects, advising local elected officials on planning issues, and utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Christy received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resources Management from Penn State in 2003 and a Master of Science in Geography from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Christy has also been a planning commission member in her township since 2015, where she spearheaded and participated in an update to the township's comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance.
Whitney R. Wright, a WVU College of Law alum, has been with the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic since 2015. In this role, she has focused on the development of a comprehensive zoning ordinance template designed specifically for rural West Virginia communities, with major contributions centering on the intersection of zoning with the U.S. Constitution. Generally, she functions as a utility player between the clinic’s various practice areas. As a clinical instructor, Whitney channels her passion for writing in taking on a mentorship role with third year law students to refine legal writing skills. She also serves as the final stage editor for major publications of the clinic and assists with grant writing.