WVBA Executive Council Member Spotlight – Sandra M. Chapman

October 8, 2021

Originally posted in WVBA Monthly News & Updates newsletter, October 2021

Get to know our Executive Council Member! Sandra is the President-Elect for The WVBA.

Full Name:  Sandra Marie Chapman. Lifelong nickname is “Sande”, but likes both “Sandra” and “Sande”.

Where do you practice: I am one of the founding members of Casey & Chapman, PLLC.

Alma Mater: I am a proud graduate of Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, on the banks of the Ohio River, not far from Louisville; other graduates include Vice President Mike Pence and Woody Harrelson. How cool is that?! My graduate and professional degrees are from WVU of which I am a huge fan.

Hometown:  My hometown is Rising Sun, Indiana—a tiny town in Ohio County, Indiana, on the Ohio River, not far from Cincinnati. I came to West Virginia on an assistantship for graduate studies in rural sociology to study under a particular professor, changed to complete a masters in health education, and went directly to law school. I had debated whether I wanted to prepare to teach sociology at the college level or attend law school, and it all worked out. Over the years I have taught periodically and am slated to teach this coming semester.

What is your favorite part about practicing law?
As far as the work itself, I love the investigative phase; I enjoy the writing and editing as well. Regarding the professional benefits, I treasure the people I have met through various service positions arising from my practice such as the West Virginia Board of Education, the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, the West Virginia State Bar, and the Board of Governors of West Liberty University. I have had many mentors from that work—and now of course from the WVBA.

What is one piece of advice you would give to young lawyers?
Stay true to the standards of the profession.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from practicing law?
At my first law firm the senior member often said, “It is a long road that has no turning”.  While not a novel idea I think of that often and consider it among my favorite quotes.  Another is: “You can’t be good at everything”.

Why did you choose to become an Executive Council member?
It was an honor to be asked. I began my membership in WVBA when I was President of the West Virginia State Bar, and I have always enjoyed the organization. I love its focus on camaraderie and on the love of and respect for the profession.

What are you most proud of?
Professionally one of the highlights was clerking for Justice Richard Neely: he was a wonderful mentor who gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.  As far as cases, highlights were a sexual harassment case and a race discrimination case, both now of some years ago.  I think of those two plaintiffs often and what they went through.  It has been extremely rewarding and quite informative to do both plaintiff and defense work.