2022-2023 Scholarship Recipient Jacob Snuffer

Jacob Snuffer, from Beckley, W.Va., is in his third year at Appalachian School of Law. He’s a descendant of Appalachian blue-collar workers and coal miners. Snuffer says putting his all into his studies stems from a desire to give back to his community, something he’s pursued since high school, when he wrote grants to fund youth centers.

He served on state and national committees addressing opioid use and at 17, he raised funds for Beckley’s Veterans Hospital while conducting a campaign as the youngest person ever to run for West Virginia’s House of Delegates.

Jacob said energy classes at ASL are what made him interested in the field, and he began participating in related activities, such as EMLF conferences, the National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court competition. As of this writing, he was interested in doing gob pile research in southwest Virginia, through a collaboration with ASL and Dominion Energy.

“Each of these experiences will make me a better lawyer in the field and give me a greater appreciation for the industry,” Snuffer said. “In me, you will find someone with a passion for the Appalachian region and a yearning desire to make it better in any way possible.”

ASL Chief Academic Officer Mason Heidt and Professor Mark Belleville wrote recommendations.

“He would volunteer for ‘the hard cases’ in our casebook and would explain complex scenarios and legal reasoning with ease. Likewise, from a practical standpoint, he excelled in Mineral Title Examination, where he drafted an excellent Title Opinion on the ownership of property stretching back into the 1800s,” Heidt said. “I have also found that Mr. Snuffer encourages other students and doesn’t hesitate to lend his time.”

“From Day One of his 1L year, Mr. Snuffer has been one of the better and more engaged students I have. He has shown a dedication and seriousness of purpose that I wish all students had,” Belleville said. “The other defining aspect of Mr. Snuffer worthy of consideration is his sincerity and true kindness.”


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Membership in the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation is open to anyone who is concerned with issues pertaining to the energy industry.

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