An Abridged History of Jackson Kelly PLLC
Benjamin H. Smith in 1822 began practicing law in what was then Charleston, Virginia. When West Virginia was born of the Civil War, Smith participated in its Constitutional Convention and was appointed United States District Attorney for West Virginia by President Lincoln.
Lawyers who had practiced with Smith in 1892 formed the firm Brown, Jackson & Knight. These lawyers also served both clients and the public. James H. Brown, another leader in West Virginia statehood, was among the first Justices of its Supreme Court of Appeals. Edward B. Knight also participated as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and was a director of the Statehouse Company, formed to build a capitol in Charleston.
The Firm's entire history has included service to the coal industry. (Smith verified the priceless 1867 map of the Kanawha Coal Fields displayed in the Charleston office.) The Firm maintained its commitment to legal excellence and civil service as its size and practices developed with the economy of West Virginia. Many chemical, manufacturing and other industries that based their operations in the Kanawha Valley became Jackson Kelly clients.
The last 25 years have seen the Firm's greatest growth. In 1985, Jackson Kelly opened its first office beyond West Virginia, in Lexington, Kentucky. Before the century ended, the Firm was also serving clients from offices in Washington and Denver, as well as throughout West Virginia.
Jackson Kelly today is a national law firm in several practice areas. Like many of the preceding expansions, the opening of a Pittsburgh office in 2004 grew from client desires to be served well in places far beyond Charleston, West Virginia. Jackson Kelly has always striven to provide responsive, effective legal services to our clients.
Click to see a timeline with additional Jackson Kelly history