Jackson Kelly PLLC


Over 40 Years of Giving Back: The History of Community Involvement with Jackson Kelly Attorney Susan Snowden

Susan is a mainstay in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle Communities.

March 20, 2024

Jackson Kelly’s history of service to our communities goes back almost as far as our founding over 200 years ago.  Embodying that tradition is Susan Snowden, a Member in the Firm’s Martinsburg office and a volunteer at the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival for 42 years.

Susan’s dedication is more than just a continuation of JK’s tradition: her Aunt Marjorie Van Metre was a founding member of the festival 45 years ago.  Susan has volunteered at the festival every year except for the three years she was away at law school.

The Apple Harvest Festival is a signature event of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, attracting thousands of people every year. This event relies on its board of directors and  volunteers. The board President acts as an executive director.  This is a true labor of love for the community and its history.   Susan is at the forefront of that festival serving as the current board president, a position she also held in 1990 and 1991.   

“We need to remember where we came from and itis important to give back to our community,” says Susan. Her local community means everything to her, she adds, “I want to help our community have everything they need from wholesome family entertainment to economic/tourist opportunities.”

In addition to the Apple Harvest Festival, Susan is passionate about bringing quality healthcare to her community.  “I think healthcare is critical to the community and you cannot help maintain citizens of the community if they do not  have access to great healthcare.”  Susan has served on the boards of WVU Medicine Berkley and Jefferson Medical Centers.

She believes that it is important for younger lawyers to not just join  boards and community groups, but to be active and back up what you say. “This has a two-fold purpose: it is important to give back; and you cannot have a reputation of not backing up what you say.” “Community work does not just mean boards and volunteering; it means being out and being seen.” Something she believes it is important to pass on to the next generation of young lawyers and people.  There is a business purpose, too, “I can’t tell you how much business I have received  because people know who I am, know what I have done, and trust me through my community involvement.”

Do not let Susan’s pragmatic approach fool you.  She views community involvement as a moral imperative, explaining that  “it makes you a better person and people see you are a real person, not just a lawyer.”  That philosophy explains her dedication to being a “home room mom,” driving to her daughter’s band performances, her son’s soccer practice and more while still working as a full-time attorney and her other volunteer activities. 

My moto is very much “To those whom much is given much is expected in return,” says Susan. “Lawyers have a very important role in society. We are blessed with skills and knowledge that the average person does not have. We are usually in a financial position to give back.”

With over 45 years of giving back Susan Snowden means what she says.  Her community and her clients are both appreciative.   


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