Helping those in need…

Miller Law Offices PLLC is experienced in what anyone needs in terms of legal counsel. Ken Miller and his son Alex Miller officially went into business together on Oct. 6, 2011. Their law firm is located at 201 Merchant St. in Fairmont, which is right behind Dry Cleaning World in the same building. Although their business is new, they have each been practicing law in the area for a while. Ken has been working in the profession for nearly 40 years and Alex for about seven years.

Ken, who has lived in Fairmont his whole life, is a graduate of East Fairmont High School and Fairmont State, where he was a biology major. He went on to earn a master’s degree in zoology from West Virginia University and then decided he wanted to go to law school.

He started his education at the WVU College of Law, but was called out of school to serve in the U.S. Army for two years. While in the Army, Ken participated in malaria research at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and then returned to law school and graduated in 1972.

During law school, he worked for the local law firm of Furbee, Amos, Webb and Critchfield, and after graduating, remained there for nearly 30 years. He next joined Higinbotham & Higinbotham in Fairmont, where he provided his services for 10 years.

Ken said he has had some great mentors and colleagues over the years.

“I enjoy the practice of law very much,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to practice with some great individuals.”

Alex, who grew up in Fairmont but now resides in Morgantown, attended Fairmont Senior High School and Fairmont State. He graduated from the WVU College of Law in May 2004 and was sworn into the state bar in October that year.

He worked as a summer intern for Higinbotham & Higinbotham while in law school, and was employed with Gary Morris of Weston for a couple years. Then he returned to Pete Higginbotham’s office at the beginning of 2008.

“We had looked foward to opening our own office,” Ken said of himself and his son.

“We both thought it would be fun to go out and try to start our own business,” Alex added.

He said they enjoyed working together at Higginbotham’s office, and wanted to try being their own bosses and tackling a new challenge. Ken and Alex are still good friends with Pete.

Now, the father-and-son team is in a two-person office, which is quite a contrast because they have to also take care of all the business aspects of the operations instead of having employees do that work. That has been interesting, challenging and exciting and has taught them to use a different approach, Ken said.

“That’s part of the learning process,” he said.

Ken’s wife, Jude Miller, is the volunteer secretary at Miller Law Offices. Jude, originally from Pittsburgh, and Ken met at WVU and moved to Fairmont in 1972 after he finished law school. Jude worked in the public schools for about 35 years, serving as a French and Spanish teacher and then as a school counselor. She just retired this summer.

The law firm is open to handling insurance claims and disputes, automobile accidents, personal injury cases, property damage claims, boundary line disputes, condemnation, products liability, estate litigation, adoptions, wills and deeds, power of attorney, and other cases.

“I like to help people that need help,” Alex said. “I like to represent those that are less fortunate than many of us and give them a voice when otherwise they would have none. That’s the most rewarding part of the job.”

Alex is very active in the area of oil and gas and has experience doing a lot of work related to property matters, documents, contracts and leases in the industry. He said he was introduced to this subject matter when he worked in Weston.

“It’s a very specialized type of practice, and ever since then I’ve focused a great deal of my practice on oil and gas work,” Alex said.

While the team is certainly equipped to do criminal work and family law, Ken and Alex are not searching for or focusing on those kinds of legal issues at the present time.

“What I like most about practicing law is really providing some assistance to people who are involved in situations where they need some guidance and skill and experience that as a practitioner of the law I can provide to them,” Ken said. “It’s very rewarding.”

Not every case turns out absolutely favorable, but many times a compromise can at least be reached. He said clients who come to them with legal issues often have anxiety and stress that come with the problem, but in other cases, they’re dealing with a happy situation like an adoption or plans to purchase a piece of real estate.

“In most cases, we’re providing a service that we hope will be reliable and dependable based on a high quality of service and a good chance of a successful result, whatever it might be,” Ken said.

Alex said business is going well so far, and they’ve been lucky to have a nice client base to build from. Plus, they are starting to get some new business from people who are hearing about their services.

“We have work to do and we look forward to serving the community for many years to come,” Ken said.

Miller Law Offices PLLC is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment. For more information, call 304-366-0822.

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Sun Nov 13, 2011, 05:00 AM EST
Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com