CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WV News) – Bob Steptoe has been recognized with honor and honors responsible for improving legal practice in West Virginia for over 45 years.
On Friday, Steptoe was honored for his services by the West Virginia Bar Association with the Award of Merit at the group’s annual meeting at The Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs.
Steptoe’s efforts have also improved the communities and state he works and lives in, and helped make West Virginia a better place, said friends, colleagues, and fellow lawyers.
During his career, Steptoe has focused on civil procedural law, labor and labor law. According to the Bar Association, he has “tried over 100 jury and non-jury cases and appealed approximately 50 to the West Virginia Supreme Court and the United States Appeals Courts.”
Steptoe served the firm, which bears his family’s name, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, as CEO and managing partner for nearly 20 years, helping lead it to its current success of employing more than 370 lawyers.
In a 2017 story for WV News’ NCWV Life Magazine, Steptoe shared his approach to legal practice.
“They have attorneys who are brokers and get things done,” Steptoe told WV News editor-in-chief John G. Miller. “Then others talk louder, hammer on desks and are presumptuous. That’s not me. I try to get things done. “
He also spoke about his approach to life in general and personal responsibility:
“Whatever your job, it’s important that you do it well at every level,” said Steptoe. “Investing a lot of effort, interacting with people and leading by example are critical components of leadership and critical to achieving the right things for the community, the state, or anyone you work for.”
Steptoe lived this example by being active in his profession and serving as president of the West Virginia State Bar; President of the West Virginia Bar Association; and President of the West Virginia Bar Foundation. He was also an Associate Professor (Appellate Advocacy) at West Virginia University College of Law and a member of the Associate Faculty of the General Litigation Practice Clinic at West Virginia University College of Law.
Steptoe’s influence on the legal practice and individual attorneys was noted by longtime associate and friend David Morrison.
“Bob was a true leader in the State Bar, his home state of West Virginia and its community,” said Morrison. “He was also a mentor and friend to many of us at Steptoe & Johnson.
“Bob has incredible energy and is a great example for young lawyers with his wisdom and actions.”
As much as it has meant to the legal community, it has also meant so much or more to its community and state, and often serves behind the scenes, providing valuable guidance to people in elected and appointed positions.
Within the parish, Steptoe was president of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce; President and Campaign Chairman of the United Way of Harrison County; Member of the West Virginia Ethics Committee; Board member of the United Hospital Center, Inc .; and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. He is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy (West Virginia Chapter) and currently serves with Harrison County Economic Development Corporation, Board of Directors, Healthy Harrison, Inc., Board of Directors, and The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia, Board of Trustees.
Steptoe was a driving force in raising private funding to renovate the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center and is a long-time supporter of projects aimed at improving the health of residents of the area and state, including Healthy Harrison and the Cecil Jarvis 10 km run in the greater Clarksburg area
“Bob is the epitome of professionalism,” said state business leader John Ebert, one of McDonald’s leading franchise owners in the country.
“He’s a true leader and contributor to the community. What surprised me most, however, is how he takes complex issues and puts them into simple and understandable form.”
Despite all the honors he’s received in his stellar career, Steptoe has always stayed humble and honors others, as he did in his magazine interview:
“The first thing I think (when he hears about its effects and influence) is that I don’t really know if I deserve that praise,” said Steptoe. “As far as I have had influence in the community, it has been a combination of family, factors, working at Steptoe & Johnson and the support of my partners, working with other community leaders in both Harrison County and West Virginia. You deserve the recognition.
“The key for me was to be in the right place at the right time, with the right people who served as role models and helped me throughout my career.”