CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Growing up listening to his father and grandfather talk about the law, Charles Love IV always knew he wanted to be a lawyer.
"Initially, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could go work for my dad," Love, who goes by Chad, said Thursday.
He soon realized, however, that wasn't the family tradition, and set out to carve his own career path.
At the end of the month, after spending his entire 16-year legal career working at the Masters Law Firm, The Love Law Firm will open its doors.
Chad Love is the third generation of his family to hang out his own shingle in Charleston.
"It's exciting and scary all at once," he said, standing in a small suite on the third floor of the old Daniel Boone Hotel at 405 Capitol St.
He's often asked why he didn't join his father's firm, Bowles Rice.
"I think you get more satisfaction out of doing things on your own," Love said. "That's how I ended up with Marvin."
Since he graduated from law school at West Virginia University in 1997, he's worked for Marvin Masters.
"Marvin was a wonderful mentor," Love said. "He let me try cases six months out of law school by myself and they didn't pigeonhole me into one area -- I've done everything -- auto accidents, medical malpractice, mass torts and class actions."
At his new firm, he plans to mostly focus on personal injury cases -- what he has the most experience handling. His longtime secretary and paralegal will join him in the move.
"We're going to focus in on nursing home malpractice cases. I really enjoy those the most, because I think I can make the biggest difference. We have an aging population here and they need protection, probably more than most of your population," Love said.
For now, his office space is small and only includes room for his office, his paralegal, a conference room and a receptionist desk. But, Love hopes that in a year or two, he'll need to expand into the vacant space next door.
"It's something I've always wanted to do. I felt this was the right time. I felt I had accomplished what I could accomplish with the Masters Law Firm," Love said.
For the sake of their close relationship, Love's father, Charlie Love III, said he thinks it's best they don't work together.
"I didn't practice with my father, my father had his own firm and I went with a different outfit. I just think you have to establish your own identity. I've seen too many situations where fathers and sons have tried to practice law together and it hasn't turned out to be a very happy situation," the elder Love said.
"I ended up practicing separate from my father, but I was very close to him. Chad and I haven't practiced together, but I feel very close to him and he feels close to me, and I don't want to jeopardize that."Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.