WE West Virginians can be stubbornly provincial at times. Just consider a bill introduced by Delegate Doug Reynolds, D-Wayne.
The legislation, House Bill 2788, says that any lawyer hired by the state and paid more than $100,000 "shall have a license to practice law in the state at the time of the hire."
The bill is clearly aimed at Elbert Lin, who newly elected Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hired as his solicitor general. Lin, who is not from West Virginia, does not yet have a state law license.
Reynolds told the Charleston Gazette that any high-paid attorney hired by the state should be able to hit the ground running.
"The people we hire for a job, they need to be able to do the job from day one," said Reynolds.
Wait a minute. Let's look at Lin's credentials.
He graduated from Yale Law School, which is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the No. 1 law school in the country. He was editor of the Yale Law Review.
Lin clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, also a Yale grad. He has practiced law in Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts and has worked as a trial attorney with the U.S. Justice Department.
My guess is that even though Lin does not yet have all the paperwork, he could hold his own today with most of the esteemed members of the West Virginia Bar.
Oh, and Lin, whose current salary is $132,000, took a pay cut of about two-thirds to come to our state.