Chief legal advisor honored at Civil Rights Day Awards Luncheon in Charleston

LaytonCottrillF. Layton Cottrill Jr., Esq., senior vice president for executive affairs and general counsel at Marshall University, was honored last week by the West Virginia Human Rights Commission.

Cottrill was one of 24 people who were honored at the Governor’s 12th annual Civil Rights Day Awards Luncheon held in Charleston.

Cottrill, who has served as the chief legal advisor for Marshall since 1989, was recognized at the ceremony by Karen Bowling, cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, as “a professional, caring communicator who has created a foundation of equality for the university.”

As Marshall’s chief legal advisor, Cottrill directs all litigation in which the university is involved, including providing in-court representation. Primary responsibilities are in the areas of human resources, intercollegiate athletics and economic development and outreach. He also represents Marshall before the West Virginia Legislature, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and additional state and federal entities. He also provides legal advice and counsel to the president and other university officials.

Since 1994, he has served as senior vice president for executive affairs, with responsibilities for the offices of human resources, equity programs, public safety and facilities planning.

Before he joined Marshall, from 1987-1989 Cottrill was general counsel to the West Virginia Board of Regents (now the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission).

Cottrill served two stints (1976-1979 and 1986-1987) in the West Virginia attorney general’s office, representing the state’s higher education governing board and its 16 public colleges and universities, as well as various state agencies and officials.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, he worked in private practice and served as city attorney for the towns of Poca and Nitro. From 1977 to 1986, Cottrill was general counsel for various West Virginia Senate and House committees related to banking, judiciary, industry and labor, roads and transportation, and government.

Cottrill graduated cum laude from West Virginia University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He was a member of both the economics and business national honorary societies.

In 1975, he earned a doctor of jurisprudence degree, also from WVU, where he was a member of the Student Bar Association and the Law Students’ Civil Rights Research Council. He is a member of the West Virginia Bar Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

A native of Poca, he is married to Dr. Barbara Becker-Cottrill.