Charleston, WV
600 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
T: (304) 347-1776
F: (304) 347-1746
  • Law Clerk to Honorable John A. Field, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1977-1979)

J.D., West Virginia University College of Law (1977)

  • National Moot Court Team

B.A., Michigan State University (1973)

  • With High Honor
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia
Photo of Howard E.  Seufer, Jr.

Howard E. Seufer, Jr.


Having advised and represented all 55 of West Virginia’s county boards of education over the last  40 years, Howard Seufer brings a wealth of experience to a range of legal matters for school districts. His work in public education has made a lasting impact in the areas of school board governance, board/superintendent relations, business and finance, human resources and student rights and responsibilities.

Howard is the senior member of the Bowles Rice Education Law Practice. The firm’s Education Law Practice has been ranked #1 in West Virginia Education Law by Best Lawyers in America and designated at Tier 1 in the practice of education law by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firms.

Leading peer-review organizations Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America both recognize Howard for his education law skills. He is a longtime member of the National School Board Association’s Council of School Attorneys and is West Virginia’s liaison to the Council. Since 1983 he has been legal counsel to the West Virginia School Board Association.

A trained facilitator, Howard is frequently engaged as a presenter, panelist and writer on school law issues, emphasizing practical preventive advice for education leaders and administrators.  Policymakers at the state and local levels regularly request his input. On occasion, he addresses legislative committees on bills affecting public education.

Howard is co-founder of the Bowles Rice invitation-only Signature Series Workshops. Over the past two decades, the more than 200 Signature Series workshops have provided hundreds of public school administrators with focused, full-day legal instruction in interactive, small group settings.

In 2018, West Virginia Executive magazine inducted Howard into its class of Sharp Shooters – state leaders who have a record of active participation in community service and philanthropy. In the education arena, those efforts include his active service as emeritus director and past chair of the nation’s first statewide education fund, the Education Alliance, and his prior tenure as board member and chair of SW Resources Inc., a nonprofit focused on the vocational needs of adults with disabilities. Howard previously chaired and belonged to the Board of Governors of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and served West Virginia University on Visiting Committees for the College of Law and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. To this day, Howard continues a longstanding tradition serving as a volunteer reader with Read Aloud West Virginia at the Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School in Charleston.

Professional Highlights

  • Leader, Bowles Rice Education Law Practice Group (1991-2019)
  • Bowles Rice Associate Review Partner
  • Counsel since 1983 to the West Virginia School Board Association
  • Co-founder, Signature Series Workshops

Representative Cases

  • Miller v. Marion County Board of Education, 2020 WL 7231114 (2020) (untimeliness of grievance complaint)

  • Mayle v. Barbour County Board of Education, 2018 WL 317375 (2018) (filling aide/ECCAT vacancies).
  • Monongalia County Board of Education v. American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia, AFL-CIO, 238 W.Va. 146, 792 S.E.2d 645 (2016) (RESA interventionists in the schools)
  • Yatauro v. Calhoun County Board of Education, 2016 WL 5030280 (2016) (state-ordered contract reductions without hearings)
  • Lemasters v. Jackson County Board of Education, 2016 WL 2977336 (2016) (teacher duty outside the school day)
  • Adkins v. Cabell County Board of Education, 2016 WL 3435749 (2016) (accused felon’s suspension)
  • Sayre v. Mason County Board of Education, 2016 WL 143435 (2016) (lengthening the workday)
  • Williams v. Raleigh County Board of Education, 2015 WL 6181485 (2015) (service employee reclassification)
  • Smith v. Berkeley County Board of Education, 2015 WL 7628692 (2015) (administrative fact finding)
  • Staats v. Jackson County Board of Education, 2015 WL 6181438 (2015) (hours worked)
  • Smith v. Berkeley County Board of Education, 2015 WL 2364292 (2015) (unemployment compensation and "other gross conduct")
  • Eisentrout v. Preston County Board of Education, 2013 WL 3242868 (2013) (summer service positions)
  • Patterson v. Board of Education of the County of Raleigh, 231 W.Va. 129, 744 S.E.2d 239 (2013) (uniformity of pay and benefits)
  • Anderson v. Board of Education of the County of Gilmer, 2012 WL 5834898 (2012) (student attendance areas)
  • Boards of Education v. Public Employees Insurance Agency, 2011 WL 9373981 (2011) (OPEB)
  • Alderman v. Pocahontas County Board of Education, 223 W.Va. 431, 675 S.E.2d 907 (2009) (employee speech)
  • State ex rel. Board of Education of County of Putnam v. Beane, 224 W. Va. 31, 680 S.E.2d 46 (2009) (circuit court jurisdiction)
  • Wines v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 213 W.Va. 379, 582 S.E.2d 826 (2003) (discharging substitutes)
  • Baker v. Hancock County Board of Education, 207 W.Va. 513, 534 S.E.2d 378 (2000) (continuing versus probationary contracts)
  • Flint v. Harrison County Board of Education, 207 W.Va. 251, 531 S.E.2d 76 (1999) (uniformity of employee benefits)
  • Pendleton Citizens for Community Schools v. Marockie, 203 W.Va. 310, 507 S.E.2d 673 (1998) (rural school consolidation)
  • Boner v. Kanawha County Board of Education, 197 W.Va. 176, 475 S.E.2d 176 (1996) (independent contractors)
  • Byrd v. Mercer County Board of Education, 196 W.Va. 1, 467 S.E.2d 142 (1995) (excess levies)
  • Board of Education of County of Wood v. Enoch, 186 W.Va. 712, 414 S.E.2d 630 (1992) (extended year employment)
  • State ex rel. Melchiori v. Board of Education of County of Marshall, 188 W.Va. 575, 425 S.E.2d 251 (1992) (professional RIF “bumping”)
  • Lincoln County Board of Education v. Adkins, 188 W.Va. 430, 424 S.E.2d 775 (1992) (teacher planning periods)
  • Winkler v. State School Building Authority, 189 W.Va. 748, 434 S.E.2d 420 (1990) (School Building Authority bonds)
  • Brown v. Wood County Board of Education, 184 W.Va. 205, 400 S.E.2d 213 (1990) (teacher evaluations)
  • Keith D. v. Ball, 177 W.Va. 93, 350 S.E.2d 720 (1986) (student discipline)
  • Thomas v. Staats, 633 F.Supp. 797 (1985) (statute of limitations in special education)
  • Martindale-Hubbell ® Overall Peer Rating: AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5.0
  • Named Best Lawyers’ 2016 Education Law Lawyer of the Year in the southern West Virginia region
  • Best Lawyers in America ® since 2003 (Education Law)
  • West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow
  • West Virginia University College of Law Order of the Coif, Order of Barristers
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers (Schools & Education), 2018-present
  • Recognized by West Virginia Executive as a 2018 Sharp Shooter
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • National School Boards Association - Council of School Attorneys (NSBA-COSA)
  • U.S. Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow
  • West Virginia State Bar (Education Law Committee)


  • The Education Alliance: Business and Community for Public Schools (Emeritus Director; Past Board Chair)
  • West Virginia Mansion Preservation Foundation, Inc. (Board and Executive Committee Member; Treasurer)
  • West Virginia Read Aloud Volunteer (Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School)


  • Blennerhassett Historical Foundation (Board Member; Secretary; Committee Chair)
  • Blennerhassett Historical Park Commission (Commissioner)
  • Parkersburg YMCA (Board of Directors)
  • Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors (Member, Past Chair)
  • St. Michaels Parish (Finance Council)
  • S.W. Resources, Inc. (formerly the Sheltered Workshop of Wood County, West Virginia) (Board Member; Committee Chair; Board Chair)
  • Vision Shared (Education Committee)
  • West Virginia University Social Justice Visiting Committee (Chair)
  • WV eMentoring (eMentor to students in grades 8-12)