DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons
Nothing made Rob Bastress appreciate the Mountain State more than being away at college for seven years.
"I always liked it here; I connected with people in West Virginia," said Bastress, who split his time growing up between his father's home in Morgantown and his mother's in Selinsgrove, Pa. "People would tease me about being a cheerleader for the state. I was always singing ‘Country Roads' and talking about West Virginia.
"I always liked the people here and I wanted to come back."
Bastress earned his bachelor's degree in government in 2001 from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, then moved on to law school at Tulane University in New Orleans, graduating in 2004.
Law school "just kind of happened," he said.
"There wasn't one defining moment," he said. "I just saw the impact I could have on people's lives. I have been lucky enough to have great mentors in this profession, one of whom was my dad, and I saw the positive impact he's had on his clients' lives.
"I'm like my mom in that I'm a ‘people person,' so I wanted to pursue a career where I worked with people on a daily basis."
He spent two years as an assistant West Virginia attorney general, leaving in 2006 to clerk for U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. Two years later he joined DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, becoming a member early in 2013.
He and his wife, attorney Blaire Malkin, have a 2-year-old son, Arlo.
A member of the Inn of Court since 2008, he received an award for public service from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia in 2010 for his pro bono work on behalf of a stalking victim. In 2012 and 2013 he was named a "Rising Star" by the Super Lawyers publication in the areas of general litigation and personal injury for plaintiffs. He currently serves as treasurer for the Kanawha County Bar Association, as board member and seminar chairperson for the West Virginia Association of Justice and an attorney mentor for the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners.