Margaret Workman

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Margaret Workman
Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Assumed office
January 1, 2009
Preceded by Larry Starcher
In office
January 1, 1989 – August 31, 1999
Preceded by Darrell McGraw
Succeeded by George M. Scott
Personal details
Born (1947-05-22) May 22, 1947 (age 69)
Alma mater West Virginia University

Margaret Lee Workman (born May 22, 1947) is a Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.


Workman was born in Charleston, West Virginia to Mary Emma Thomas Workman and Frank Eugene Workman.[1] Her father was a coal miner, and his ancestors were some of the first to settle in Boone County, West Virginia.[2] She attended gradeschool in Kanawha County, West Virginia. She received her undergraduate education from Morris Harvey College, which is now the University of Charleston. She received a degree in law from West Virginia University in 1974. She was the first person in her family to attend college.[3] She has three children.[1][2]


While an undergraduate, Workman wrote a letter to West Virginia governor Hulett Smith, who helped her to gain a job handling correspondence at the governor's office. This job led her to enroll in law school.[3] After graduating from West Virginia University, she worked in Washington, D.C. for Senator Jennings Randolph, where she drafted legislation and did legal research. In 1974, she served as assistant majority counsel to the United States Senate Public Works Committee.[1] Afterward, she returned to West Virginia in order to serve as a legal clerk for the 13th Judicial Circuit in West Virginia. After this job, Workman returned to Charleston, West Virginia, where she opened a law practice.[3][2] In 1981, she was appointed a circuit judge by governor Jay Rockefeller in Kanawha County, West Virginia to fill a vacancy. She was subsequently elected in 1982.[1] She inherited the largest backlog of cases in West Virginia, and during her tenure, reduced said backlog to the lowest in the circuit. She also held more jury trials than any other circuit judge during her tenure.[2] She was elected to the Supreme Court in 1988 for a 12-year term, expiring in 2000, making her the first woman elected to this position and the first woman elected to statewide office in West Virginia.[1][4][3] She, however, resigned in 1999 with 18 months left on her term. She returned to her private law practice.[3]

She then entered the Democratic primary in 2002 and 2004 for West Virginia's 2nd congressional district seat, but lost both times. She then ran again for the court in 2008 and was elected. Workman served a one-year, rotating term as Chief Justice in 2011 and was elected to a second one-year term as Chief Justice in 2015.[5]

Awards & Honors[edit]

In 1993, Workman received the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Association’s Excellence in Criminal Justice Award. She has also received the Susan B. Anthony Award, the Celebrate Women Award for Government and Public Service Award, and the WVU College of Law Women’s Law Caucus Distinguished Women in the Law Award.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Michael, Kay. "Margaret Workman". e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Justice Margaret L. Workman". West Virginia Judiciary. West Virginia Judiciary. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Margaret Workman: The Trailblazer". WV Living. WV Living. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Workman to Serve as W.Va. Supreme Court's Next Chief Justice". West Virginia Public Broadcasting. West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Darrell McGraw
Justice for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Succeeded by
George M. Scott
Preceded by
Larry Starcher
Justice for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Succeeded by