Sam Petsonk is a Beckley-based lawyer who has dedicated his career to ensuring better wages, working conditions, and retirement benefits for coal miners and all workers – recovering millions of dollars in judgments against some of the most powerful companies in the state. He has also brought people together in the legal system to improve our public schools and address community concerns regarding addiction and recovery.
A native of Morgantown, West Virginia, Sam has also worked and resided in Fayette, Kanawha, and Wyoming Counties. Sam’s law practice includes labor and employment law, workplace safety and health, black lung benefits, retirees’ rights, the rights of people in recovery, and various class action matters to assist workers following layoffs. He is the past president of the West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association, and the recipient of legal fellowships for consumer protection and workers’ rights.
Sam previously worked for the late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd and Senator Carte Goodwin in Washington, DC, serving as a legislative assistant on energy, labor, and economic development. In DC, Sam assisted in drafting several pieces of major legislation benefiting coal miners nationwide. He conducted detailed oversight of federal agencies, and developed expertise in the workings of the administrative state. Sam has also worked on various community and economic development projects, supporting organizations throughout West Virginia. Sam earned his law degree from Washington & Lee University and his college degree at Brandeis University.
Sam lives with his wife, Stephanie Tyree, and their sons, Teddy and Levi, in Fayette County.