About MENU

It Starts at State

Frank Walker, Jr.

Frank Walker standing on street in PittsburghWest Virginia State University has always played a role in the life of prominent Pittsburgh attorney Frank Walker Jr. Originally from Institute, he grew up on Douglass Street, near the Drain-Jordan Library building, and remembers fondly roaming around the campus grounds during his youth.

“My father, mother and grandmother are all West Virginia State graduates. I have fond memories of going to football and basketball games on campus. I was the little kid who grew up on campus,” he says.

When it was time to think about going to college, however, Frank says that initially he wasn’t planning to just walk across the street, but the opportunity to play sports for the Yellow Jackets proved to be too tempting. He met with the STATE football coaching staff and was assured he could play as a freshman.

“After that, I fell in love with it,” he says. “Best decision of my life.”

Once on campus as a student, Frank embraced the college lifestyle. While at West Virginia State, he was twice elected as President of the Student Government Association, voted as the Freshman Athlete of the Year, selected for Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and served as a member of the Judicial Conduct Board. He also met his wife, the former Jennifer Jackson, while both were students at STATE. He credits his service on the WVSU Judicial Conduct Board with sealing his desire to eventually go on to law school.

“I always try to look at a situation objectively and see both sides' point of view without any prejudice walking in,” he says. “On the Judicial Conduct Board, I went in with a blank slate, and I started to realize I could do some things because I knew how to look at things objectively and see both sides of an argument. After that, I knew I wanted to go to law school.”

Following graduation from STATE in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Frank went on to earn a master’s degree in education/leadership studies and a law degree. After law school, he served as a senior trial attorney for the Allegheny Office of Conflict Counsel in Pittsburgh, where he worked to defend indigent clients and supervised younger trial attorneys, while carrying a caseload of high profile criminal cases before various courts in Pennsylvania. After serving as senior counsel, he joined the litigation department in the Pittsburgh law firm of Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick and Gefsky.

In 2011, he launched his own law firm, Frank Walker Law, in downtown Pittsburgh, where he focuses on criminal defense and personal injury matters. Since opening the Pittsburgh office, he has also opened a second office in Morgantown. Since opening his law practice, he has developed a reputation as one of the most sought-after criminal defense attorneys in Western Pennsylvania. He has been named a member of the National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyers.

A version of this story first appeared in STATE, the WVSU alumni magazine.
Scroll to Top