Andrew C. Skinner grew up in Charles Town, West Virginia. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1988 and then attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1992. Andrew participated in the ROTC program at William and Mary and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. Andrew was on active duty in the Army for four years, serving as a tanker and then a logistician in the 4th Infantry Division.
After coming off of active duty, Andrew studied at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, one of the top-ranked law schools in the nation. Andrew graduated with honors from the University of Texas and moved to Chicago, where he took up practice with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which is one of the largest law firms in the country. His primary practice involved product liability lawsuits.
Attorney Andrew Skinner returned home in September 2003 and joined his father’s practice at Nichols & Skinner, which has since been renamed Skinner Law Firm. Andrew focuses on personal injury and consumer protection. Exceedingly important to Andrew are cases that seek to protect the public. For instance, Andrew believes that one of the most effective approaches to stopping drunk driving and protecting our community members is to bring lawsuits against drunk drivers and the bars that over serve them. These so-called “dram shop” cases ensure that bars and patrons act responsibly by forcing them to compensate victims who are injured in drunk-driving crashes.
Other types of cases that are crucial to protecting the community are those involving debt collectors who do not follow the rules on how to deal with consumers. Likewise, Andrew pursues cases where companies have violated clear standards — such as building codes — in order to reduce their costs, while endangering their customers and the general public. An example is builders who do not properly install passive radon systems as required by building codes, even though these companies know that they are building houses in a high radon area.
Being deeply involved in the community is very important to all the Skinners, including Andrew. He currently serves on the Board of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, and is a past president of the board. In this position, Andrew is working to improve the local business community by providing opportunities for business persons to network, by providing educational opportunities, and by showing off what wonderful business opportunities exist in the Eastern Panhandle. Along the same vein, Andrew serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Jefferson County Development Authority.
Andrew continued his military career after coming off of active duty by serving both in the National Guard and the Reserves, including two more years mobilized on active duty. He has served in Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Germany and South Korea, along with posts throughout the United States. In 2009, Andrew was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. As an Army Reserve Soldier, one of his jobs is as an instructor of a graduate-level course for Army officers seeking to become battalion commanders and high-level staff members.
Learning how to be a leader has long been part of Andrew’s life. It started with Andrew being the student government president in high school, continued with ROTC in college, and intensified during his over twenty years of military service. Wanting to share the leadership skills and lessons he has learned throughout his life, Andrew founded Leadership Jefferson, a program of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Andrew spends innumerable hours every year guiding approximately 20 current or future leaders through a ten-month-long course. Leadership Jefferson covers how Jefferson County operates and also various leadership skills. Creating and running Leadership Jefferson has provided him with insight into the workings and character of this community.
Andrew is married to Kathy Kuhler Skinner, who was elected in 2014 and 2018 to the Jefferson County Board of Education. They have four children. Kathy is also a Board member of Discover Downtown Charles Town, an organization dedicated to improving economic opportunities and conditions in the historic downtown of Charles Town. Andrew is a member of the American Association for Justice and the West Virginia Association for Justice.