Classes Get Under Way At New Law Center

  • Full-Size Image: News Photo 54
    Professor Tom Featherston teaches a trusts and estates course on the first day of classes at the center on Monday, Aug. 27.
  • Full-Size Image: News Photo 55
    Professor Elizabeth Miller teaches the first class held Monday, Aug. 27, in the Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom/Courtroom at the Umphrey Law Center.
  • Full-Size Image: News Photo 53
    Applauding faculty, staff and students greet Law Dean Brad Toben, right, at a surprise reception marking his first day at the Umphrey Law Center. With Toben is Dr. Donald Schmeltekopf, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who helped to "lure" the unsuspecting dean to the surprise gathering.
  • Full-Size Image: News Photo 52
    View from University Parks Drive of the Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom/Courtroom.
  • Full-Size Image: News Photo 51
    The impressive interior of the Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom/Courtroom features tiered, curved seating for interactive teaching.
Aug. 27, 2001

by Alan Hunt

Baylor's new $31.3 million Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center was officially opened for business on Monday, Aug. 27, as students attended the first classes held in the impressive three-story building on the banks of the Brazos River.

The honor of teaching the first three 8 a.m. classes in the new building went to Professor Mike Morrison, who hosted a torts class; Professor Tom Featherston, who taught a trusts and Estates session; and Adjunct Professor Erin Shank, who taught a creditors' rights/debtors' remedies class.

A total of 427 students are enrolled for the Fall 2001 quarter, with the entering class numbering 69. The first-year students attended orientation sessions on Friday, Aug. 24, led by Dean Brad Toben and Professors Bill Underwood, Larry Bates and Mark Osler.

Law School registrar Jerri Cunningham said everyone is impressed by the new facility, which measures 128,000 square feet -- more than double the size of Morrison Constitution Hall, the Law School's former home.

She added, "The students seem to be finding their way around the building quite well, and we have adequate parking -- for a change." The tree-lined parking lot at the center accommodates more than 375 vehicles.

Technical innovation is a feature of the building, which has more than 30 miles of computer wiring. Computer plug-in and wireless network capability can be found throughout the facility, which is among the nation's most technologically advanced law schools.

The Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center will be formally dedicated on April 6, 2002, during the Law School's annual Law Day activities.

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