AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin School of Law has received $500,000 of a $1 million pledge from Texas trial attorney and UT Law alumnus George Fleming. The $500,000 gift will allow the Law School to fund a major renovation of its ground-floor dining commons, which will be named “George’s Café” in Fleming’s honor.
The balance of the $1 million gift will be used to broaden programs and services in the Law School’s Career Services Office and to establish the George M. Fleming Faculty Excellence Fund to recruit and retain outstanding faculty. The gift comes from the Fleming Endowment, established in 1997 by Fleming, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 1968 and juris doctor degree in 1971 from The University of Texas at Austin.
Fleming founded the Houston-based law firm of Fleming and Associates in 1981 and earned a national reputation representing plaintiffs in mass tort and consumer litigation cases.
“George Fleming is a great friend of our Law School. His magnificent gift will make our Law School a better place,” said Dean Bill Powers of the School of Law. “It will allow us to establish a first-rate eating and gathering space for our students, to enhance our career counseling staff, and to recruit and retain the very best faculty. In short, it will improve the experience for our students. We are very, very grateful to him for his support and generosity.”
The Law School hired the Austin-based architecture firm of Susman Tisdale Gayle (STG) to design George’s Café. STG also created the design for the classroom renovations completed at the Law School during the summer. Construction on the new café is scheduled to begin in January 2006 with completion and a grand opening expected early in the fall semester of 2006.
The design offers several seating areas for a variety of student activities, including small student organization meetings and study groups. George’s Café will offer an eclectic menu, from early in the morning to late evening, provided by Texas Coffee Traders, operator of the coffee bar in the Susman Godfrey Atrium.
“I am very grateful for the education I received at UT Law School,” Fleming said. “I hope that this gift will make a positive difference in one form or another to every student who enters Townes Hall. In particular, I am excited about the plans for the renovation of the dining commons. It’s going to be a place where students want to gather, relax, talk and study—a place that will be important in their memories of the Law School.”
Fleming and Associates comprises 13 attorneys and 75 support staff and contract personnel. The firm’s expertise includes multi-plaintiff litigation in areas such as personal injury, aviation accidents, property damage, consumer protection, securities fraud, insurance fraud, oil and gas issues, products liability and toxic tort cases.