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A Note for Dean Ray Nimmer

Raymond T. NimmerFirst impressions often leave a lasting impression. One such happy occurrence at a social gathering decades ago led to an enduring association at the Law Center.

Back in the mid-’50s, Maurice Frankel, a successful Houston businessman and pillar of the community, met future Dean Newell Blakely at a party at the home of Sybil Balasco ’56. The oil and gas icon was struck by Blakely’s vision for the law school. With an abiding interest in education, Frankel began quietly contributing to the law school’s development, including gifts for the law library and startup funds for the Houston Law Review. His legacy has been carried on by the Frankel Family Foundation which funded construction of the Frankel Rare Books Room. †In 1995, the foundation agreed to underwrite an annual lecture drawing renowned scholars from across the country to speak on important legal issues of the day.

I have always had a personal attachment to the Frankel Lecture series because I was acting dean when the program started. Today, I am especially delighted to announce that the foundation has committed $100,000 to support the program for another five years. I had no idea in 1995 how important the lecture program would become to the Law Center and its flagship publication, the Houston Law Review.† For the past 16 years, the lecture has been a highlight of the fall semester. The list of speakers is truly impressive, ranging from Dr. Philip Zelikow, a Law Center graduate and special adviser to the president, and Geoffrey C. Hazard, professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and former director of the American Law Institute,† to David Nimmer, (no relation), a copyright law expert and professor at UCLA Law School.

Students, faculty, alums, and practicing attorneys all benefit from the academic exchange of ideas. In addition to the lecture itself, the articles written by the keynote speaker and commentators are published in the Houston Law Review. The Frankel Lecture has played a major part in the Law Review’s rise to top tier status with its current ranking of 38th among more than 1,600 legal journals published worldwide. In the years to come, the Frankel Lecture will continue to promote scholarly debate and enhance the Law Center’s national reputation for excellence. My thanks to everyone who has worked on this program over the years and to the Frankel Foundation and especially Russell Frankel.


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