April 22, 2008
Lanier Law Addition Opens at Texas Tech
Texas Supreme Court inaugurates technologically advanced courtroom.
Written by Leslie Cranford
Texas Tech University officials Tuesday (April 22) formally opened the $13.6 million Mark & Becky Lanier Professional Development Center, an addition to the School of Law expected to enhance the legal education of future generations of lawyers.
"The Lanier addition will give Texas Tech the finest legal education facility in the nation — someone may build one better, but today, the best is right here," said Walter Huffman, dean of the law school. "We are extremely grateful to the Laniers for providing this great benefit for the current and future students of our law school."
The 34,560-square-foot addition includes the state-of-the-art 130-seat Donald Hunt courtroom to enable students to practice their advocacy skills; and a 300-seat auditorium-classroom, capable of holding an entire law school class as well as continuing education conferences. Additionally, the new wing provides space for the Office of Academic Success Programs, Career Services and Alumni Development, and student organizations.
"Because of donors such as Mark and Becky Lanier, the Texas Tech School of Law is able to provide more than a great education to law students through state-of-the-art facilities," said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. "In addition to our excellence in classroom teaching, students will be better prepared to practice law because of the hands on experience they received while studying at Texas Tech."
The Hunt courtroom includes amenities that will benefit law students, such as a document camera, computers, monitors, laptop connections and video players available for the electronic introduction of evidence. Two large projection screens are available on which the audience on both the floor level and balcony can watch proceedings. The auditorium and a conference room can be used as observation rooms of court procedures as well.
Additionally, the new courtroom has equipment to digitally record court proceedings, and also has videoconferencing capability. A large-screen LCD monitor is mounted in the courtroom’s foyer as well, for messages and other programming. All of the technology is tied together through a state-of-the-art audio/visual control room.
A practice courtroom also is built into the new addition, and includes technology mimicking much of what is contained in the Hunt courtroom, as well as the judge’s bench, attorneys’ tables, and a witness box.
The building addition was made possible by a $6 million donation from the Laniers, matched with resources from the university.
Mark Lanier, a 1984 graduate of the Texas Tech School of Law, is founder and senior partner of The Lanier Law Firm, a national litigation firm with offices in Houston, New York and Los Angeles. Becky Lanier received her bachelor’s degree in 1984 and her master’s degree in 1986, both from Texas Tech.
Mark had two mentors who encouraged him in his law journey, who he credits for his success.
"Dean Annette Marple went out of her way to place me at the School of Law. Then Don Hunt actively helped develop my courtroom ability," Lanier said. "Those two put me in the position for success as a lawyer. For that, I want Texas Tech to be the best it can be."
And the dean couldn’t be more grateful.
"The Laniers’ gift is doubly significant because it was given by alumni exemplifying the preeminent students who graduate from Texas Tech and go about making their mark in the world in a most meaningful way," Huffman said.
CONTACT: Casey Carson, director of Alumni Relations and Communications, Texas Tech University School of Law, (806) 742-3990 ext. 315, or firstname.lastname@example.org.