U. Houston Law announces gift and new building


Houston, in this particular case, does not have a problem. Houston — specifically the University of Houston Law Center — has anything but.

The John M. O’Quinn Foundation, which is named after the late attorney and philanthropist who was a school alumnus, has donated $16 million to the law school, a significant portion of which will support the construction of a new law school building. 

John M. Quinn's name will grace the new $90 million building with construction starting in Summer 2020. The current complex dates back to 1947, is partially underground and is prone to flooding.

“John would be incredibly proud to know that his name was on the building of this dynamic law school where he started his journey in the legal profession. John often talked about how the Law Center was best at preparing him and others for the real world of law and how he envisioned a state-of-the-art facility for the law school.  I know he is smiling from above today,” said Rob C. Wilson III, president of The John M. O’Quinn Foundation.

“John M. O’Quinn arose from humble beginnings, and through the power of his UH legal education, he became one of the nation’s top trial lawyers winning more than $21 billion for his clients," said UH Law Center Dean Leonard Baynes. "Having his name permanently on our new building will inspire our students that they too can overcome their life circumstances, be outstanding trial lawyers and give back to their communities.”

Law schools have been getting some serious money of late. In November, the University of Pennsylvania received $125 million, the largest donation on record. It named the school after the donor, the W.P. Carey Foundation, and announced it would be known as the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

O’Quinn is one of UH’s most generous benefactors and the law building will be the latest on campus to bear his name. Other buildings that bear his name include the O’Quinn Law Library, John M. O’Quinn Field at TDECU Stadium and the O’Quinn Great Hall at the UH Alumni Center.

“It cannot be overstated the impact that John M. O’Quinn and his foundation have had on the growth and success of the University of Houston,” said Eloise Brice, UH vice president for university advancement. “His steadfast commitment to the Law Center and advancing its mission of academic excellence will resonate for many years to come.”