One of Tennessee's oldest and largest law firms has pledged $100,000 to
help establish the Center for Advocacy at UT's College of Law.

Law dean Richard Wirtz said the gift makes the firm of Bass, Berry & Sims a
founder of the new center, which will train law graduates in dispute

The gift is part of UT''s 21st Century Campaign which seeks to raise $250
million. The college's goal is $6 million.

Bass, Berry & Sims, founded in 1922, has offices in Knoxville and
Nashville. Many of its 90 attorneys are graduates of the UT College of

"This gift is our way of acknowledging the large number of attorneys in our
firm who have come to us from the University of Tennessee," managing
partner Mike Peek said.

"We are appreciative of the high quality of UT graduates, and by making
this gift we are expressing our continued support of the UT College of
Law," he said.

The firm also sponsors an annual award for an outstanding UT law faculty
member and has funded a scholarship for a second-year law student.

"It means a great deal to the stature and success of the enterprise to have
the distinguished firm of Bass, Berry & Sims as a Founder of the Center for
Advocacy," Wirtz said.

"For some years now, we've been sending the firm some of our best and
brightest. Apparently, they are acquitting themselves well. We are highly
honored by the firm's decision to make this generous investment in the
future of the school."

UT Chancellor Bill Snyder said law school alumni are among the university's
most loyal graduates.

"Graduates of the College of Law have responded enthusiastically to the
21st Century Campaign. That is a tribute to the superb job Dean Wirtz and
his faculty are doing in the campaign," Snyder said.

Campaign gifts support the centers for advocacy and entrepreneurial law,
fund professorships and student scholarships, and expand the services of
the legal clinic and the law library. Gift funds also provide for
state-of-the-art educational and technological resources in the new law
building, now under construction.