A recent gift to the University of Oklahoma College of Law from the late distinguished alumnus and longtime donor James T. Comfort (’57) will continue his family’s support of OU Law students for years to come.
Just before his passing in October, Comfort provided a $100,000 gift to OU Law toward the existing fund for the Comfort Top 10 Scholarships, which are awarded to the 10 highest-ranked students in each of the second- and third-year classes.
The donation continues the Comfort family’s long history of support and involvement with the College of Law. Since 1994, James Comfort and his brother, William T. Comfort Jr. (’61), have provided more than $7 million in scholarships to over 1,000 OU Law students.
“We are grateful to the Comforts for their remarkable gifts to the College of Law, which have been critical to our mission of making legal education affordable,” said OU Law Interim Dean Katheleen Guzman. “This most recent gift from James Comfort both honors and helps sustain his vision of bringing extraordinary students to the OU College of Law. We are grateful for his support of OU Law and are honored to be a part of his legacy.”
The Comfort brothers endowed the Comfort Scholarship Program to attract exceptional students to OU Law. In addition to the Top 10 Scholarship, the endowment provides the funding for the Comfort Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship for incoming students with exemplary academic qualifications and LSAT scores; and the Nathalie Pierrepont Scholarships, which are awarded based on merit, leadership and public service.
James Comfort was a consultant in intellectual property and patent law. He was a former partner of the Dallas law firm Sharp, Comfort and Merrett and vice president of licensing for Affymetrix in Santa Clara, California. He began his career with IBM and General Electric and also previously served as patent counsel with Texas Instruments. He was a lifetime member of the OU Alumni Association and a member of the Seed Sower Society.
In addition to their philanthropic support, the Comfort brothers have devoted their time to furthering the college’s mission. Up until his death, James Comfort served as a member of the OU College of Law Board of Visitors, and William Comfort continues on the college’s Honors Council. The brothers also provided effective leadership for the private fundraising campaign to expand the College of Law building in the late 1990s. In honor of their outstanding legal careers, they were both inducted into the college’s Order of the Owl Hall of Fame in 2012.
More News & Media
Legal Scholars to Speak at OU Law on Historical and Modern ‘Blackness as Nuisance’
Two legal scholars and authors will discuss historic and present-day permutations of a form of racial profiling in a Zoom webinar hosted by the University of Oklahoma College of Law, set for noon Wednesday, Oct. 21.
OU Law Conversations: Dean Emeritus Andrew Coats
What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.
OU Law Conversations: Robert Barnes
What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.