: The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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H.A.C. Brummett

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Inspiration can come from odd places. This photo hung in the commons of the University of Houston Law Center for several years. I suppose one could take it any number of ways – inspiration to study a few more hours lest the same fate befall you? – I choose to see it as the practice of law at its most elemental. After a little internet research I discovered that H.A.C. Brummett was a prominent and apparently colorful lawyer and judge in Dickens County, Texas (“the unofficial wild boar capital of Texas”), a rural area on the outskirts of Lubbock on the Llano Estacado mesa.

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3 Responses

  1. Stuart Brummett says:

    Each summer my brother and I would make the trip from our home in Lubbock to spend a few weeks with my grandfather, Winston Brummett (son of HAC Brummett) in Dickens County. After decades of practicing law in Lubbock, he “retired” to the area where he grew up, proceeding to plant a pecan orchard of over 2000 trees near Afton. We could be assured that in-between trimming trees and repairing irrigation lines, we would inevitably be loaded up in the back of his truck, driven into the town of Dickens and hoisted onto the rickety porch roof of the HAC Brummett Law Office to freshly re-paint the midnight black letters of his father’s shotgun office building. In looking at what has now become an iconic image of the practice of law in the rural plains, I look at photos of this primitive building sitting on the flat plains of West Texas with a laugh of irony as I left behind my family’s legacy of practicing law to become an architect in the soaring mountains of central Colorado.

  2. Luke Gilman says:

    Stuart, that’s a great mental image. Thanks for stopping by to drop a note. I suppose it’s increasingly rare legacy in our age for a family to have that kind of connection to a community.

    I wonder if it resonates at all in your work as an architect? The shotgun shacks down the street from the law school in Houston seem to have developed an architectural reputation somehow and have been repurposed as the Project Row Houses arts community.

  3. Stuart Brummett says:

    Sadly, the family succumbed to selling off the land to pay for elder care for my grandmother, and while the donation of the office to the Dickens County Historical Society will ultimately serve to maintain its preservation, it makes me sad to think I won’t be risking my son’s right arm by sticking him on that roof to re-paint those letters.

    I’m certain though that I have been influenced by those childhood experiences. I think in some ways I had to leave the “bigger is better” mindset that has become “Texas” to find the simpler way of life my great grandfather embodied. There’s something to be said for my HAC’s 250 s.f. world of laying one’s head in the back room of that simple office while tending to his cows fenced in the lot next door during courtroom recesses. It makes me grin thinking about it.

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