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$1.57 Million Gift Funds New Endowed Faculty Chair at MU Law School

Gift to help MU compete with other top law schools in attracting and retaining elite faculty

September 26th, 2013

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— The University of Missouri has received a gift of $1.57 million from the Nancy and Charles Wall Family Foundation to create the Wall Chair in Corporate Law and Governance, an endowed faculty chair in the MU School of Law. Thom Lambert, formerly a professor in the MU School of Law, has been named the inaugural Wall Chair for his exceptional work as a teacher and researcher at MU. Gary Myers, dean of the MU School of Law, says Lambert is more than deserving of this honor.

“The Wall Chair recognizes Thom Lambert’s outstanding accomplishments as a teacher and scholar in the field of business law,” Myers said. “We are very grateful to the Wall Family Foundation for this amazing gift, which will help us recruit and retain outstanding faculty members like Thom. We regularly compete with top private and public law schools for faculty members with outstanding credentials, valuable expertise, and national reputations in their fields. This gift helps us to level the playing field and attract and retain the best and brightest faculty at MU.”

“I’m extremely honored to be named the Wall Chair in Corporate Law and Governance,” Lambert said. “Business corporations are unrivaled in generating economic prosperity and distributing it widely throughout our society.  However, to maintain their social utility, corporations must be properly governed.  It’s easy to err in either direction—to give too much leeway to managers or to impose excessive constraints on entrepreneurial risk.  As the Wall Chair, I plan to be actively involved in examining what works and what doesn’t and in recommending ways to encourage good governance without chilling appropriate risk-taking or driving up businesses’ compliance costs.  I’m so pleased that the Wall Family Foundation has chosen to invest in corporate governance research here at the MU School of Law.”

Lambert’s scholarship focuses on antitrust, corporate and regulatory matters. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 journal articles in such publications as the Boston College Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Texas Law Review and the Yale Journal on Regulation. Lambert has received the MU School of Law’s Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award for teaching excellence and the university-wide Gold Chalk Award for Excellence in Teaching at the graduate level. In 2007 and 2011, his work was honored with the Shook Hardy & Bacon Excellence in Research Award for best law faculty scholarship. Lambert says the Wall Chair will help enhance not only his research, but his teaching capabilities as well.

“To be a great teacher, you have to be a scholar,” Lambert said. “Great teachers bring their students along on their intellectual journeys, inspiring them to grapple with the hard questions.  To the extent the Wall Chair furthers my scholarship by providing research support, facilitating connections with other top business law scholars, and adding credence to my work, it will directly benefit our students.  At the end of the day, the students are why we do what we do as professors, and I certainly plan to take them along on the intellectual journey the Wall Chair affords me.”

Before entering academia, he practiced law in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin and was a John M. Olin Fellow at Northwestern University School of Law and the Center for the Study of American Business (now the Murray Weidenbaum Center) at Washington University. After graduating from law school, he clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.