Hi 92 / Lo 76
|Volume 68, Issue 4, Thursday,
August 29, 2002
New general counsel set to represent UH
By Ken Fountain
It's the professional obligation of all lawyers to vigorously protect
the interests of their clients. In Dona Glimm Hamilton's case, her client
Vice President/Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and General Counsel Dona Hamilton began working in June as the top lawyer for UH and the
Hamilton was named Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel in late May, and officially began her duties in June
following the approval of the UHS Board of Regents.
She replaced a controversial figure: Dennis Duffy, who resigned in May
to become vice president and associate general counsel for labor and
Hamilton had previously served for six years as the deputy chief of
the general litigation division of the Texas Attorney General's office.
It was in
Although the jury in that trial found for Septimus in February and awarded
her a $396,000 judgment, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore has yet
Hamilton, who spent most of her formative years in the Northeast, earned
a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Texas at
"I've had every job known to man. I've been a maid, a waitress, a secretary, a grader, a babysitter. You name it, I've done it," Hamilton said.
After earning her undergraduate degree, she worked as a staff member for a committee of the Texas House of Representatives.
"I viewed my undergraduate education as just a continuation of what
I'd done when I was younger, and I wasn't really trained in a particular
"Law was something that interested me. Working in the Legislature probably
pushed me a little bit more towards law school," she said, even
Following graduation from law school and passing the bar exam, Hamilton
worked as a staff member of the Texas Senate before first joining
In 1992, Hamilton joined Morehead, Jordan & Carmona, a small Austin-based
firm, where she represented both plaintiffs and defendants in
"I think being a plaintiffs' lawyer helps me be a better defense lawyer,
and vice versa," she said. "I've always felt committed to my clients. I'm
After three years at the private firm, Hamilton was enticed to return to the attorney general's office.
"I wanted to have supervisory experience, and they offered me a job
where I'd be supervising other lawyers," she said. "For every job, it's
In her new role, she (and her subordinate lawyers) represent UH and the rest of the system in a range of legal issues.
"The variety of things that come across my desk is huge," she said.
While declining to discuss the controversies that surrounded her predecessor,
Hamilton was willing to talk about her own perceptions of her
"I think I'm approachable. I'm the 'open-door' type of person. I'm not
the type of person who wants somebody to set up an appointment with me.
While at any particular time the University may face a number of lawsuits,
Hamilton said that part of her job is keeping open all available options
"If we (the University) did something wrong, I'd want to fix it. And
I think the administration would want to fix it. You're going to try to
fix the problem,
Still, Hamilton said she is passionate about serving her clients.
"It makes my job a whole lot simpler when you're representing people,
for example here at the University, who are committed to making sure
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