Native Texan artist commissioned for painting of Texas legal legend
Tuesday, May 24, Provost Umphrey law firm unveiled a newly completed portrait of firm founder Walter Umphrey as part of the grand opening of the firm’s new offices in the Edison Plaza office tower in downtown Beaumont. The firm commissioned renowned, local artist John Cobb to create the portrait, which is displayed in the Umphrey Conference Room along with memorabilia from the late Mr. Umphrey’s 50-year legal career.
“We knew we wanted to fill these walls with artwork that was meaningful to our firm,” says Matthew Matheny, partner at Provost Umphrey Law Firm. “What does that better than photographs of our courthouses taken by local students?”
The firm learned about PNG High School’s photography department and reviewed some of the work the students had done during the school year. The students were then asked to take photographs of Southeast Texas courthouses, with special attention to the Jefferson County Courthouse, where the firm often tries cases.
“The legacy of Walter Umphrey will always be a part of the culture of this firm, and Walter’s portrait will serve as a visible reminder of his influence on each attorney and member of our staff,” says Joe Fisher, the firm’s managing partner. “We will continue to honor him by always seeking justice for those in need.”
Mr. Umphrey established the firm in 1969, where he practiced law until his retirement in 2016. Mr. Umphrey passed away in 2021 at the age of 85.
A highly respected litigator, Mr. Umphrey earned multiple honors from major peer-reviewed legal publications and organizations, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. He was a fellow of both the International Society of Barristers and the Texas Bar Foundation and was a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
The firm recently moved to Edison Plaza after a 4-month renovation of the entire 11th floor. The renovation included new conference rooms outfitted with virtual meeting capabilities, a new breakroom for employees and clients to enjoy, a new lobby, offices, and lounge areas.
“We are enjoying serving our clients here and having Walter’s portrait on display will feel like the space is finally complete,” says Fisher.