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Construction to start on downtown law office

Construction is scheduled to begin in June on a four-story, 46,000-square-foot law office and mock courtroom at 400 S. Seventh St., the latest development shaping the future of downtown Las Vegas.

Attorney Robert Eglet, who won a $160 million settlement for plaintiffs in the hepatitis C medical malpractice lawsuit, announced the project Thursday at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law.

The Robert T. Eglet Advocacy Center will be home to four law firms and an investigation firm that share ownership in the joint venture, he said.

At an estimated cost of $18 million, it’s the largest privately funded building to go downtown in a number of years, Eglet said.

The project is being financed by Bank of Nevada and the Small Business Administration. Korte Co. is the general contractor, and DesignCell is the architect. Completion is expected in December 2013.

“We’re committed to the downtown area. With our practice, it’s important to be within walking distance of the courthouse,” the personal injury attornºey said. “The economy is getting better. I think you’re going to see more development downtown, and we’re happy to be part of that.”

David Wall, former judge and Eglet partner, said the venture shows commitment not only to the future of downtown Las Vegas, but to the community as a whole.

The Advocacy Center will have a courtroom on the third floor that will be used by UNLV law students and faculty for mock trials.

A historic marker will be permanently displayed in honor of Charles “Pop” Squires, who built the first bank, hotel and lumberyard in Las Vegas soon after the city was founded in 1905. Squires and his wife, Delphine, lived in a home on the lot where the office will be built.

“This community has given a great deal to me and my family and everyone at Eglet law,” said Eglet, who grew up in Las Vegas and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “We want to give back to the community.”

Boyd law school has its own mock courtroom on campus, but is sometimes is not available because classes are in session, he said.

Eglet also introduced Boyd law student Alexandra Varela as the first recipient of the Eglet Wall Law Scholarship, which includes about $20,000 in tuition for the third-year student and an internship at the law firm.

“We can be part of their education, and this law school can continue to attract the best and brightest students,” he said.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at hsmith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0491.

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