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Law College

The University of Tennessee College of Law commenced operation in 1890 and has continuously sought to provide high quality legal education in a university community. The principal objective of the College is to prepare students for the practice of law. The College teaches the analytical skills needed to interpret cases and statutes, the ability to communicate effectively, an awareness of the historical growth of the law, a knowledgeable appreciation of the interrelationship of law and society, and the ability to use law to implement social change and development. Students are thus equipped to serve their communities not only as advocates and counselors, but also as policy makers and active, responsible citizens.

The program of the College has three dimensions – teaching and learning, research into and appraisal of our legal systems and institutions, and service to the community. Each plays a significant role in the College as a modern law center. The teaching and learning element of legal education at the College involves cooperative classroom interaction between faculty and students in the analytical study of a host of questions and problems found in today’s legal profession. These involve decisional law, statutory interpretation, administrative regulation, techniques of trial and appellate advocacy and dispute resolution, and the roles and responsibilities of the lawyer in advising and representing clients.

The College is also directly involved in providing service to the community. A major element of public service is centered in the Legal Clinic, where students, under close faculty guidance, provide legal services to clients. Additionally, through research, consultation, and other services to legal institutions and groups within the state, the College seeks to participate in the development and improvement of the society in which its students may eventually practice law.

In combination, the direction and objectives of the College lead to the development not of a narrow technician, but of a student of the law with the perspective, breadth, and understanding necessary to accomplish the many tasks assigned by society to the legal profession.

Affiliated Centers and Institutes

Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution

In the 1990s, giants in the Tennessee legal community envisioned a law school curriculum that would better prepare law students for a career in advocacy and dispute resolution. These visionaries saw an opportunity for UT, a law school already recognized for its strong clinical education program, to capitalize on the tradition of helping students to learn by doing. Together, they founded the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution to provide a specialized curriculum for interested students.

The Center offers a unique series of courses taught by an experienced faculty utilizing the College’s state-of-the-art facilities. The Center offers a variety of different extra-curricular programs and symposia for students as well as members of the University and legal community. A distinguished lecture series, the Founders Lecture, features a prominent speaker on a current topic in advocacy and dispute resolution. In addition, the Center offers its popular “Practice Series” at which lawyers, judges, and other professionals visit the law school to discuss a topic of interest and have lunch with the students. Twice each year the Center publishes a newsletter, The Advocate, which features articles about the Center’s events, faculty, student activities, and other items of interest to the community.

Institute for Conflict Management

A collaboration agreement between the College of Law’s Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution and the Institute for Conflict Management at David Lipscomb University gives students at the College of Law a unique opportunity to supplement their law degree with advanced courses in conflict management. As the legal field moves away from litigation as the exclusive means of resolving disputes, other forms of conflict resolution are becoming important skills for lawyers of the future. Because the program is open to professionals from disciplines other than law, the law students in the program benefit from a rich interdisciplinary learning experience which complements the rigors of their law school education. Students also benefit from the experiential teaching format which is consistent with the College of Law’s model of blending theory and practice and providing clinical opportunities for the students.

CAN-LEARN Project: Helping Attorneys in Tennessee to Provide Legal Representation to Children in Need of Education Advocacy

In 2003, the University of Tennessee College of Law created the Children’s Advocacy Network (CAN) whose first project is the Lawyer’s Education Advocacy Resource Network (LEARN). LEARN was conceived in recognition of the yawning need for legal representation on behalf of school age children and youth. In today’s climate of disciplinary exclusion, both regular and special education students – particularly low-income students, students of color, and rural students – suffer from lack of adequate representation. The sparse availability of legal representation for students is overwhelmed by the growing need for access to legal advocacy on behalf of this vulnerable population. CAN-LEARN has sought to address this imbalance.

The Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law

The Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law seeks to improve the training of business lawyers in both transactional and litigation practices through the College of Law curriculum, faculty and student scholarship, and presentations for the business bar and community both regionally and nationwide. The Clayton Center also offers a Visiting Professor Program to attract and deploy within the institution individuals that are interested in teaching business law-related courses and who are seeking to enter the academy from private practice. This includes the Visiting Professor of Corporate Governance and Investor Rights program.

In order to provide research opportunities for students and research resources for faculty, the Center solicits research associates and projects to further its mission. All projects are business or business law-related and many include large-scale collaborative efforts by students who survey and report on the state of the law in a particular area or work to produce commentary regarding transactional and other business and business law matters.

Clinical Programs

For more than sixty years, the College of Law’s Legal Clinics have provided law students with opportunities to learn by doing – representing clients and helping resolve legal disputes. Our Advocacy Clinic is the longest continuously operating for-credit clinic in the country and remains one of the most successful programs of its kind. In 2012 U.S. News and World Reports ranked our Clinical Program 12th nationally among the more than 180 clinical programs considered, and first in the Southeast. University of Tennessee’s status as a long-time leader in clinical legal education speaks volumes about the importance we place on teaching students how to practice law, as well as our commitment to public service and the community. The College of Law supports the following Legal Clinics and Programs:

  • Advocacy Clinic
  • Business Law Clinic
  • Domestic Violence Clinic
  • Environmental Law Clinic
  • Externship Programs
  • Innocence/Wrongful Convictions Clinic
  • Mediation Clinic
  • Wills Clinic

Faculty and Staff

Aarons, Dwight Associate Professor and Supervisor, Innocence/Wrongful Convictions Clinic
Anderson, Patti Clinic Administrative Support Assistant
Ansley, Frances Professor Emeritus, College of Law Distinguished Professor of Law
Armstrong, Carol Clinic Legal Secretary
Armstrong, Ramona Administrative Services Assistant – Dean’s Office
Avery, Howie Director of Development & Alumni Affairs
Bach, Wendy Associate Professor
Barton, Benjamin Director of Clinical Programs and Professor of Law
Bell, Alexis Advancement Assistant
Best, Reba Professor and Interim Director of the Law Library
Black, Jerry Associate Professor of Law
Blaze, Douglas Dean and Art Stolnitz and Elvin E. Overton Distinguished Professor of Law
Blitt, Robert Associate Professor of Law
Branson, Sheryl Senior Administrative Services Assistant – Records Office
Brewer, Phyllis Admissions Assistant
Britton, Karen Director of Admissions, Financial Aid & Career Services
Brock, Corinna Administrative Specialist I
Browder, LaVaun Administrative Services Assistant – Dean’s Office
Brown, Kay Career Services Advisor
Brown, Sophia Administrative Support Assistant – Advocacy Center
Brown, Tanya Director of Communications
Bryan, Heather Assistant Director of Development
Burns, de Administrative Support Assistant III
Carter, Sally Katz Library Supervisor
Christian, Joseph Employer Relations & Recruitment Coordinator
Cochran, Cathy Computer Services Librarian and Associate Professor
Collins, Carol Catalog Librarian and Assistant Professor
Cook, Joseph Williford Gragg Distinguished Professor of Law
Cornett, Judy Associate Professor of Law
Davies, Thomas Elvin E. Overton Distinguished Professor of Law and National Alumni Association Distinguished Service Professor of Law
DeArmond, Patty Senior Katz Library Associate
Dupes, Rynn (Cathrynn) Library Supervisor
Farabow, Cindy Administrative Support Assistant – Faculty
Ford, Elizabeth Administrative Support Assistant – Faculty
Fox, Micki Business Manager: Tennessee Law Review and CLE Coordinator
Freeman, Daniel Senior IT Technologist
Gentry, Elizabeth Writing Specialist
George, Amy Student Services Assistant
Goodwin, Iris Associate Professor of Law
Gray, Joe Senior IT Technologist
Groah, Jeff IT Technologist
Gunter, Sean Administrative Support Assistant – Faculty
Hardin, Patrick Professor Emeritus
Hatcher, Janet Coordinator/Advisor, Admissions & Financial Aid
Heminway, Joan College of Law Distinguished Professor of Law
Hendricks, Jennifer Associate Professor of Law
Herbstritt, Lauren Director, Annual Giving & Alumni Affairs
Hess, Amy UTK Distinguished Service Professor, Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis and Williford Gragg Distinguished Professor of Law and Supervisor, Wills Clinic
Higdon, Michael Associate Professor of Law
Hirsch, Jeffrey Associate Professor of Law
Holden, Lisa Coordinator, Legal Clinic
Jacobs, Becky Associate Professor of Law and Director, Environmental Law  and Mediation Clinics
James, Mary Ann Manager, Human Resources & Administration
Johnson, Barbara Visiting Professor
Karstrom, Carolyn Senior Admissions Assistant
King, Joseph Walter W. Bussart and UTK Distinguished Professor of Law
Klavon, Sandy Senior Katz Library Associate
Krumm, Brian Visiting Scholar
Kuney, George W.P. Toms Professor of Law and Director of the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law
Leatherman, Don W. Allen Separk Distinguished Professor of Law
Lloyd, Robert Lindsay Young Distinguished Professor of Law
Long, Alex Associate Professor of Law
Marshall, Sibyl Associate Professor and Head of Public Services, Joel A. Katz Law Library
McKanders, Karla Associate Professor of Law
McWilliams, Phyllis Accounting Specialist – Katz Library
Morgan, Katrice Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Supervisor, Prosecutorial and Public Defender Externships
Mutter, Carol Visiting Scholar
Neff, Tammy Administrative Support Assistant – Faculty
Odom, Bo Advancement Assistant
Offshack, Beth Senior Katz Library Associate
Ottinger, C.J. Accounting Assistant
Owen, Jill-Anne Legal Secretary Clinic
Parker, Carol Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Legal Writing
Peterson, Teresa Budget Director
Picquet, Cheryn Professor Emeritus
Pierce, Carl W. Allen Separk Distinguished Professor of Law and Director, Howard Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy
Plank, Thomas Joel A. Katz Distinguished Professor of Law
Preuss, Nathan Reference and Education Services Librarian and Assistant Professor
Price, Loretta Acquisitions Librarian and Associate Professor
Pulsinelli, Gary Associate Professor of Law
Reynolds, Glenn Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law
Rivkin, Dean College of Law Distinguished Professor of Law
Schaefer, Paula Associate Professor of Law
Smalley, Suzanne Katz Library Supervisor
Smith, Donna Adjunct Professor and Supervisor, Domestic Violence Clinic
Smithson, R.G. Director of Public Affairs
Sobieski, John Lindsay Young Distinguished Professor of Law
Stein, Gregory Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Woolf, McClane, Bright, Allen & Carpenter Distinguished Professor of Law
Stephens, Otis Alumni Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and Resident Scholar of Constitutional Law
Stucke, Maurice Associate Professor of Law
Taylor, Mike IT Technologist
Tobin, Kris Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian
Turner, Amber Accounting Specialist
Tweed, Rebekah Senior Katz Library Associate
Vachon, Christyne Visiting Professor
White, Penny Director of the Center for Advocacy, Elvin E. Overton Distinguished Professor of Law and Supervisor, Judicial Externships
Williams, Paula Associate Professor of Law and Supervisor, Business Law Clinic

Contact Information

Douglas A. Blaze, Dean and Art Stolnitz and Elvin E. Overton Distinguished Professor of Law
The College of Law
The University of Tennessee
278 Law Complex: George C Taylor Wing
1505 W. Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996-1810

Phone: (865) 974-2521

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.