University of Tennessee College of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

For more than a century, the University of Tennessee College of Law has offered a strong combination of practical and theoretical legal training. Established in 1890, the College of Law is a charter member of the AALS and is ABA-approved.

Enrollment/Student Body

The College of Law enrolls a small, selective, and diverse class each August. The student body is typically between 350 and 400 students, of which approximately 20 percent are students of color. Enrollment goals for 2018 include an entering class size of 125 students, an equal distribution of men and women, and a significant population of students of color. A typical entering class attracts candidates from 15 to 20 different states and 50 to 70 different undergraduate degree-granting colleges and universities. While the largest percentage of students are traditional age, the College of Law welcomes candidates with advanced degrees and significant life and work experience. Detailed information about the demographics of the student body and recent employment outcomes may be found in the ABA-required disclosures on the College of Law website.

Faculty

The quality of our faculty is evidenced by their legal training at some of the finest law schools in the United States, the significance of their scholarly writing, their activity in professional associations, and their involvement with public service. Current students at UT tell potential candidates for admission that they find the faculty to be excellent teachers who are accessible and caring. Faculty invest in the professional development of students through mentoring and advising.

College of Law, Library, and Physical Facilities

The law center at the University of Tennessee—a melding of the old with the new—is an exceptional setting for education in the twenty-first century. The 110,000-square-foot facility was completed in 1997 and is located on Cumberland Avenue, just across from the Student Union, in the heart of the campus. The law center includes the Joel A. Katz Law Library, named for a distinguished entertainment lawyer and alumnus.

Location

The College of Law is located on the main campus of the University of Tennessee. Knoxville is the largest city in eastern Tennessee and the third largest in the state. More than 28,000 students attend UT. Knoxville is close to major legal markets in the Southeast, including Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, and Charlotte. Knoxville has the natural advantage of being located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, making hiking, biking, golf, and fishing popular and accessible activities.

Curriculum

First-year students begin law school with a week-long introductory period in which a series of mini-courses introduces students to the study of law. Second- and third-year students may choose from more than 90 elective courses. Four dual-degree programs are offered:

  • JD/MBA (Master of Business Administration)
  • JD/MPPA (Master of Public Policy and Administration)
  • JD/MPH (Master of Public Health)
  • JD/MA (Master of Arts in Philosophy)

The College of Law offers two optional concentrations for students. The James L. Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law offers integrated upper-division courses that expose students to facets of law that affect business deals and provide hands-on experience in negotiating and documenting transactions with insight into the needs and concerns of the business community.

The Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution allows interested students to focus their second- and third-year experience toward a career in advocacy (commonly known as litigation or trial practice) with an expanded emphasis on alternative forms of dispute resolution.

The Charles H. Miller Legal Clinic is the site for UT’s clinical programs. Established in 1947, this is the longest-running legal clinic in the United States and is nationally recognized for excellence in teaching. Clinical programs currently focus on advocacy, appellate litigation, business and trademark law, domestic violence, education, environmental issues, expungement, mediation and family mediation, federal clemency, innocence and wrongful convictions, nonprofit organizations, and wills.

UT offers three externships: judicial, prosecutorial, and public defender. The prosecutorial externship program enables students to prosecute real cases on behalf of the state under the supervision of experienced district attorneys in Knox County.

Student Activities and Programs

Students can choose from a variety of student programs, activities, publications, and organizations. A complete listing is available on our website.

Participation in UT’s Moot Court program enables students to compete in intracollege and national competitions. UT’s team placed first in the 2015 National Moot Court Regional Competition and won the Harrison Tweed Bowl for best brief at the national finals. A Tennessee team member was named best advocate in the regional competition. UT’s 2013–2014 PAD Mock Trial Team won the national championship. UT won three Jerome Prince Evidence Moot Court national championships and was the first team in the history of that competition to win back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.

The Tennessee Law Review offers participants an excellent opportunity to conduct legal research and produce writings of a scholarly and practical nature. Transactions provides an opportunity for students to write about topical issues and legal developments of interest to the business bar. Students participating in the Tennessee Journal of Law and Policy analyze the latest developments in law and public decision making. The Tennessee Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice provides an interdisciplinary academic platform that focuses on legal issues affecting people of different races, genders, and other social forces. The Student Bar Association and various other student organizations offer numerous programs, services, and special events. The National Honor Society, Order of the Coif, and two leading professional fraternities—Phi Delta Phi and Phi Alpha Delta—have local chapters.

UT Pro Bono is a student-directed community service organization. Working with local attorneys and legal aid organizations, UT Pro Bono serves as a resource by providing law students for research, educational, and investigatory assistance. UT’s mentoring program matches students with alumni who share common practice goals for structured experiences.

Admission

The College of Law strives to craft a class of talented and diverse individuals whose life experiences will enrich the law school community. Admission to the College of Law is competitive. The Admissions Committee places substantial emphasis on traditional indicators of performance—UGPA and LSAT score. The committee also considers factors such as improvement in undergraduate grades and graduate school performance, strength of undergraduate institution and major course of study, extracurricular activities, community service, and employment and professional experience. Also considered are circumstances that may have affected an applicant’s grades or LSAT score; economic, social, or cultural background; and success in overcoming social or economic disadvantage. Applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation and write a personal statement.

The College of Law recognizes its obligation to provide legal education to qualified applicants who are members of historically underrepresented groups in the legal profession and encourages applications from such students.

The College of Law admits a small number of talented students as transfers each year. Currently enrolled students interested in the transfer process should contact the Admissions Office for information.

Expenses, Financial Aid, and Housing

The College of Law offers a number of scholarships for entering students. The Tennessee Law Scholars and Research Associate program, the Dean’s Scholars tuition differential program for nonresidents, and the John W. Green Scholars program for Tennessee residents help talented and diverse candidates reduce the cost of legal education at Tennessee. Candidates for admission will automatically be considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible. Scholarships may be based on academic credentials (LSAT score and UGPA), records of leadership and community service, or other factors as established by the scholarship donor. Candidates for admission should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after the first of the year to be considered for scholarships in which financial need is a factor.

Applicants who are residents of states other than Tennessee and who were honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces or the National Guard may qualify for a waiver of nonresident tuition under the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support Act if they enroll at UT within 24 months of discharge.

Please check our website for more information and application guidelines.

Campus apartment housing is open to law students. Knoxville also offers ample private apartment housing at a reasonable cost within walking distance or a short drive from the law school.

Career Center

Recruiting and hiring practices in the legal job market suggest that making career decisions should be an ongoing, developmental process that begins in the first year of law school and continues through and after graduation. UT students acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to research, select, and seek the right career path for them and gain necessary information about the professional areas in which a law degree can be used.

The staff of the Bettye B. Lewis Career Center offers a comprehensive menu of services for employers who seek to recruit Tennessee students through formal and informal recruitment methods, off-campus job fairs, and recruiting consortia. First-year students are introduced to career-development and job-search strategies through individual counseling and small-group training sessions through UT’s 1L Career Integration Program. Students are coached in the development of individual job-search strategy plans throughout their law school careers.

The Career Center taps the extensive resources of nearly 8,000 alumni living and working throughout the United States and in several countries. Alumni serve as sources of information and networking and, frequently, as employers of UT law students. Most graduates choose to stay in the southeastern United States. For detailed information about recent employment outcomes and salaries for Tennessee Law graduates, please see the College of Law website or contact the Career Center at lawcareer@utk.edu.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Tennessee:

3.33 to 3.84

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Tennessee:

155 to 161

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Tennessee:

3.33 to 3.84

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Tennessee:

155 to 161

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Tennessee:

3.33 to 3.84

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Tennessee:

155 to 161

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

Admissions Office, 1505 W. Cumberland Avenue, Suite 161,
Knoxville, TN 37996-1810,
United States