College of Law

Mother of Zaevion Dobson to deliver fall Miller Lecture at UT Law

Posted October 14, 2016

Zenobia Dobson, the mother of Zaevion Dobson, a Knoxville teenager who was killed last December shielding his friends from gunfire, will deliver the 2016 Charles H. Miller Lecture in Professional Responsibility at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Presented by the UT Legal Clinic, the lecture will be at noon on Tuesday, November 1, in Room 132 of the College of Law (1505 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville). There is no cost to attend.

Dobson, who accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on her son’s behalf at the 2016 ESPY Awards in July, will discuss how she has channeled her grief to create positive change in the Knoxville community, as well as throughout the country, through the Zaevion Dobson Memorial Foundation (ZDMF). The foundation’s mission is to “provide enrichment, recreational, and educational opportunities to underserved communities,” and is working to provide safe places, such as recreation centers and libraries, for youth to gather, have fun, learn new things, and be inspired. Dobson has used her platform to call for a reduction of gun violence through legislative and community action.


Zaevion Dobson’s family accepts Arthur Ashe Courage Award on his behalf at the 2016 ESPY Awards.

Dobson will also discuss how legal professionals can help their clients in nontraditional ways. She will be joined by her attorneys, Ursula Bailey (’00) and Esther Roberts (’01), both of whom are UT Law Legal Clinic alumni. Along with local attorney Ben Norris, the two helped Dobson organize the ZDMF and continue to work with her and the foundation on a pro bono basis. Immediately following the lecture, Dobson will meet with students in the UT chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).

The Charles Henderson Miller Lecture Series in Professional Responsibility was established in 1977 in honor of the late Professor Charles H. Miller, the founding director of the UT Legal Clinic, the longest-running legal clinic in the nation. The Miller Lecture marks the kickoff of the Legal Clinic’s 70th anniversary celebrations.