College of Law

2017 Symposium of the Tennessee Journal of Law & Policy

How do judges and lawyers think?

Judges and lawyers think differently from other members of the public. This is certainly a good thing, since legal reasoning demands specialized habits of mind. However, precisely because the reasoning of judges and lawyers is distinctive, these legal professionals may sometimes fail to anticipate how ordinary members of the public will react to evidence, a mental blindspot that could affect the application of various rules that turn on what “reasonable” non-lawyers perceive. Drawing on empirical studies of judges, lawyers, and members of the public, this symposium will address the issue in order to help lawyers and judges understand and relate to differing perceptions.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

University of Tennessee College of Law
1505 West Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville
Room 132

5 CLE credits, includes 2.5 DUAL credits – $25 registration


Featuring keynote speaker

Dan Kahan

Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology
Yale Law School

Kahan is a member of Yale Law School’s Cultural Cognition Project, an interdisciplinary team of scholars who use empirical methods to examine the impact of group values on perceptions of risk and related facts. Kahan’s areas of research include risk perception, criminal law, and the application of decision science to law and policy. He served as a judicial clerk to US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and to Judge Harry Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. He received a BA from Middlebury College and a JD from Harvard University. Professor Kahan is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement  and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Morning panel discussion will feature Justice Cornelia Clark, former Justice and Dean William Koch, Judge Neil Thomas, Chancellor Jerri Bryant, and attorney Brad MacLean.

Afternoon panel discussion will feature UT law professors Dwight Aarons and Lucy Jewel, UT psychology professor Michael Olson, UT English Professor Emerita Bethany Dumas, and Dr. Clifton Cleaveland.


9:00 am – 9:15 am
Registration and Welcome
9:15 am – 10:15 am
In the Eye of the Beholder — Keynote Address – Professor Dan Kahan
10:15 am – 10:30 am
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
 From the Eye of the Legal Beholder — Panel Discussion featuring Justice Clark, Dean  Koch, Judge Thomas, Chancellor Bryant, and Attorney MacLean
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Lunch (on your own)
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
In the Eyes of the Beholders — Keynote Address – Professor Dan Kahan
2:15 pm – 2:30 pm
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
 From the Eyes of Other Beholders — Panel Discussion featuring Professor Aarons, Dr. Cleaveland, Professor Dumas, Professor Jewel, and Professor Olson


5 CLE credits available, includes 2.5 DUAL credits. For those seeking CLE credit, there is a $25 registration fee.

To register, e-mail the following information to Micki Fox,

  • Name
  • BPR number
  • Email address
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Fax number
  • Title of the CLE for which you are registering
  • States other than Tennessee in which you will seek CLE credit for this activity (and the BPR numbers for those states)

Sponsored by

Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution
and the
Tennessee Journal of Law & Policy


Micki Fox
(865) 974-4464