The University of Tennessee College of Law has begun a concentrated effort to further expand relations and better serve students, as well as the legal community, in middle Tennessee.
The outreach centers upon two areas: facilitating relationships to help better serve the legal community and students, and offering students an opportunity to work and study in Nashville.
The College of Law Bettye B. Lewis Career Center is instrumental in this growth as it helps alumni and students come together in ways that can assist them meet their career goals.
“Our connections with the legal community, with students, with faculty, with employers, and with alumni serve as the basis for what we do,” said Career Center Director Brad Morgan. “To the extent that we can improve our opportunities for all of those audiences, that’s what we want to do.”
With the August hiring of the College of Law’s first Nashville-based employer relations manager, Christie Laird, developing those connections has become that much easier.
“I’m so excited to share with my middle Tennessee colleagues all of the great things that are happening at the College of Law, and I look forward to strengthening the ties between my community and my alma mater,” said Laird, who has 20 years of experience practicing law in Nashville. “I am meeting with local lawyers, representing UT at events in the legal community and helping create opportunities for students to develop meaningful relationships with working attorneys.”
College of Law Dean Melanie Wilson said she’s committed to dedicating more resources to grow opportunities in the center of the state.
“We attract a number of students from that region and a number of alumni and friends live there,” Wilson said. “Working outside the walls of our college is so important for so many reasons. Continuing to grow our presence in Nashville helps us draw on relationships that enrich our students’ experiences and also enrich our college.”
During the Spring 2018 semester, the College of Law also launched the Nashville Semester in Residence program, offering third-year students an opportunity to complete a semester of study partnered with employers in the Nashville area. Through the program, students complete their final semester immersed in professional positions that provide them valuable experience they need to enter the competitive legal career field.
The program is ideal for students who have an interest in practicing law in the Nashville area after graduation.
“Our goal is to better serve the state of Tennessee, our alumni, students, and potential employers,” Wilson said. “This is just one of the many ways we are striving to accomplish that.”