Clinical Faculty Highlights

Eric Amarante
Associate Professor of Law

Professor Eric Amarante published The Absurdity of Criminalizing Encouraging Words in the Cato Supreme Court Review on September 18, 2023. The Cato Supreme Court Review is the first academic journal to be published after the Court’s term and is invitation-only. Professor Amarante also played an integral role in founding the Knoxville Latino Bar Association (KLBA), which is the first Latino bar association in East Tennessee and is dedicated to nurturing and empowering a community of Latino attorneys, judges, law professors and law students in East Tennessee. The highlight of the year was the KLBA’s celebratory launch honoring Judge Hector Sanchez, Tennessee’s first Latino trial court judge. Professor Amarante also played a significant role in planning and organizing the Tennessee Law Review’s symposium Working Toward Justice on Difficult Ground, which honored Professor Emerita Fran Ansley. He provided a short piece on the meaning of Professor Ansley’s work for the symposium. Professor Amarante was a panelist for an ABA Webinar sponsored by ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development, and he also served as a commentator for the Community Economic Development Works-in-Progress session at the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting. Finally, in conjunction with several other organizations, Professor Amarante helped organize the Knoxville Bar Association’s Black-Owned Business Clinic and Legal Advice Clinic, held at the Knoxville Area Urban League on February 16, 2023.

Wendy Bach
Professor of Law

Professor Wendy Bach spent much of 2023 giving talks to a variety of audiences—in Tennessee and across the country—on her book, Prosecuting Poverty, Criminalizing Care. Highlights included an author-meets-reader panel at the Law and Society conference featuring Professor Bach’s book and a new book by Professor Dorothy Roberts; a conversation between Professor Bach and Professor Khiara Bridges, hosted by Pregnancy Justice; an event at Knoxville’s Union Avenue Book Store; and a symposium on the book sponsored by the Southwestern Law Review. Professor Bach was awarded UT’s Jefferson Prize in recognition of her scholarly contributions. She also launched, along with colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of South Carolina, and Pregnancy Justice, a tracking study documenting pregnancy-related prosecutions in the three years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. Finally, she received seed funding from UT, along with her colleague Professor Michelle Brown in Sociology, to found the Appalachian Justice Research Center, a trans-disciplinary research and training collaborative dedicated to advancing just and equitable community visions in Appalachia and the Mountain South. She looks forward to the official launch of the Center in the spring of 2024.

Sherley Cruz
Assistant Professor of Law

Professor Sherley Cruz joined the AALS Ad Hoc ABA Standard 303(c) Committee, the Executive Committee for the AALS Section on Critical Theories, the AALS Civil Rights Committee and the Labor and Employment Law Executive Board Committee. Professor Cruz also co-founded the UT’s Women of Color Circle and was a member of the Diversity and Engagement Faculty Advisory Board. The College of Law awarded Professor Cruz with the 2023 Reginald Hill Faculty Scholar Award. Professor Cruz spoke at the 2023 Tennessee Law Review Symposium, Working Towards Justice on Difficult Ground, on the Justice for Migrants at Work and in the Community panel. A transcript of the presentation was published by the journal. She also published Four Ways to Update Personnel Policies that Need to Become Part of Your Annual Reviews in the KBA’s DICTA. Her upcoming law review article was selected for the 2023 AALS New and Emerging Voice in Workplace Law Workshop and Law and Society’s Feminist Lens Workshop. Additionally, Professor Cruz continues to serve on Georgetown’s Journal of Poverty Law and Policy Advisory Board, and she joined the Bottom Knoxville’s Board of Directors. Professor Cruz ended her 2023 accomplishments by welcoming her son, Theodore, to their family.

Tyler Dougherty
Clinical Teaching Fellow

Clinical Teaching Fellow Tyler Dougherty joined the Legal Clinic in August 2023. Previously, she worked as a staff attorney and adjunct professor at the Rutgers Criminal & Youth Justice Clinic, where her 2023 docket focused on the post-conviction representation of youth prosecuted as adults. A 2023 highlight includes making novel arguments about how the Strickland ineffective assistance of counsel standard applies to youth while representing amici at the state appellate court level. In the fall of 2023, she traveled to the New Jersey Training School for the Youth Defense Leadership Summit to virtually co-present with former client-partners who remain incarcerated. She also presented her work in progress on the antidemocratic role of municipal debt bonds in the carceral state at the New York University and Southern Clinical Conferences. 

Becky Jacobs
Waller Lansden Distinguished Professor of Law

Professor Becky Jacob’s article Constitutional Hypocrisy: Governmental Approaches to Corporate Speech regarding ESG and Climate is forthcoming in the Tennessee Journal of Business Law; her article Suffering in Search of a Methodological Frame: Interdisciplinarity in the Context of the Gendered Impact of Climate Migration will be published in the William & Mary Environmental Law & Policy Review; and her article ABA Standard 303(c) Opportunities and Challenges: Confronting Divisive Concepts Statutes (with UT’s Sherley Cruz and others), will appear in the 73rd edition of the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy. She also contributed an afterword essay entitled Insider Activism in the Academy: A Refusal to Sit on the Sidelines to the Tennessee Law Review’s symposium edition honoring Professor Emerita Fran Ansley. Professor Jacobs moderated and participated in a panel on family law arbitration at the law school’s 2023 Issues in Arbitration CLE and was a commentator for a session of the Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law’s 2023 Connecting the Threads Symposium. She is a member of the planning committee for the ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s 2024 Annual Conference; is participating as a scholar in UT’s OneHealth Initiative; and has joined UT Humanities Center’s new research seminar on Native American and Indigenous Studies.

Kristina Kersey
Assistant Professor of Law

Professor Kristina Kersey joined the College of Law faculty in 2023. She teaches in the Advocacy Clinic. In her first semester, she collaborated with clinic faculty on reimaging bias and discrimination training for incoming clinic students. Professor Kersey was qualified and testified as an expert witness in the area of juvenile defense in State in the Interest of A.D. in Burlington County, New Jersey. She was faculty for The Gault Center Youth Defense Advocacy Program’s Summer Academy, an intensive skills-based bootcamp training for youth defenders. She presented on raising race, storytelling, and narrative at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association Appellate Defender Training. She presented on geopolitical and historical roots of the juvenile delinquency system at The Gault Center Southern Regional Summit and at Equal Justice University. Professor Kersey gave a talk on creative strategies to defend against the transfer of youth to adult prosecution—which includes an analysis of each state’s transfer mechanism and criteria—at The Gault Center National Leadership Summit. She presented her work-in-progress on the adult prosecution of youth at the Southern Clinical Conference in October.

Brian Krumm
Associate Professor of Law

Professor Brian Krumm was chosen as an inaugural Research Fellow for the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI) at the Haslam College of Business. The ACEI aims to bridge academic research and practice related to entrepreneurship and innovation. He moderated the Plenary Panel at the National Business Law Scholars Conference on June 15, 2023. The panel, Entrepreneurship and the University, featured presentations from College of Law Transactional Law Clinic partners and clients. He also participated on two panels at the 2023 Clinical Conference: Seeing Problems as Opportunities: How to Solve Problems for Hopeful Clients, which focused on how we teach protecting clients’ interests in drafting transactional documents; and Snatching Hope from the Jaws of a Pandemic, which examined how clinical teaching was impacted by the pandemic and what practices, techniques, and technologies have continued post-pandemic. Professor Krumm was also recently selected as UT’s representative to the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics and appointed to the Chancellor’s Athletic Advisory Board. The alliance consists of representatives from sixty-four Faculty Senates from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Schools and works to help faculty understand changes in requirements, demands and resources for college athletics.

Joy Radice
Director of Clinical Programs and Associate Professor of Law

Professor Joy Radice was awarded UT’s Excellence in Academic Outreach award that honors those who exemplify UT’s land-grant mission by using intellectual capital to benefit the citizens of Tennessee. Professor Radice is in her second term as a Commissioner on the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission. In October, she spearheaded a statewide pro bono effort to train lawyers and law students to represent individuals seeking to restore their civil rights after a felony conviction. In Knoxville, she has helped launch the Second Chance Initiative sponsored by the KBA’s Access to Justice Committee, to engage more lawyers in expungement work. Professor Radice is working on a state-wide expungement coalition with the TBA Access to Justice Committee and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services that she described in her Tennessee Bar Journal cover story in May. For her active bar involvement and leadership (as the 2022 President of Knoxville’s chapter of Inns of Court), she was awarded the 2023 Tom and Elizabeth Fox Faculty Award for outstanding service to the bench and bar. In spring 2023, she was a guest on the In Defense of Children Podcast episode Expunging Juvenile Records and Collateral Consequences of a Juvenile Record. Professor Radice has presented extensively about integrating a wellness curriculum throughout the clinical program, and she is co-authoring a forthcoming article with Paula Schaefer, Collaborating to Create a 1L Professional Identity Curriculum in the University of St. Thomas Law Journal. Under her leadership, the Clinic has been awarded the Social Advocacy Award by The Knoxville Chapter of the NAACP and one of the Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year by the Legal Aid of East Tennessee.