Clinic Professors Honored with University and College of Law Awards

Professors for the Legal Clinic at the University of Tennessee College of Law received honors from UT and the College of Law for their accomplishments in scholarship and community service, showcasing the tremendous impact of their engaged scholarship and community outreach.

University of Tennessee Honors

The University of Tennessee presented two of its most prestigious awards to Professors Wendy Bach and Joy Radice for their scholarship and service accomplishments. Bach received the Jefferson Prize, which is awarded annually to a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in research and creative activity. A nationally recognized expert in both clinical legal education and poverty law, Bach has dedicated her career to representing children and families in poor communities in a variety of legal settings. Her scholarship focuses on the interaction between systems of support and care and systems of punishment in poor communities.

“The faculty and administration at the college have thought long and hard about what it takes to support faculty as they seek to be both strong clinical teachers and deeply engaged scholars,” Bach said of her award. “Those structures and commitments have enabled me to do the work that this prize honors.”

Radice was honored with the Excellence in Academic Outreach award given annually to honor those who exemplify UT’s land-grant mission by using intellectual capital to benefit the citizens of Tennessee. Radice’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of criminal law and the administrative state and the gap in access to civil counsel. In 2015, she founded the College of Law’s Expungement Mini Clinic. Radice’s efforts have enabled hundreds of East Tennesseans to successfully expunge their criminal records.

“UT has provided me with the necessary resources to conduct expungement research and launch an expungement clinic that has trained dozens of students and helped hundreds of clients,” Radice said. “As a land-grant institution, UT supports work that builds lasting partnerships with community organizations like the Knoxville Area Urban League and work in rural East Tennessee.”

College of Law Recognition

At the College of Law Honors Banquet, Professor Eric Amarante received the Marilyn V. Yarbrough Faculty Award for Writing Excellence and was named the Wilkinson Junior Research Professor for his extensive scholarship on charitable organizations.

“Professor Amarante’s article, States as Laboratories for Charitable Compliance: An Empirical Study, published in the George Washington Law Review, was an ambitious undertaking,” explained the Wilkinson Faculty Committee. “He conducted weighty empirical research to demonstrate that the IRS is regularly awarding tax-exempt status to organizations which do not meet the statutory requirements for charities because of an inadequate application process. Professor Amarante then offers practical ways for states to ensure greater compliance.”

Professor Sherley Cruz was named the John Reginald Hill Faculty Scholar, awarded annually to a highly-promising junior faculty member, for her growing scholarship exploring the intersection of access to justice, low-wage workers, and cross-cultural communication. Dean of the College of Law, Lonnie Brown, described Professor Cruz as “an amazing professor and scholar, who is passionately committed to her students. She is incredibly talented, creative, and tireless, on top of being a wonderful colleague.”

Professor Wendy Bach won the W. Allen Separk Faculty Scholarship Award for her Cambridge University Press book “Prosecuting Poverty, Criminalizing Care.” The book explores how a law in Tennessee enabled prosecutors to charge new mothers with a crime for transmitting narcotics to a fetus.

Professor and Legal Clinic Director Joy Radice received the Tom and Elizabeth Fox Faculty Award for outstanding service to the bench and bar. In 2022, she served as President of Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court, leading it in preparing and presenting numerous education programs for lawyers and judges. She also serves as a Commissioner on the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission and is an active member of the Knoxville Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee.

“In addition to leading our nationally-renown Legal Clinic, Professor Radice finds the time to do almost everything imaginable related to public service,” said Brown. “Most germane to this award are her extensive and highly laudable efforts in connection with the Bench and Bar.”