College of Law

Welcome to the College of Law

Dean Melanie D. WilsonDean Melanie D. Wilson

Dean Melanie D. Wilson, the Lindsay Young Distinguished Professor of Law, began her tenure as dean of the College of Law in 2015.

Wilson earned a JD (magna cum laude and Order of the Coif) from the University of Georgia School of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in business, also from the University of Georgia.

She previously served as professor of law, associate dean for academic affairs, and director of diversity and inclusion at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Before entering academia, Wilson clerked for a federal district court judge and enjoyed thirteen years of law practice in both the private and public sectors, including six years as an assistant United States attorney and four years as an assistant attorney general for the state of Georgia.

As an academic, Wilson enjoys both teaching and scholarship. She received the Howard M. and Susan Immel Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas School of Law in 2011 and was named Outstanding Woman Educator of 2015 by the University of Kansas. She also co-authored three books on criminal procedure and has published more than a dozen articles and essays addressing prosecutorial ethics and the Fourth and Sixth Amendments.

About the College of Law

The University of Tennessee College of Law, located in Knoxville, enjoys a rich tradition of providing sound legal education and boasts the longest-running legal clinical program in the country. Founded in 1890, the college prepares tomorrow’s lawyers through clinical and skills training, innovative classroom teaching, legal writing, and professional values. UT Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools.

Our Mission

Our mission is:

  1. To prepare students for the practice of law by integrating theory and practice across the curriculum, with emphasis on clinical and skills training, innovative classroom teaching, legal writing, and professional values.
  2. To produce high-quality scholarship that examines, explains, critiques, and improves the law and the legal system; and
  3. To serve the university, the profession, and the public by developing and sharing our talents and expertise.

Learn more in our strategic plan (PDF).