Member School Highlight – The University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Founded: 1962
Joined AALS: 2001
Dean: Katharine Schaffzin

, founded in 1962 and an AALS Member School since 2001, is located in the heart of downtown Memphis, TN. Its location provides its students with a perfect home and foundation for their legal education through real-world experience and unparalleled opportunities for success.

Memphis Law’s location impacts the education and experience students receive during their studies and helps them succeed wherever they go after law school. Memphis Law is dedicated to student-focused,  and genuinely engages with the community to provide students with the best chance for a successful future, shown through its small class size of 105 first-year JD students.

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law student in Environmental Court with the Neighborhood Preservation Clinic

Real-world experience is one of the essential elements of success in today’s legal environment. Memphis Law takes heed of that by creating one of the top clinical training programs among public universities that provide students.

Memphis Law’s Neighborhood Preservation Clinic is a prime example of real-world legal experience that substantially impacts the community. The clinic represents the City of Memphis in public nuisance lawsuits seeking recourse against the owners of badly neglected, vacant, and abandoned properties. Under faculty supervision, the clinic’s students investigate property ownership and conditions; communicate with field code enforcement professionals; and research, prepare, and file civil cases alleging claims arising under the Tennessee Neighborhood Preservation Act (NPA).

Once litigation is commenced, clinic students handle all aspects of those cases as they proceed in the Shelby County Environmental Court. Student case handling responsibilities include weekly appearances in the Environmental Court. Students present at hearings and status updates, negotiate with opposing counsel and parties and do everything necessary to move their cases forward. As their circumstances evolve, students grapple with issues of civil procedure, contracts, evidence, property, secured transactions, decedent estates, business organizations, and bankruptcy. “Our law school excels at providing our students real-world learning opportunities that translate to academic and career success. Our innovative Clinical Training Program and unique location have allowed us to build relationships and partnerships for years, which could not be done anywhere else,” says Dean Katharine Schaffzin.

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