Donna Harkness

Donna Harkness

CELA, Professor of Clinical Law and Director, Elder Law Clinic

(901) 678-5138
Law School, Legal Clinic Offices
Office Hours

About Professor Harkness

Donna S. Harkness is currently Professor of Clinical Law and Director of both the Elder Law Clinic and the Elder Health Law Advocacy Clinic. She is a National Law Foundation certified elder law attorney.


B.A., University of Memphis, Philosophy, magna cum laude, 1974; J.D. Vanderbilt, 1980.


Tennessee and Florida.


1993 – present, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law/University of Memphis Legal Clinic; 1990-93, Staff Attorney, Housing Opportunities Corp.; 1985-87, District Legal Counsel, Florida Dept. of Health and Rehabilitative Services; 1980-84, Staff Attorney, Legal Services of Middle Tennessee.

Teaching Interests

Elder Law Clinic, Elder Health Law Advocacy Clinic, Elder Law and Professional Responsibility


Professor Harkness is the author of one book, Elder Law Essentials (Knowles, updated 2013), which provides a basic overview of the substantive law, ethical issues, and practice concerns that confront attorneys representing elderly clients. Professor Harkness's articles have appeared in the Elder Law Journal, Marquette Elder's Advisor, and the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. She has also authored four elder law case files for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) involving a will contest, elder abuse, predatory lending and wrongful death in a long term care institution.