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Steven J. Mulroy

Professor of Law

(901) 678-4494
Law School, Office 378
Office Hours

About Professor Mulroy

As a law professor, Professor Mulroy has participated in the litigation of over a dozen cutting-edge cases in areas which inform his scholarship, including the challenge to the Palm Beach County, Florida "butterfly ballot" in the 2000 presidential election; the first-ever federal court injunction against a state senate's ongoing internal election recount proceedings; litigation establishing the legal standard for coram nobis challenges to criminal convictions in Tennessee; the first commutation of a death sentence in Tennessee in 40 years; the first federal case imposing "cumulative voting" as a non-district remedy for minority vote dilution under the Voting Rights Act; and a 2014 Sixth Circuit decision overturning a death sentence. He is a frequent commentator in local media on legal issues, and has been quoted by such media organizations as the Associated Press, USA TODAY, the WASHINGTON POST, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Public Radio International, and the NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN.

Prof. Mulroy served as an elected Shelby County Commissioner from 2006 through 2014, drafting, inter alia, the county's first ethics code, animal welfare ordinance, and first legislation at any level in Tennessee to provide discrimination protection for the LGBT community. He has served on the board of the Memphis Bar Association and is a Memphis Bar Fellow, and for over 15 years has served on the board of the Community Legal Center, which provides free legal services to the working poor. His hobbies include procrastinating and high-impact skydiving.


B.A., 1986, Cornell University; J.D., 1989, William & Mary.


District of Columbia (Inactive); Tennessee.


Law Clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Hon. Roger Vinson, (N.D. Fla.), 1989-1991; Attorney, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1991- 2000; U.S. Attorney's Office. E.D. Va., 1999-2000; Law professor, University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 2000-present (currently Professor of Law), Associate Dean, 2015-2017; Visiting Professor, William & Mary Law School, 2003.

Teaching Interests

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Election Law, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, Criminal Procedure.


Professor Mulroy has published over 20 articles or book chapters in such journals as the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties L. Rev., North Carolina L. Rev., George Mason Law Review, Tulane Law Review, Tennessee Law Review, Florida State Law Review, and other journals on constitutional law, criminal law, election law, and criminal procedure. He was awarded the 2009 Democracy Innovator Award by the national Fairvote organization for his advocacy and scholarship on voting rights and election law issues. He has also published guest editorials numerous times in local Memphis newspapers as well as national publications such as NEWSWEEK, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, HUFFINGTON POST, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, & SALON magazine.

Blood Type/Chirpy Personal Motto: B Positive.