By Gabrielle Maxey
In 2010, the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law moved into the meticulously restored
U.S. Post Office/Customs House downtown in the heart of the city’s legal and judicial
community. In 2012, as the University of Memphis was celebrating its centennial, the
Law School was marking its 50th anniversary.
A year later, the School continues to collect awards, rankings and recognitions that
reflect the architectural and historical value of its home and burnish its already
solid academic reputation both regionally and nationally.
|The nationally recognized School of Law hosts numerous events throughout the year.
Members of the judiciary and Cecil C. Humphreys Law Alumni Board members recently
took part in the Law Alumni chapter’s Judicial Reception where members of the judiciary
“pin” recent Memphis Law graduates who have just passed the Bar Exam with a University
of Memphis lapel pin. The ceremony honors and welcomes the new attorneys to the Bar.
From the left are Diane K. Vescovo, Aaron Robinson, speaker Louis J. Montesi Jr.,
Gina C. Higgins, George R. Ellis, Michael Barbour and David S. Kennedy.
“Students today are looking for both value and quality to a greater extent than ever
before,” says Dean Peter Letsou. “Our high bar passage rate, combined with our recognition
as a best value law school and a best bargain for black law students, highlight our
quality, value and wide appeal to a diverse community of students. We are very proud
of these achievements and look to even greater success in the future.”
The National Jurist ranked Memphis Law as one of the Best Value Law Schools in the nation. It scored an A- in the new rankings, thanks
to high bar passage rates, affordable tuition, average debt upon graduation, employment
rate and an attractive cost of living. This continues the trend of the School of Law
being listed as one of the “Best Values” in the nation, with several years of being
noted as such by The National Jurist and preLaw Magazine.
Memphis Law also was also listed as a “Best Bargain Law School for Black Students”
by Lawyers of Color magazine in the second edition of the Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools. It was also ranked as a Top 5 Regional Law School for Black Students by the same
publication in late 2012.
Additionally, the School of Law was recognized by the Council on Legal Education Opportunity
(CLEO) at its 45th anniversary celebration this fall. It was recognized as a member
of the inaugural group of “William A. Blakey Diversity Pipeline Architects” and featured
in CLEO’s “45 for 45” celebration, which recognized 45 law schools, 45 law firms,
corporations and associations, and 45 individuals who have taken successful strides
in helping make the educational “pipeline” readily accessible to all students who
exhibited the aptitude, fortitude and passion to successfully pursue a quality education.
Memphis Law also had the highest bar passage rate among public schools in Tennessee
on the most recent bar exam in July, with a pass rate of 91 percent. That is higher
than the state average of 84 percent for first-time test takers on the July bar exam
and continues the School’s strong tradition of impressive bar passage statistics.
Not to rest on its laurels, the School of Law will launch a Health Law and Policy
Initiative in early 2014, led by Amy Campbell, associate professor of law and director
of the Health Law Institute within the School. The program, now being developed, will
have a three-part focus: education, scholarship and service.
“We are excited to build on existing strengths and foster new collaborations to develop
a nationally recognized health law program that builds upon our region’s assets, including
its ‘can do’ spirit of service,” Campbell says. “We envision a program that taps into
these internal and external community strengths with a mission of using law to advance
With such awards, accolades and new initiatives, the Law School’s future has never