The University of Memphis has named Katharine Traylor Schaffzin as the new Dean of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Dean Schaffzin is the first woman in the history of the law school to serve as Dean. She has been with the University of Memphis since 2009, most recently serving as Interim Dean of Memphis Law over the past year.

"I am humbled and honored to serve the University of Memphis in this capacity," said Schaffzin. "It is a privilege to partner with the exceptional faculty of the law school and to work with our dedicated staff in promoting the success of our amazing students. I am excited by the potential we have as a law school working together to impact the lives of our students and the legal community in Memphis and beyond. I hope to continue our community partnerships, as well as to grow new relationships, through which the law school successfully trains and develops skilled attorneys while also advocating on behalf of the greater good."

Dean Schaffzin joined the law school 10 years ago as an assistant professor. She has since been tenured and promoted to the rank of full professor. Prior to serving as Interim Dean, she served the law school as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs from 2017-18 and Director of Faculty Development from 2012-17. Her scholarship has focused on evidentiary privileges, as well as teaching methods best suited for first-generation college students. In 2016, Dean Schaffzin was selected by the University of Memphis Faculty Senate to serve on the University of Memphis Board of Trustees, where she held the role of Chair of the Academic, Research, and Student Success Committee.

"Dean Schaffzin recognizes the opportunities and challenges facing the law school, which is so important not just for our University, but also for our community as a whole," said Provost Tom Nenon. "She also has a clear vision of how the law school can face those challenges and continue to grow in quality and reputation as an outstanding destination for students choosing the legal profession."

Dean Schaffzin plans to prioritize student success by emphasizing Memphis Law's outstanding faculty of law teachers to improve learning outcomes for all students. Further, she is committed to the law school's role in diversifying the legal profession and will focus efforts on expanding the recruitment and retention of diverse students at Memphis Law.