Steve Mulroy photo

Steven J. Mulroy

Professor of Law

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

About Professor Mulroy

Prof. Mulroy has been on the law faculty since 2000, teaching in the areas of Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Civil Rights, and Election Law. A former civil rights lawyer for the U.S. Justice Dept. and former federal prosecutor, he tried a number of voting rights cases which went to the Supreme Court, multi-million dollar lending discrimination and redlining cases, and bench and jury criminal cases before federal district courts and U.S. Circuit appellate courts.

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. Nationally, he has appeared as a legal commentator numerous times on Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Fox Business News, and Public Radio International (PRI). He has been quoted by such media organizations as the Associated Press, USA TODAY, the WASHINGTON POST, the Washington Times, People Magazine, the Daily Caller, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 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 is the author of the book Rethinking U.S. Election Law: Unskewing The System (Edward Elgar Press, 2018). He has published over 20 articles or book chapters in such journals as the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Civil Liberties Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, George Mason Law Rev., Tulane Law Rev., Tennessee Law Rev., Florida State Law Rev., 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.