The Torch Fall 2023

Page 1

NSL Alumnus

Thomas F. Cone Sr. ’64

Becomes Steadfast

Supporter and Makes History for His Years of Contributions


Recognizing NSL Alumnus

Tom F. Cone Sr. ’64

Congratulations, Class of 2023

NSL Website Redesign Telling the NSL Story


Get to Know: NSL 2L Jackson Cherry

Get to Know: NSL 3L Marquita Oglesby

Bar Exam Success List


Meet: Professor of Administrative Law Judge Lynn Alexander

Thank you, Mr. Harlan Dodson NSL Professor of Estate Planning Retires from NSL After 48 Years

We Remember: NSL Professor of Moot Court I Tom Carlton (1937 – 2023)

NSL On The Hill - More To The Story


Catching up with: Taurus Bailey, West Tennessee Alumnus

Catching up with: Tracy Church, Middle Tennessee Alumna

Ryan Haynes, East Tennessee Alumnus

We Remember: State Representative Bill Beck (1962 – 2023)

Class Notes

Faculty Notes

PUBLISHER William C. Koch Jr.


Kristin Smart

WRITER Nancy Humphrey

DESIGNER Bob Delevante




We Are All in This Together

The passing of time has a rhythm at the Nashville School of Law. The beginning of the academic year marks the opening stanza of the first-year students’ quest for a law degree and recurring stanzas for the returning students. In addition to being a well-deserved respite, the holidays usher in a round of exams. While April, the “cruelest month,” brings final exams, May’s commencement ceremony heralds the triumphant culmination of our graduates’ hard work. Summer school signals the end of the academic year, and then the cycle begins anew.

Living through these cycles for many years has enabled me to perceive several recurring themes reflected in our work here on Armory Oaks Drive. In light of the rising tide of division and distrust in our society, two of the most significant themes are (1) we are all in this together and (2) lawyers, as society’s wise counselors, must not only minister to the community’s civil needs but must also serve as role models of good citizenship.

Our school begins the process of empowering our students to be role models of civic engagement at orientation. Several months ago, more than 90 students began their quest for a law degree. Even before attending their first class, they took and signed an Oath of Professionalism. In that oath, they promised

“to be a person of principle,” they promised “to pursue justice in the service of others,” and they committed that they would conduct themselves “with dignity, respect, and civility.” By the time these women and men graduate, they will not only be more “learned in the law,” they will have also developed a deep appreciation of the importance of being accountable for their conduct, being civil and considerate to others, and being collegial with their colleagues at the bench and bar.

Our graduates also know that lawyers are our communities’ bridge builders. Rather than creating division, they understand that they should use their knowledge and skill to resolve disputes, to move beyond stalemates, and to bring people and resources together to fashion productive solutions. As stated in the Preamble to Tennessee’s Rules of Professional Conduct, our graduates understand that, in addition to being dedicated to justice and the public good, they are also responsible for the quality of justice.

This issue of The Torch recounts how our graduates and faculty have been and continue to be bridge builders and leaders in their communities. Rather than subcontracting the job to others, they have been certain trumpeters for the Rule of Law and consummate professionals.

3 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

NSL Alumnus Thomas F. Cone Sr. ’64 Becomes Steadfast Supporter, Making History for His Years of Contributions

Growing up in North Nashville, Thomas F. Cone Sr., spent his childhood, alongside his sister Martha Cone Beck, working on his family’s dairy farm and then at his father’s service station.

After high school, Tom joined the United States Army. He would eventually come home to attend college. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1960. Tom wanted to continue to work in his family’s petroleum business, so he decided to pursue a law degree and enrolled in the Nashville YMCA Night Law School.

“I thought the law school would be good for us, and it was a place I could afford, and it was a place where I could work and still get a legal education. It wound up being good for me,” he said.

“He was going to law school when we met, so I would come home on the weekends and type briefs for him, and he would tell me about the school and what it meant to him. He didn’t think the Nashville community knew how important this school was and had been since 1911,” said his wife, Charlotte Cone.

Not long after graduating from NSL in 1964, Tom and Charlotte married. The couple started a family, and Tom ultimately saved up and bought his first filling station from his father.

Over the years he continued to grow Cone Oil, owning more than 40 stations including truck stops. He rose through the ranks,

becoming the chairman and president of the company all while establishing Cone Solvents Inc., TN Adhesive, and B & C Aviation.

As his business grew, Tom was able to successfully help organizations near and dear to him, like Nashville School of Law.

In the early 1990s, he received a call that would strengthen his long-lasting commitment to NSL.

“I was asked to chair a capital campaign. Being a graduate of Vanderbilt, ‘I said I don’t know if I should do that, but I will do that if I can get an NSL graduate to co-chair.’ Tom agreed to co-chair,” said Aubrey Harwell, Chair of NSL Board of Trust.

Tom Cone ’64 and Charlotte Cone

Tom and Aubrey reached out to friends and philanthropists hoping to raise funds for NSL.

“Tom understands the benefit of a legal education whether you practice law or go into business. He also appreciates the ability to provide that education to the working man at a reasonable price,” said Harwell.

“They tapped everyone’s pocketbook they knew. They put the best board together, and they all contributed their time and money,” said Charlotte Cone.

Charlotte was right by Tom’s side, helping organize social events for Nashville School of Law. She started a Christmas Open House and together, she and Tom created NSL’s Annual Recognition Dinner.

Tom’s dedication to NSL helped ensure that the doors of the school stayed open, and students could continue to receive a legal education.

“Tom is the type of person that once he becomes a part of something good, he will help maintain it and help keep it going, and he will help to support it,” said his close friend, Walter Hunt, former member, Metropolitan Council, District 3.

Tom’s impact on the community has helped shape careers and inspire younger generations. He has made financial contributions to NSL through scholarships and personally through mentorships.

“Throughout my life my father has given me lots of guidance, lots and lots of advice, and that is what he loves to do with everyone. He loves to mentor people,” said Tom’s daughter Susan Cone Ligon. “One of his greatest joys is interacting with students. He loves to be that sounding board. Every day he wants to mentor and teach people to better themselves and to move forward with their chosen profession whether that is digging a ditch or becoming the next Supreme Court Justice,” she said.

The Charlotte and Tom Cone Scholarship Fund at NSL has awarded dozens of scholarships to students over the years, and it continues today.

“I was so very fortunate to not just receive one scholarship but two scholarships from Charlotte and Tom Cone. I think the scholarship is incredibly beneficial to the students who are able to obtain it. To have some funds available to support them as they are trying to achieve their goals is so incredibly valuable,” said Kate Nyquist ’20, scholarship recipient.

Tom joined the NSL Board of Trust as chairman in 1993 and served in that position until 2015. He remains on the board today.

“I would say we (Charlotte and I) are both proud of what the school is, and we are proud

More than 500 guests gathered at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel to celebrate the business leader and philanthropist, including his wife, Charlotte, their daughter, Susan Cone Ligon, NSL alumni, board members, faculty, staff and many family members and close friends.

During the dinner, NSL Dean William C. Koch Jr. paid tribute to Tom, thanking him for his dedication and generosity.

“Tom Cone’s remarkable dedication has placed NSL on firm footing and has prepared our School to meet the future with success. His vision, leadership, and support over the decades have enabled our students to study law with intensity and purpose,” Dean Koch said.

NSL Board of Trust Chair and longtime friend Aubrey Harwell talked about Tom before introducing a special tribute video.

“This is a very special time because it allows those of us who understand the benefit Tom brought by virtue of his commitment to this School. I want to congratulate you (Tom), but I especially want to thank you. I want to thank you for your dedication to this law school, and most of all, I want to thank you and Charlotte for so many years of incredibly great friendship which I value so much.”

After the tribute video played to the crowd, Tom received a standing ovation.

A heartfelt, poignant acceptance speech, on behalf of Tom, was presented by his daughter, Susan Cone Ligon.

of all the people we’ve known from the school. I don’t want people to think that I did all of this myself because we had lots of people helping once we got going. It (this work) gives you the feeling that you are doing something worthwhile,” said Tom.

NSL Honors Thomas F. Cone Sr. ’64

On June 9, Nashville School of Law honored board member and alumnus Thomas F. Cone Sr. ’64 at its annual Recognition Dinner.

The NSL Recognition Dinner came to an end with parting words from Dean Koch. Soon after, a line formed to extend handshakes and hugs to the devoted alumnus who created a lasting impact on Nashville School of Law.

“I am so very proud of him, of course, and he has done a great job. It has meant so much to him, and he has spent a lot of time doing it, and it is so rewarding. We get letters from the students sometimes telling us what the School means to them, and it just warms our heart. And you just know you’ve done the right thing,” said Charlotte Cone.

“Tom Cone’s remarkable dedication has placed NSL on firm footing and has prepared our School to meet the future with success.”
Tom Cone ’64 and his sister Martha Cone Beck ’89
Charlotte Cone and Tom Cone ’64 visit with NSL students: Holden Montgomery ’25, Christopher Stout ’25, and Savannah Reynolds ’24. B. Charlotte Cone, Tom Cone ’64, and Susan Cone Ligon. C. Back Row: Bill Beck ’89, Tom Cone ’64, John Rochford ’74. Front Row: Charlotte Cone, Martha Cone Beck ’89, Carlana Harwell. D. Tom Cone ’64 and Aubrey Harwell E. Susan Cone Ligon, Earnie Davenport, Former Governor Phil Bredesen, Tom Cone Sr. ’64, Charlotte Cone, Former Congressman Bob Clement, Former TN Deputy Governor Peaches Blank, Tom Cone Jr.
Marissa King ’26 and Heather Asbell ’23 visit with Fellow NSL classmates in the Legislative Library.
A. Susan Cone Ligon shares an acceptance speech on behalf of her father, Tom Cone ’64, at the NSL Recognition Dinner. B. Judge Amanda McClendon, Sonia Beck, Karl Beck, Tom Cone ’64, and Robert Beck Jr C. Susan Cone Ligon, Charlotte Cone, Tom Cone ’64, Walter Hunt, Tennessee Deputy Governor Butch Eley. D. Hal Hardin and Tom Cone ’64 E. Savannah Reynolds ’24, Anna Richardson ’24, Kati Coats ’23 and Tom Cone ’64 F. Toasting honoree Tom Cone

2023 NSL Recognition Dinner Sponsors


Charlotte & Tom Cone

Maddox Foundation


Neal & Harwell, PLC

Carlana & Aubrey Harwell

Carol & John Rochford

Rochford Realty & Construction


Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin

Debby & Bill Koch

Marlene Eskind Moses



Lowery, Lowery & Cherry

May + McKinney


Cornelius & Collins

Dan Berexa, John Kitch

Ryan C. Davis Law

Johnny Ellis

Equitable Trust

First Horizon Bank

Honorable Mark Fishburn and Tamika Parker

Hall Boone Smith and Law Office of Mary LaGrone

Herbert & Lux

Kevin C. Kennedy and The Kennedy Law Firm


Thomason King Krieg & Waldrop

Chancellor Anne Martin and Chancellor Pat Moskal

Judge Amanda McClendon and Representative Bill Beck

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm

Nashville Scottish Rite

Cindy Plymire – Rule 31 Mediator Miles Mediation

Law Office of A. Michelle Poss

Puryear Newman & Morton

Regions Bank

Rogers Shea & Spanos

Rudy Title & Escrow

Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison

Wayne Sutter

Asst. Dist. Atty. 15th Jud. Dist.

2014 NSL Graduate

Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association

Suzanne Keith

Larry R. Williams

A. Bob Langford ’77, Wynnelle Langford, Charlotte Cone, and Tom Cone ’64. B. Former Congressman Bob Clement, Mary Clement and Judge Frank Clement
Jr. C. Aubrey Harwell honors Tom Cone at the NSL Recognition Dinner

As she eagerly waited outside the ballroom doors of the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, minutes away from the start of her graduation ceremony, Nashville School of Law student Lavina Becker recalled her favorite things about NSL.

“I will say, law school was really fun. I enjoyed the readings; I enjoyed the work. It didn’t really feel like a chore,” she said. “I enjoyed the material. Torts was fun. Sales was fun. Con Law was hard, but Dean Koch made it fun.”

Becker was one of 52 graduates that took part in NSL’s 115th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 27.

In their first year of law school, the Class of 2023 immediately demonstrated resilience as the world experienced a global pandemic. In a time of great uncertainty, our students continued to forge ahead to achieve success, completing four years of law school.

“I had a lot of support from family, friends, NSL staff and professors. I could not have done it without their help,” said April Foster, who in her fourth year of law school gave birth to her fifth child.

“I feel very grateful because not everyone has been able to get this type of opportunity. I feel blessed and honored to attend NSL and make it through.”

Graduates heard from Aubrey B. Harwell Jr., Chairman of the NSL Board of Trust, and commencement speaker, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sarah Campbell.

“Henry Ford once observed that ‘most people get ahead during the time that others waste.’ That is certainly true for Nashville School of Law graduates,” said Justice Campbell.

Congratulations, Nashville School of Law Class of 2023!

In her keynote address, Justice Campbell praised this year’s graduates and said every time she meets a Nashville School of Law student, she wonders how they manage it all, giving them credit for possessing determination and plenty of grit.

“Nearly all of you attended law school while working full time. Instead of spending your evenings scrolling social media and watching Netflix, you went to class. Instead of spending your weekends catching up on sleep or going out with friends, you read cases, wrote papers, and prepared for exams. Those of you with families to care for had precious little free time to begin with, and you sacrificed enormously to earn this degree,” she said.

During the ceremony, NSL Dean William C. Koch Jr., acknowledged Heather Rose Asbell, Cannon Elizabeth Cameron, Sjon-Paul Lee Conyer, Jenna Dyer Huff and Allison Nicole Wilson, who earned induction into the prestigious Cooper’s Inn Honor Society, reserved for those in the top 10% of their graduating class.

This year, Cannon Elizabeth Cameron won the Founder’s Award for having the highest grade point average.

The Dean’s Certificate of Recognition is awarded to graduates completing 50 hours of Pro Bono Service throughout their law school career. This year we recognized Heather Asbell, Leanne Bender, Alexzandria Bouchard, Kati Coats, Jeanne Hawkins, Amber King, Shakira King, and Allison Wilson. Their names will be submitted to the Tennessee Supreme Court to be considered as Law Students for Justice.

Receiving the Dean’s Certificate of Excellence for recording the most pro bono hours in the School’s Pro Bono Service initiative was Shakira King.

NSL Director of Recruiting and Alumni Affairs Stacey Angello read the names of each graduate as they crossed the stage to receive their diploma from Dean Koch who conferred the Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees upon the students.

NSL graduate Ben Owen delivered a farewell message paying tribute to fellow classmates who faced a variety of additional challenges during their time in law school.

“Tenacity has been displayed in many different and inspiring ways by students in our class. It is a single mother with four children who received her J.D. today. It is those of us who drove from hours away three nights a week to attend class. It is our classmates who went through childbirth and welcomed newborns into their families, and our classmates who lost loved ones and carried on through the grief. It is our classmates who emigrated from other parts of the world and for whom English is a second language. It is our classmates who, after working entire careers, found the drive and courage to embark on this journey, and classmates who spent their days at full-time jobs and then headed straight to school at night,” said Owen.

NSL graduate Amber King offered this year’s benediction.

In closing, Dean Koch congratulated the NSL Class of 2023 and reminded the graduates that they have the potential to create positive change.

Nashville School of Law 2023 Graduation Ceremony

She Received her J.D. Degree and a Marriage Proposal on the Same Day!

As if graduating from law school is not enough of a reason to celebrate, Allison Wilson’s long-time boyfriend Gavin McClellan made the occasion extra special.

The couple, who have dated since high school, and their families, gathered outside at McClellan’s sister’s home after NSL’s graduation ceremony.

At one point, Wilson and McClellan were taking photos while everyone else went inside for cake and refreshments.

“When we were done, I was walking away and then turned around. He was down on one knee. I was shocked and could not believe what was happening,” she recalled.

“Everyone was watching from inside, and once he proposed you could hear everyone cheering,” said Wilson. “I felt all sorts of emotions. It was a little overwhelming.”

Congratulations to Allison and Gavin!

The couple will remain in Nashville for now. McClellan is a golf pro and works in Franklin, and Wilson hopes to pass the bar and work for the Public Defender’s office in Davidson County.

Gavin McClellan and Allison Wilson ‘23
A. NSL Graduates Benjamin Owen ’23, Lavina Becker ’23, and Lara Davis ’23, proudly pose with their children. B. Kati Coats ’23 blows a kiss to her family C. Bo Yager ’23 shows off his J.D. degree D. Monique Tillage-Malone ’23 shares a laugh before the ceremony E. Chair NSL Board of Trust Aubrey Harwell, TN Supreme Court Justice Sarah Campbell, NSL Dean William C. Koch Jr. F. Lavina Becker ’23 receives congratulatory hug G. Amber King ’23 delivers benediction H. NSL Graduates: Lavina Becker, Cannon Cameron, Leanne Bender, Kati Coats, Erica Paschall, Lily Ying, Mitzi Dorris, and Jeanne Hawkins

NSL Website Redesign N

ashville School of Law has launched a new modernized website that shares the NSL story through alumni, faculty, staff, current students, and up-to-date data.

“The goals were to make sure that the website reflects the dynamic and professional atmosphere at our School and provides visitors with the information about the School they are looking for,” said Dean William C. Koch Jr.

The site now gives the user a more straightforward and efficient navigation. The dropdown menu provides a list of all the information you are seeking no matter if you are a potential applicant, current student, or alumni.

And it was designed with the NSL community in mind because the website designer is an NSL student. Jordan Long, a fourth-year student, owns the web and graphic design company, 1796 Media. His talent and personal perspective helped create our informative new site.

“There is significant planning that goes into the design of every website, but this website required more. I thought about it from the perspective of a student, alumni, and prospective student. The information about the school needed to be easily found without too much disruption to what the current students are accustomed to,” said Long.

“Having a team that knows about our School and cares about our students was an essential ingredient of this successful redesign project,” said Dean Koch.

There’s no more endless scrolling. We share timely news stories about NSL, give in-depth backgrounds and achievements of our faculty, and even break down the NSL tuition year to year.

Read online versions of every issue of The Torch magazine and then submit your own update so you can appear in the next edition of the alumni publication.

We have new legal job postings updated weekly, and the site user will find tailor-made openings for students and those specific to our alumni under their designated “student” and “alumni” tabs.

“I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to take on this project. Together, we were able to enhance the user experience but also contribute to the school’s digital presence, creating a more engaging and accessible platform for students, faculty, and the community,” said Long.

And we are not done with the work. Coming soon: podcasts, video podcasts, and online CLE courses. Stay tuned!

“NSL’s new home page goals were to make sure that the website reflects the dynamic and professional atmosphere at our School...”
Visit the School’s New Website at
Erica Augustin ’24 shows off the NSL merchandise she won from our social media contest. She had the most shares and tags of our website redesign post. Thank you, Erica! Jordan Long ’24 NSL’s new home page

Get to Know: NSL 2L Jackson Cherry J

ackson Cherry is keeping an open mind about what type of law he wants to practice when he graduates from Nashville School of Law, but chances are high that it will be criminal law.

Cherry, who is in his second year at NSL, has been exposed to criminal law since his father, Jeff Cherry, graduated from NSL in 2001 and joined a criminal, personal injury, and business law practice in Lebanon – Lowery, Lowery & Cherry.

“I always tell people that criminal law is all I’ve been subjected to at this point. I love it, and it’s more than likely what I’ll go into, but I’m keeping an open mind because my first year in law school was my first deep exposure into other areas of law,” said Cherry, of Watertown, who is currently working as a law clerk at Lowery, Lowery & Cherry during the day and attending classes at NSL in the evening.

His first practical experience with the law was the summer after high school when he worked at his father’s firm gathering information from arrest videos for the firm’s DUI cases. While he was working at the firm that summer, he attended a training course taught

by a retired police officer who teaches field sobriety to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as police academies. The course was invaluable, said Cherry who went on to become certified in field sobriety to help with his work in his father’s office where much of the firm’s cases are DUI-related.

It was there that he began to learn that law was more than using textbook knowledge to defend a client. “I began to realize that I really liked criminal law. I saw my dad helping people who were going through some really rough patches, the darkest time in their lives, and a lot of those times a person’s family and friends will turn away from them when they’re accused of something,” Cherry said.

“My dad always talked about how it was an honor to stand by them, and I got to see that firsthand when I started working in the office. It felt really meaningful, and I think that’s what I was looking for in a potential career – something meaningful and fulfilling.”

Cherry, a graduate of Tennessee Tech University, said it took some time to adapt to juggling a full-time job, attending classes and studying for exams at NSL, and having time to spend with his wife, Hailey. The two started dating in their sophomore year in high school and married in June 2022.

“That’s been the most difficult part for me, finding that balance. There are some things in everyday life that you just have to cut out for a little bit during the school year, and that’s taken a little bit of getting used to. There are long nights and a lot of material, but people told me if I just showed up to class, did my work week to week and started studying a couple of weeks out from a test, I’d be OK.”

Cherry said one of the joys of attending NSL has been the diversity of his class. “There are students like me coming straight from an undergraduate degree and those who have been in careers for a couple of decades who have an entirely different perspective than I have, being younger and on a more traditional track. I’ve enjoyed being around people of different ages and different backgrounds far more than I thought I would.”

Jeff Cherry ’01, Stacey Cherry, Hailey Cherry, and Jackson Cherry ’26 NSL 2L Jackson Cherry

Get to Know: NSL 3L Marquita Oglesby

In July of 2022, after finishing her first year at Nashville School of Law, Marquita Oglesby found herself taking part in a student panel at NSL Orientation.

The self-admitted soft-spoken Oglesby was asked to give advice on how these new students could successfully get through their first year of law school. She talked about how she managed to study for school as a single

mom, working as a nurse, and even taking care of her own mother who was diagnosed with cancer.

In a matter of minutes, the entire room of new students were on their feet, giving Oglesby a standing ovation.

I Was Raised by “Superwoman”

As a young girl, Oglesby learned important life lessons from her mom about showing compassion and kindness and how we all have the ability to be positive despite what happens to us in life.

“My mom was a nurse and raised me and my sister as a single mom. She always made sure we had what we needed and more. Some people have asked me, ‘How are you so strong?’ and I say it’s because I was raised by superwoman,” said Oglesby. “Even after being diagnosed with cancer, she would say, see it’s not that bad, it’s not so bad. She is so strong. She is No. 1, she is my No. 1.”

Like her mom, Oglesby works as a nurse, and is a single mom to a son and daughter. Every day she takes care of residents at a Montgomery County skilled nursing facility. She is involved in patient care and works in administration.

“I am the one who qualifies people to stay in facilities long-term. Let’s say a patient comes in with Medicare, and Medicare pays for their stay if they meet its guidelines, but if they want to stay in the nursing home longterm, they need to have a

certain level of acuity to stay. That is where the work gets hard,” she said.

“I don’t like seeing people get kicked out. And I want to find out if there is a way for the law to protect them.”

Diving into Law School

Oglesby realized she wanted to help her patients beyond the bedside. So, she attended Denver College of Nursing to complete her bachelor’s degree. Then, she applied to NSL.

“I like the challenges I have experienced so far in law school. I am not usually a talkative person, I do not like standing up in front of people and talking, so this is a big deal for me. Law school has been about me diving in,” Oglesby said.

“In my second year I joined a study group which has been good for me. I thought law school was going to be harder than it is, but if you are prepared, you will do OK. Preparation is key!”

I Feel with God, I Can Do Anything

Her study group met regularly in March so they could get ready for their upcoming exams.

“My group met on Sunday (March 26). I had a timeline, and I felt good about finals. Our group planned, and we were organized and ready. And then that Monday, my brain just became a fuzzy mess.”

On Monday, March 27, three children and three adults were killed in a mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville. The shooter, who acted alone, was killed by police.

“I was on my way to work. My mom read some (online) news article, and she sent me and my sister a group text letting us know there was a shooting at my dad’s school.”

Oglesby’s dad, Mike Hill, was a custodian at Covenant School.

“Since I was driving, my sister said she would call him. And she responded back on our group text and said, ‘He didn’t answer,’” she recalled. “In my gut, I just knew it wasn’t

Marquita Oglesby ’25

good. I went on to work, and my sister called and as soon as I heard her voice, the way she sounded, I knew.”

Later that day, Metro Police announced Mike Hill was one of the six victims.

“For me, I am so used to seeing death that I am not afraid to see death. But the way in which my dad died, if he died of a massive heart attack or a stroke, it would have been easier to handle,” she said.

“For those parents who lost their children and the men who lost their wives – it was just heartbreaking to watch them go through this because they shared how they felt they couldn’t protect their loved ones. The only thing I could do was comfort them, which helped me.”

In a matter of days, not just her study group,

Bar Exam Success List

Congratulations to these Nashville School of Law alumni who passed the February 2023 Tennessee bar exam.

Joseph Lee Agee

Logan Carter Elliott Bell

Catherine Lee Chiozza

Michelle Leah Foreman

Katie Lee Fults

Evelyn Anna-Grace Hull

Aubrey Michelle Malchow

but the entire NSL student population, staff, and faculty reached out to show their support.

“Every class sent a separate card to my house. This card was from the 1Ls, this one has the names of all the 4Ls, they were amazing. My fellow students have been incredible, this school is amazing,” Oglesby said. “Everyone has been so supportive. Just reading the cards from everyone has been comforting. And believe me, I read all of them.”

Oglesby took time to be with her family and mourn the loss of her dad. Then she went back to work, came back to class, took her exams, and completed her second year of law school.

She admits that she will not ever get over what happened to her dad, and that she will always be working through it, yet this profound loss has also given Oglesby strength and made her realize – just as her mom taught her – she is able to remain positive despite life circumstances.

“It made me feel like I could conquer anything because it was hard. It was the hardest time I have ever had in my entire life. There are times now since I have recovered a bit that I look back and tell myself I could have done better (in law school). Yet I need to remind myself I did the best I could in that moment,” she said.

“So, I feel renewed coming into my third year. I am ready to take on whatever school or life throws at me. I am ready. I am a spiritual person, and I feel with God, I can do anything.”

Danita Quenette Marsh

Tabitha Gail Molnar

Julie Adena Pinette

Mark Allen Rassas

Kayla Olivia Redmon

Bethany Jenay Robinson

Brittany Michelle Spears

Shelley Kenda Stice

Robert Dillon Sykes

Mike Hill (Facebook photo) 3L students: Hannah Padaoan Spittle, Marquita Oglesby, and Zaia Thombre

Meet: Professor of Administrative Law Judge Lynn Alexander

Every other year, when Judge Lynn Alexander comes to teach Administrative Law, a one-hour elective at Nashville School of Law, she knows one thing for sure, all of her students are coming to class after an already long day.

“This is not an easy thing. These people are working, they are working on the day of school, and they have families and other responsibilities while they go to night law school full time,” Alexander said. “They are heads above anyone else who attends law school because other law students only focus on one thing: studying. These (NSL) students have lives.”

She knows, from personal experience, what her students must endure to receive their J.D. degree.

In 1982 Alexander was a first-year law student at NSL.

After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a B.S. in English Language and Literature, she thought about becoming a teacher while attending law school but found herself working at the State Capitol instead.

Unbeknownst to Alexander, her first job as a legislative secretary would launch a successful, 28-year legal career in state government.

“Former Secretary of State Riley Darnell always said I was the first and maybe the only person to have started with the state as a secretary for the legislature and to retire as a judge,” she said.

Alexander worked with the state legislature, then in the Department of Labor as a mediator, and finished her government work as

an administrative judge, handling cases involving TennCare benefits and anyone who holds a license to practice a profession in Tennessee.

“When I worked in the Department of Labor, NSL alumna Nancy Corley ’70 taught workers compensation (at NSL) and she asked me to teach her class one night. After that, Dean Loser was teaching workers’ comp and he asked me to sub for him, so I did. That is what opened the door for me to teach Administrative Law.”

It seems Alexander was destined to become a teacher after all. She eagerly accepted the NSL professor position in 2008 and wasted no time sharing the news, especially with her NSL study group, who became lifelong friends.

“I remember calling my girlfriends, who were in my study group, and I was like, I got to go in the teacher’s lounge! It was so exciting for me. And I still find it exciting, and I consider it a great honor.”

In 2014, another legal opportunity came along. Alexander was elected as Smyrna Municipal Judge with General Sessions jurisdiction. It didn’t take her long to learn that criminal law cases are not always cut and dry, and the process could be rewarding.

“In my courtroom, a young couple who lost their children because they overdosed appeared in front of me. Their children were found barefoot and running around

in a parking lot, so they lost their parental privileges. I held their feet to the fire and was firm with them,” said Alexander. “It is rewarding to see the rehabilitation that takes place. I saw this couple get jobs, get clean, and get their kids back. They were so proud of themselves.”

Recently retired from the bench, Alexander’s list of life blessings — as she calls them — is long. It includes her husband, Neil, their son, Josh, and who Josh calls his “better half,” Anne, their daughter, Tori, son-in-law, Tony, and her two grandchildren, Hadley and Mac.

She said she is ready to travel, volunteer more often with the organization Doors of Hope, a reentry program for women released from jail, watch her grandchildren grow up, and continue to teach Administrative Law at Nashville School of Law.

“We don’t all have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, but I feel a teacher or judge does have a chance to make a difference in someone’s life, and I am thankful I have been able to do just that.”

Judge Lynn Alexander ’87

Thank you, Mr. Harlan Dodson

NSL Professor of Estate Planning Retires from NSL After 48 Years

In the fall of 1970 Harlan Dodson Jr. was teaching estate planning at Nashville School of Law when he had a heart attack. His son, Harlan Dodson III, one year out of law school, stepped in to help teach the course while his father recuperated.

When the elder Dodson returned, they cotaught the class for a few years until 1975 when Dodson took the reins from his father to teach the class solo.

Forty-eight years later, after writing “Introduction to Estate Planning and Administration in Tennessee” and receiving NSL’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2007, he continued teaching the course and finding immense joy in the process until passing the torch to Jeff Mobley and Hunter Mobley this fall.

Dodson, a founding partner at Dodson, Parker, Behm and Capparella, PC, especially loves watching the accomplishments of his students. Julie Downs Payne, an NSL founder’s medalist joined Dodson’s team in 2021. The firm offers an array of services including estate planning and probate services, business law, and transactions to their clients — many of whom are former NSL students or friends and family referred by the students.

“I keep up with a fair number of my students,” he said. “We always tell them if they have questions once they begin practicing to contact us. And I’ve encountered many of our students in practice, and several of them as judges before whom I’m appearing, like Randy Kennedy, for example, a former

student and longtime probate judge here. That’s really fun,” he said.

Dodson, a graduate of Duke University and Vanderbilt University School of Law, joined his father’s firm, Hooker, Keeble, Dodson & Harris after earning his law degree. In 1985, he founded Dodson & Associates, and the firm merged with Shipley & Behm in 1988.

Dodson said he grew up around the law. He started working at his father’s firm when he was 12 and worked for Alf Rutherford in the Davidson County Clerk’s office during summers.

“It was a world that I loved,” he said. “I thought of other (occupations) along the way, but nothing else had that feel to it. Growing up, I’d go watch attorneys try cases. It’s a pretty easy world to get contaminated by,” he said.

The first thing he learned from his father was to look at a case from a practical standpoint and think what a non-lawyer would do to solve a dispute between two people, then do the legal research to learn all of the law that might apply.

Dodson, who is married to and has two children with one of his law partners, Margaret Behm, describes his law firm as “a country firm in the city. We do a little bit of everything.”

He uses his own business experience — he started a computer company and ran restaurants among other ventures — to help advise his clients. “As with anyone who goes into business, some of it’s good and some of it’s bad. Some of them make money and some of them make you educated. But it helps you in advising clients.”

“One of the things we love about our size firm is that we work with all different types of clients. We do estate planning and business deals for the fellow who cuts grass and for folks with a lot of money. We very much like working with good people.”

Harlan Dodson III

In Memoriam:

We Remember: NSL Professor of Moot Court I Tom Carlton (1937 – 2023)

David M. “Dave” Ausbrooks, 1986

Raymond Lester “Ray” Barrett, 1962

Larry D. Cantrell, 1978

Mary Arline Evans, 1986

James Robert “Trey” Everett, III, 2001

S. Carmack “Mack” Garvin, Jr., 1984

William Dean Hagewood, 1958

Admired by many lawyers in Nashville and his Nashville School of Law family, former NSL professor Tom Carlton was known for his passion for the law and always having a kind word.

After a brief illness, Carlton passed away on April 22 at the age of 85.

He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1960. Then, in 1965, Carlton graduated from NSL, only to come back years later to teach Moot Court I from 1978 to 2016.

“Tom was a proud graduate of Nashville School of Law and enjoyed teaching Moot Court. He loved to share what he learned over the years and mentor law students and young lawyers. He always treated others with respect,” said NSL Professor of Civil Trial Practice and Carlton’s law partner Dan Berexa.

“Tom was a fine lawyer and a good man. His many contributions to NSL and its students are woven into the fabric of the school’s history,” said NSL Dean William C. Koch Jr.

“As a young lawyer, one of my bosses had a case with Tom, and I covered several deposi-

tions. Tom was very kind to me then and later, and I’ve always admired him very much,” said NSL Professor of Domestic Trial Practice Phil Newman.

Tom became a partner at Cornelius & Collins in 1975 where he practiced law for more than 50 years until retiring in 2022. He was an active member of the American, Tennessee, and Nashville Bar Associations.

“There was no better example of civility, in and out of the courtroom, and mastery of the skills of a trial lawyer. He was genuine and could connect with jurors, and even opposing counsel, in such a way that they liked and respected him,” said Berexa.

In a statement from Cornelius & Collins, his colleagues shared these words, “Tom had a way of charming jurors, making friends of adversaries, and was a mentor to countless young lawyers. He was a great storyteller, loved to laugh, and never missed his daily crossword puzzle. Tom was dedicated to his family, his faith, and will be dearly missed.”

He is survived by his wife, Kathy, his children, and grandchildren.

Nicole Diane Aquino Williamson, 2008

Gary Lane Wix, 1995


NSL on the Hill – More to the Story

“NSL on the Hill” was our feature story in the Spring 2023 edition of The Torch.

We highlighted state legislators who are Nashville School of Law alumni and recognized a large group of NSL graduates who work on the hill.

We regretfully missed a few current NSL students who work with our legislators, so we would like to put them in the spotlight in this edition.

Katelyn Davis ’27 is a Tennessee Senate Clerk, Nick Crawford ’25 is Senior Associate with Capitol & 5th Public Strategies, Harris King

’26 is the Program Director of Government Relations for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Drake Lyle ’27 is Special Assistant to the Treasurer in the State Treasurer’s Office, and Horace Tipton ’26 is the Director of Conservation Policy with the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

We also want to acknowledge Alli Williamson ’26 who is the Director of Legislation for Finance and Administration, which is part of Governor Lee’s legislative team.

Thank you, NSL students, for your contributions to our state government.

NSL student Alli Williamson ’26 From left to right (back row) Horace Tipton ’26, Harris King ’26. (Front row) Nick Crawford ’25, Drake Lyle ’27, Katelyn Davis ’27.

Catching up with: Taurus Bailey ’02, West Tennessee Alumnus

After graduating from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Bailey had a brief stint at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law before transferring to Nashville School of Law where he was on the mock trial team, the vice president of Sigma Delta Kappa, and a member of the Honor Council for student violations.

Working with the State Treasury Department and then the Attorney General’s office while attending NSL, Bailey was exposed to prominent cases, making lawsuit decisions for the state.

That mindset has helped Bailey create an already successful 21-year career in the legal profession.

He has been appointed by two mayors to serve as a staff attorney for the City of Memphis and as a Public Defender in Shelby County, respectively. He was asked to be on the Board of Professional Responsibility committee by the Tennessee Supreme Court. He has been a judicial candidate three times and is a federal Criminal Justice Act Panel attorney. And he is still able to work on personal injury and criminal cases with his firm.

Bailey’s list of achievements, including marrying his wife, Spring, and having his daughter, Arianna, are as impressive as his legal work experience.

Just this summer, Bailey was honored as a 2023 Fellow of the Memphis Bar Foundation.

For the last 13 years Taurus Bailey has handled high-profile federal criminal defense cases out of West Tennessee.

“I have dealt with cases from drug cartels out of Mexico to hit men from Columbia and local gangs,” Bailey said, and then laughed while admitting, “I basically deal with all the three-letter agencies.”

“I just completed a trial against Homeland Security involving a Major League Baseball player and a big cocaine conspiracy. I deal with cases like that a lot. Unfortunately, I lost, but it was really interesting.”

The Memphis lawyer, a partner alongside his father, Walter Bailey Jr. at Bailey & Bailey Law Firm, has practiced law since graduating from Nashville School of Law in 2002.

As a teenager, Bailey said he was originally on a path to become a musician.

“I got into Berkley School of Music to study jazz and symphonic music, but I didn’t get the scholarship I wanted. The only other thing I knew how to do was debate (laughs), arguing about history which is what I liked to do. That is when I decided law school would be for me.”

“I think Nashville School of Law is a gem. It may not shine as brightly as some other diamonds, but it is still a diamond. And you know, no one has ever asked me about where I went to law school. Clients don’t ask that; court people don’t ask that. They don’t really care.” Bailey said.

“I’m a lifelong martial artist which means manners and etiquette are expected,” he said. “If you are a good, honest lawyer, who is kind and polite, and you are doing your job, outshining the others, and keeping your reputation clean, you will be OK.”

“I will say Nashville School of Law teaches you to manage your time. It’s hard to be a student and work during the day and go to law school at night. You learn to manage time. That was the training ground for me,” he said. “NSL was good preparation for practical law application, too. The professors were good about enforcing how to practice, and not just legal theory.”

Bailey hopes to continue working on federal cases, teaching fellow lawyers and law students, and sharing fond memories of his days at NSL.

“I will always brag about the school. It is a great school, with great faculty, and I made, and will always stay in touch with, my lifelong NSL friends.”

Taurus Bailey, his daughter Arianna Bailey, and his wife Spring Bailey. Taurus Bailey is honored as a 2023 Fellow of the Memphis Bar Foundation.

Catching up with: Tracy Church ’09,

Middle Tennessee Alumna

Tracy Church went straight into the automotive industry after graduating from Tennessee Tech University with an engineering degree, spending over 27 years at Nissan Motor Corporation and working her way up to vice president for powertrain operations.

Church left Nissan in 2023 to lead operations at the battery plant division in Ford Motor Company’s Blue Oval City. The plant is currently under construction in Haywood County near Stanton.

The law degree she received from Nashville School of Law in 2009 provided her with valuable skills to ascend from an industrial engineer (her first job with Nissan) to leading the battery plant at the $5.6 billion battery and vehicle manufacturing campus, the largest for Ford and the largest investment in the state’s history.

The West Tennessee facility will build the next generation electric truck with batteries supplied by SK Innovation in a plant adjacent to the assembly plant. The plant is expected to create 30,000 jobs across West Tennessee, including 6,000 jobs directly onsite.

Construction on the new facility began in 2022, and the first electric trucks are expected to roll off the line in early 2025.

In the early 2000s, while working for Nissan, Church began to look ahead and think about other career opportunities.

“I was still figuring out my exact career path,” Church said. “I didn’t have any plans to leave Nissan. I had worked in engineering, then supply chain management, and I was looking for a way to better equip myself to maybe move into purchasing or the legal department or possibly even different opportunities outside the plant.”

She and her college roommate, Karen Lewis Taylor, who worked for General Motors in Spring Hill, ended up enrolling in NSL together.

“We didn’t have any plans to immediately practice law but looked at it as another educational opportunity to support career growth in the future, whatever that career growth might look like,” Church said.

The experience has proven invaluable.

“Neither of us has practiced law, although I’ve helped family and friends with wills and simple divorces and power of attorney. But my degree has helped at different points in my career — especially with supply chain management when our suppliers were having financial issues or other internal issues and when I had to get deeply involved in commercial agreements with suppliers,” she said. “Having knowledge in contracts, commercial law, and employment law has helped when issues have come up at different times and in different roles.”

Church’s interest in the automotive industry began in college when she had a summer internship and did a senior group project at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill, which was then manufacturing Saturn vehicles.

“I enjoyed the fast-paced environment, and seeing something as significant as an automobile being made left an impression on me,” she said.

Prior to graduation she applied at both General Motors and Nissan’s Smyrna manufacturing plant. She was hired by Nissan and was exposed to the world of electric vehicles when Nissan began manufacturing the Nissan Leaf in Tennessee and built a new battery plant. Church became part of that team. Following that experience, she oversaw powertrain operations for Nissan at their powertrain assembly plant in Decherd.

Church said her current role at the Blue Oval facility is a great fit because she is excited about the future of electric vehicles. She describes the facility as a company (SK, the battery partner) within a company (Ford).

“I’m a Ford employee leading that project for the formation of the battery plant with SK as the partner. It’s like a startup,” she said. “The battery is such a significant part of building the vehicle,” she said. “It requires specialized processes.”

While the opening of the plant is two years away, her days are busy “doing everything you can imagine” that goes into starting a new company, including establishing HR systems, securing purchasing agreements with suppliers, filling key leadership positions, and hiring and training new employees.

Church said she believes the future of electric vehicles is bright, but the infrastructure that needs to be in place to own one is still evolving.

“It still depends on where you live, your drive to work, and your general driving habits. Vehicles have more mileage range than they did early on, but there’s still a lack of comfort with having to map out your travel to make sure you’re going to be near a charger at the time you need to charge,” she said. “And you need a location at your home to charge your vehicle, so people who live in apartments or condos might not have a location for a plug-in charge.”

But there are many factors that are encouraging people to buy an electric vehicle, she said, including the rising cost of gas and incentives in some states such as California that offers various incentives for electric car buyers including rebates, tax credits, and home charging station subsidies.


Catching up with: Ryan Haynes ’14, East Tennessee Alumnus

He juggled his political career and evening classes at NSL, often getting out of class at 10 p.m. and driving back to Knoxville so he could meet with constituents the next morning.

“It’s a grind to have another career while you’re going to law school, but it showed me that if you commit to something you can get it done if you’re willing and able to work hard. Attending NSL helped drive my work ethic and taught me how to think independently. Those are the two most valuable skills you gain out of law school.”

Haynes is responsible for making sure the three-tiered system (alcohol manufacturers who by law go through distributors then take the product to bars, restaurants, and package stores) stays in place.

“We are often the unseen entity in the equation. Everybody knows about distilleries; everybody knows about bars and restaurants or a package store. They don’t really see us, but we’re an integral part of making sure that the product is safely distributed, and all appropriate tax collection is accounted for,” Haynes said.

In addition, Haynes lobbies with the Tennessee General Assembly as they contemplate pieces of legislation that could affect the alcohol industry. One of the biggest issues the organization is currently facing is the effort to put distilled spirits into grocery stores.

RRyan Haynes was only 22 when he was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives to represent the 14th district in Knoxville. A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, he dreamed of attending law school there, but after serving two years as a state legislator he realized he had another option.

“I still had that itch and desire to go to law school and get a legal education. I thought at the time that I wanted to be what most people call a traditional lawyer — someone who goes to court and plays the traditional legal role. But the longer I served in the General Assembly I felt like, wow, Nashville School of Law was a great opportunity for me to get a legal background while continuing to serve my constituents in Knoxville,” he said.

Haynes’ law degree has served him well. He left the House of Representatives in 2015 to serve as chair of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2015-2016. Since 2016 he has been executive director of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee, comprised of major distributors of wine and spirits throughout the state and one of the oldest trade organizations lobbying on Capitol Hill.

The organization, comprised of local businesses, plays a central role in distributing wine and spirits to restaurants and retail outlets. The industry was created by the 21st Amendment which gives wholesalers the responsibility to foster the safe and responsible distribution of alcohol in Tennessee.

“That’s a battle that’s going on right now that we expect to see for the foreseeable future. But hopefully, if I’m doing my job correctly, it will be long into the foreseeable future. We feel like it’s not an appropriate avenue for alcohol to be sold.”

When Haynes isn’t working, he and his wife, Madison, an attorney at Bradley, Arant, Boult, Cummings, enjoy spending time with Pryor, their 2-year-old son, playing golf, and SCUBA diving when possible. Pryor will become a big brother as they welcome a baby girl in January.

Madison Haynes, Ryan Haynes, and their son Pryor Haynes

Remembering State Rep. Bill Beck ’89 (1962-2023)

Skills and Values II and Beck’s cousin. Beck, who was featured in the 2023 spring edition of the NSL alumni magazine, The Torch, said his favorite aspect of being a state representative was being able to help people who needed to navigate the bureaucracy of state government.

During his legislative career, he had the opportunity to move many bills that improved the lives of Tennesseans, noting his proudest accomplishment was legislation that allowed homeless students to obtain their birth certificate for the purpose of receiving a driver’s license so they could apply to college, use it for student loans, and even scholarship applications.

A Middle Tennessee native, Beck graduated from Belmont University and served in the Tennessee Air National Guard before attending Nashville School of Law.

NSL held special meaning to Rep. Beck. He attended school with his mother, Martha Lu Cone Beck. The two practiced law together at Beck & Beck law firm. Beck also met his wife, Pam, at NSL.

Democratic State Rep. Carson “Bill” Beck was a proud alumnus of Nashville School of Law. Graduating in 1989, he attended yearly dinners, alumni functions and gave back in many ways. Beck was elected to office in 2014 and represented House District 51, which includes downtown Nashville, East Nashville, Germantown, Inglewood, Madison, Donelson, and Old Hickory.

Beck suffered a fatal heart attack on Sunday, June 4, 2023. He was 61.

“As a graduate of Nashville School of Law, Bill was a dedicated supporter of the institution, and a valued member of the community. He had a legacy, which includes his mother Martha Lu Cone Beck, his father Robert Beck, his Uncle Tom Cone, and others,” said Aubrey B. Harwell Jr., Chairman of the NSL Board of Trust. “He was a valued public official, a devoted husband and father, and will be missed by so many, including his many friends from Nashville School of Law.”

“Bill’s laugh reflected his love of people and of life: hearty, happy and joyous,” said Judge Amanda McClendon, NSL Professor of Legal

He leaves behind his loving wife, and daughter, Meredith.

“Bill’s laugh reflected his love of people and of life: hearty, happy and joyous.”
Cousins: Susan Cone Ligon, State Rep. Bill Beck ’89, and Judge Amanda McClendon


Kevin Kennedy of The Kennedy Law Firm in Clarksville received the Golden Gavel Award at the National Trial Lawyers Association during their annual conference. The award recognized Kevin and his team for having the Best Social Media among the National Trial Lawyers.


Julie-Karel Elkin Nashville Bar Foundation.


This summer, Trudy L. Bloodworth and Jeffrey S. Roberts were inducted into the Nashville Bar Foundation as new Fellows.


Taurus Bailey was honored as a 2023 Fellow of the Memphis Bar Foundation. Fellows are chosen based on their distinguished service to the legal profession and their adherence to the highest standards of professional ethics and personal conduct.


The Nashville Bar Foundation named Mariam Stockton a 2023 Fellow.


Christopher B. Fowler was named a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation.



Northmarq named Cleveland Bain Vice President of its Nashville Office. In this role, Bain will represent both sellers and buyers focusing on the identification, acquisition, sale and lease of land and development sites.


Marcus Shute Jr. is Of Counsel in the Nashville law office of Gordon and Rees.


George Shelby accepted a paralegal position with NSL Alumnus Todd Tressler ’07 at his law firm, Tressler and Associates.


Jessica Krebs was sworn in as a new Assistant District Attorney specializing as a child sex abuse prosecutor for the 13th Judicial District. The District Attorney General for the 13th Judicial District of Tennessee represents the State of Tennessee in the prosecution of all crimes in the Judicial District which is the largest district in number of counties served in the state. It serves Clay, Cumberland, Dekalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White counties.

The DA’s office also has a Child Support Enforcement Division in which Krebs will work.

Resolution 0334.

The resolution recognizes Dean Koch for his

Dean William C. Koch Jr., and the faculty and staff of Nashville School of Law for their dedicated service to the citizens of this State and extend our deepest appreciation for their laudable contributions to the legal profession.”


NSL student Caleb Gaw recently joined NSL alumnus Todd Tressler and his team as a legal assistant at Tressler & Associates, PLLC.

22 14


Evan Baddour ’18 was named one of UT Knoxville Alumni’s “40 Under 40.” This achievement recognizes 40 alumni under the age of 40 who have excelled personally and professionally since obtaining their degree at UT Knoxville.

“You’ve made and continue to make your mark on this school and your mark on the minds and hearts of this student body. This portrait is intended to act as a testament to the appreciation your students feel for you and the wisdom and experience you share with all.”

These were just some of the words expressed about Nashville School of Law Dean William C. Koch Jr., as several alumni surprised him by coming to campus to gift him a portrait which will hang on the wall of our institution.

The kind and thoughtful gift was made by alumni from three graduating classes. Class of 2023: April Foster, Amber King, Josh Lewis, Megan Hartsfield, and Jeanne Hawkins, Class of 2021: Nitza Scarbro, and Will Williford, and Class of 2019: Heather Meshell.

Group photo includes: Dean Koch, April Foster, Will Williford, Amber King, Nitza Scarbro, and Heather Meshell.

The Nashville Bar Foundation presented the David Rutherford Award posthumously to former NSL Professor

Lisa Helton Journal 2024 Best Lawyers in America for Litigation –Environmental, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, and Litigation and Controversy – Tax. Chris Hugan ’03 will be a guest lecturer at Tennessee State University in September. He will discuss copyright law to a combined music and music business class. New NSL Faculty include: Anastasia Campbell Professor


Armory Oaks Drive Nashville, TN 37204
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May 25, 2024 Graduation
June 7, 2024 Recognition Dinner GIVE BACK TO NSL To make a donation, please visit
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