The options for studying law in Tennessee are somewhat limited. There are only three American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools in the state. Choosing the right school will involve considering your goals and resources as well as the attributes of the schools themselves. The following article provides a brief overview of the salient features of Tennessee's law schools to help you make an educated choice about your legal education.
Tennessee Law Schools
University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law -- Memphis Law has a reputation for providing a high value education at a reasonable price. It is the cheapest ABA-accredited law school in the state. Memphis Law is housed in a new downtown Memphis location in a gorgeous former government building. The school's moot court/mock trial program is highly regarded and the school regularly sends teams to national competitions. The bar passage rate is frequently among the highest in the state and more than 98% of graduates are employed within nine months of graduation.
University of Tennessee College of Law -- Tennessee Law is only marginally more expensive than Memphis Law. Unfortunately the school's bar passage rates and post-graduation employment figures aren't quite as comparable. Glenn Harlan Reynolds, author of the prominent libertarian blog 'Instapundit,' is a professor at Tennessee Law and the school boasts a number of graduates who went on to work as politicians and diplomats. If you are interested in a career in politics, particularly conservative politics, Tennessee Law may be the right choice for you.
Vanderbilt University Law School -- Vanderbilt Law is frequently ranked among the top 20 law schools in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report annual law school rankings. The school's law review is highly regarded and alumni include numerous high level judges and politicians, including former Vice President Al Gore. Vanderbilt's prestige doesn't come cheaply, however. It is the most expensive law school in the state, with a tuition that is more than twice that of Memphis Law.
Tennessee Board of Law Examiners Accredited Law Schools
Nashville School of Law -- The Nashville School of Law is not ABA-accredited, but it has received accreditation from the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, meaning that graduates are eligible to sit for the state bar exam. Graduates may not be eligible to sit for the bar in another state, however, depending on that state's rules for admission to practice. Nashville Law's program typically consists of four years of part-time evening study. The good news is that Nashville Law is far and away cheaper than any of the other options for obtaining a legal education listed here, with a full degree costing significantly less than a single semester at any of the ABA-accredited schools.
More Law School Insights and Advice
When you are entering into a new experience there is no such thing as being too informed or prepared. Throughout your legal education you'll face new problems and will need to learn how to finance your education, which extracurricular activities can help you get a job, how to study for law school exams, and how to improve your chances of passing the bar. You'll find articles and links about these and many other relevant topics at FindLaw for Law Students.