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Susan L. Kay

Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs
Clinical Professor of Law

Sue Kay has headed the law school's clinical and experiential legal education program since 2001, having joined the clinical faculty in 1980. In addition to teaching in the Criminal Practice Clinic, Dean Kay supervises the Trial Advocacy courses and student externships, and teaches courses on Professional Responsibility, Criminal Law and Evidence. She is active in many professional and service activities and has served as president of the Clinical Legal Education Association, a national association that represents more than 600 law faculty, and as president of the board of the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and  the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. She currently chairs the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. Dean Kay is a member of the Standards Review Committee of the ABA's Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, having previously served on the Standards Review Committee. Within the clinic, she has conducted major public law litigation concerning jail overcrowding, inmates’ rights and juvenile justice. She currently serves as a member of the Tennessee Supreme Court's Indigent Representation Task Force. In 2007, she completed an assignment as a court-appointed monitor in federal litigation challenging the state’s compliance with its responsibilities to children enrolled in the TennCare program. In 2005, Dean Kay was co-reporter with on the Tennessee Bar Association Criminal Justice Section's study of effectiveness of counsel in death penalty cases.

Research Interests

Criminal law, clinical legal education, professional responsibility, evidence


Representative Publications

  • Skills and Values: Criminal Procedure, LexisNexis (2012) (with William B. Cohen)
  • “Re-vision Quest: A Law School Guide to Designing Experiential Courses Involving Real Lawyering,” 56 New York Law Review 517 (2011) (with Deborah Maranville, Mary A Lynch, Phyllis Goldfarb and Russell Engler)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • “Addressing Lawyer Competence, Ethics and Professionalism,” (with Nigel Duncan), in The Global Clinical Movement: Educating Lawyers for Social Justice (Frank S. Bloch ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2010)
    Full Text | WWW
  • Report of The Tennessee Bar Association Study Committee on Effective Assistance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases (co-reporter with Donald Hall)
  • Tennessee Evidence: 2011-12 Courtroom Manual (with G. Weissenberger)
  • “Filling in the ‘Larger Puzzle’: Clinical Scholarship in the Wake of The Lawyering Process,” 10 Clinical Law Review 221 (2003) (with F. Bloch, S. Brooks and A. Hurder)
    Full Text | HEIN
  • Clinical Anthology: Readings For Live Client Clinics (2d, 2011) (co-editor with A. Hurder, F. Bloch and S. Brooks)
  • "Criminal Court Practice," Aids Benchbook (National Judicial College and ABA, 1991)
  • The Constitutional Dimensions of an Inmate's Right to Health Care (monograph). Published by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (1991)
  • "Implications of Prison Privatization for the Conduct of Prisoner Litigation Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983," 40 Vanderbilt Law Review 867 (1987)
    Full Text | HEIN