During his 39-year career as a Vanderbilt law professor, Tom McCoy was one of the most celebrated teachers on the law faculty. He was the inaugural holder of the Tarkington Chair in Teaching Excellence. Over the course of his academic career, he taught extensively in the constitutional law curriculum as well as conflicts of laws. A frequent speaker on First Amendment issues, he serves as an advisor to the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center at the Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy Studies. Professor McCoy has served on the Tennessee Supreme Court's Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution. He joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1968 and retired in 2007.