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From left to right: Buck Lewis, Doug Blaze, and Brad Morgan.

The College of Law launched a new institute this month to help students and recent graduates prepare for leadership roles in their careers.

The Institute for Professional Leadership will focus on helping students develop their leadership skills and professional values through interdisciplinary programming beyond a strictly legal context.

Doug Blaze, the Art Stolnitz and Elvin E. Overton Distinguished Professor of Law, will serve as director of the program when he steps down from his current post as dean of the College of Law in July 2015.

“The Institute for Professional Leadership will build on some of our existing programs to help our students better develop professionally as lawyers and leaders, both during and after law school,” Blaze said. “I am excited about this new opportunity to teach and stay engaged with our students and alumni.”

The institute’s creation was inspired by the College of Law’s Lawyers as Leaders course, co-taught by Blaze and alumnus Buck Lewis. Lewis committed $1 million in support of the creation of the institute and has been instrumental in the development and initial design of the institute.

“The skills needed to become a strong leader are crucial for the legal profession and the public it serves,” Lewis said. “My wife Malinda and I are proud to support this institute and its mission to prepare students and alumni for successful leadership in their careers.”

Joining Blaze in leading the new institute will be Brad Morgan, currently the College of Law’s coordinator for access to justice and mentoring programs. Morgan will serve as the associate director of the institute.

“I’m thrilled to join Doug and Buck in this new initiative,” Morgan said. “The institute will not only impact the community and the profession in many positive ways through service and leadership programming for the public, but will also benefit students of UT Law and students of other disciplines.”

The institute will expand UT Law’s pro bono and mentoring programming and will host courses and practicums in public service and leadership. The institute will also develop extracurricular programming in leadership and professional development, including collaboration with the college’s Bettye B. Lewis Career Center.

C O N T A C T:

Roger Hagy (865-974-6788,