Skip to main content

Bruce McMullen, partner in the Memphis office of Baker Donelson, will deliver the keynote address at the sixteenth annual Julian Blackshear Jr. Scholarship Gala, which celebrates students and alumni who have positively impacted the University of Tennessee College of Law through their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Bruce McMullen
Bruce McMullen

Presented by the College of Law in partnership with the Black Law Students Association, the Blackshear Gala will commence with a reception at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 12, at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park, 525 Henley Street. The dinner and formal program will begin at 7:00 p.m.

McMullen’s practice concentrates in health care litigation, municipal law, tort liability, commercial litigation, and class action defense. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for the past seven years. He is also listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers 2012–2015 and is AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

During his career, McMullen has tried more than twenty-five jury cases and has defended hospitals and health care facilities, utility companies, hotels, municipalities, and national insurance carriers in class actions and multiplaintiff claims.

The Blackshear Gala has been held annually since 2001 in honor of one of the College of Law’s first black graduates, Julian Blackshear Jr. (’70). Each year, the college presents the RBJ Campbelle Jr. Award, in honor of the college’s first black graduate, to alumni and friends for extraordinary efforts to advance the cause of equality and justice. This year’s posthumous recipient is Marilyn Virginia Yarbrough, the college’s ninth dean, who served from 1987 to 1991. Yarbrough was the college’s first female dean and is to date the only person of color to lead the college.

Admission to the gala is $50 a ticket, or $25 for law students. All proceeds from ticket sales and money raised at the event will directly support the college’s Blackshear Scholarship. The event is sponsored by Merchant & Gould and Pilot Flying J.

Reservations should be made by Monday, February 8. To order tickets, or for more information about table sponsorship opportunities, contact Rynn Dupes at 865-974-6691 or



Roger Hagy (865-974-6788,