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Assistant Federal Public Defender Dumaka Shabazz will deliver the keynote address at the 17th annual Julian Blackshear Jr. Scholarship Gala on Friday, February 17.

Shabazz is a 2002 graduate of the UT College of Law.

Presented by the College of Law in partnership with the Black Law Students Association, the Blackshear Gala celebrates students and alumni who have made a positive impact on the UT Law community through their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The gala begins with a reception at 6 p.m. The dinner and formal program begin at 7 p.m. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park, 525 Henley Street, in Knoxville.

As part of the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Nashville, Shabazz represents clients charged with fraud, homicide, and other violent, white-collar, or large-scale narcotics crimes. He previously worked in private practice for five years as a criminal defense attorney. He began his legal career in the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office.

Shabazz has been a guest lecturer at Sewanee: The University of the South, as well as Vanderbilt Law School, where he teaches trial advocacy.

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).

Admission to the gala is $50 per person, or $25 for current UT 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 Pilot Flying J.

Table sponsors include Anderson Busby PLLC and The Law Office of Ursula Bailey; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC; Bass, Berry & Sims PLC; Beth Ford and Mike Driskill; Husch Blackwell LLP; Kramer Rayson LLP; Lamont and Brooklyn Sawyers Belk; Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, PC; Paine Bickers LLP; Richard L. Rose; Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison, PLC; and the Student Bar Association.

Reservations should be made by Monday, February 13. To order tickets or for more information about table sponsorship opportunities, contact Rynn Dupes at 865-974-6691 or

C O N T A C T:

Cathrynn Dupes (865-974-6691,