Skip to main content

Lonnie T. Brown Jr. has been named dean of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Law and Elvin E. Overton Distinguished Professor of Law. He begins July 1.

Brown, the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor and A. Gus Cleveland Distinguished Chair of Legal Ethics and Professionalism at the University of Georgia School of Law, previously served at Georgia as associate dean for academic affairs for the law school and an administrative fellow in the office of the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Brown joined Georgia’s School of Law in 2002 after serving as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Law from 1999 to 2002 and a visiting assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Law School in 1998. He was an associate with Alston & Bird in Atlanta from 1991 to 1998 and a partner from 1998 to 1999.

As dean, he will oversee a growing college that was recently ranked sixth best in the nation by preLaw magazine in providing students with a reasonably priced legal education that allows them to graduate with less debt than their peers.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been chosen as the College of Law’s dean,” said Brown. “I look forward to being a Volunteer and working with the faculty, staff, students, and alumni to continue attracting and educating the future leaders of our profession and broader community.”

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick said Brown brings distinguished credentials as a legal scholar and an excellent background in academic administration to his new role.

“Lonnie has an outstanding record of leadership in legal education. He brings to our College of Law a commitment to prepare the lawyers of tomorrow and engage with our communities. I look forward to working with Lonnie and his colleagues to make UT College of Law a destination for those seeking an excellent legal education.”

Brown received a bachelor’s degree in English from Emory University in 1986, studying Shakespeare in summer 1985 at University College, Oxford University. He earned his JD from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1989.

Doug Blaze, dean of the College of Law from 2008 to 2015, has served as interim dean since July 2020.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,

Rachel McClelland (865-974-6788,