New students from all over the state of Tennessee — and one that hails from Kentucky — got their first sampling of law school life when they attended new student orientation on
July 26-27.

This was the second year for the overhauled orientation program that immerses students in two days of panel discussions, lectures, and other sessions designed to prepare them for their four-year journey through Nashville School of Law and beyond.

“We’re honored that you chose us for your legal education,” said William C. Koch, Jr., President and Dean of Nashville School of Law. Koch emphasized that the entire faculty and staff was committed to helping the students succeed.

“We all have skin in the game here. This is going be a collective enterprise in getting where you want to go,” Koch said.

He also emphasized the importance of building a foundation of professionalism upon which students could develop their careers. Koch specifically mentioned accountability, consideration, humility, collegiality, and consistency as key qualities to maintain moving forward.

“Professionalism doesn’t mean winning at all costs. Professionalism sometimes means losing the right way,” Koch said.

Following the remarks from Dean Koch, the first day kicked off with a professionalism panel moderated by Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr., an alumni and member of the School’s Board of Trust. Having received high marks at the 2017 orientation program, the session was revived for this year, featuring many of the same panelists.

Additional sessions focused on reading and briefing cases, judicial authority, notetaking and outlining for law school, time and stress management, and a brief introduction to the bar exam.

Speakers and panelists included current and former students, faculty members, and other representatives from the legal community.

The students also took an Oath of Professionalism, administered by Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Roger A. Page, who encouraged students to pursue their legal dreams despite any future obstacles. The 200-word oath asked the students to “strive to live up to the high standards and principles expected of this honorable profession,” and “to be a person of principle.”

Faculty members and rising 2L students joined the new class for an evening reception at the School.

The second day was devoted to more practical matters of law school, as students learned about the various resources and technologies available to them, took a standardized reading test, and registered for classes. Students were invited to learn about various organizations including the Nashville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, TLAP, Access to Justice, Tennessee Trial Lawyers’ Association, and other student groups.

During the first two weeks of school, students heard from guest lecturers, Attorney John Day and David Shearon. Day spoke about the importance of reputation in a lawyer’s career and Shearon conducted a session on “Building Professionalism on a Foundation of Strength.”

As part of the five-week “Practice & Professionalism” series, students will spend two weeks at the beginning of the year and three weeks at the end of the first year hearing from attorneys and other
professionals about the importance of these adjuvant professional traits.

The School has commenced plans for the 2019 orientation and is already receiving applications for the class of 2023.