Nashville School of Law

Dean William J. Koch, Jr.

President & Dean

Nashville School of Law
4013 Armory Oaks Drive
Nashville, TN 37204

Nashville School of Law President & Dean

Trinity College, B.A., 1969

Law Degrees
Vanderbilt Law School, J.D., 1972
University of Virginia School of Law, LL.M. in Judicial Process, 1996

Court Admissions (and Year)
Tennessee Supreme Court, 1972
United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 1972
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1973
United States Supreme Court, 1975

President & Dean, Nashville School of Law, 2014-Present
Tennessee Supreme Court, Justice, 2007-2014
Tennessee Court of Appeals:
   • Presiding Judge, Middle Section, 2003-2007
   • Judge, 1984-2007
Counsel to Governor Lamar Alexander, 1981-1984
Commissioner of Personnel, 1979-1981
Legal Advisor to Governor Lamar Alexander, 1979
Deputy Attorney General, 1977-1979
Senior Assistant Attorney General, 1976-1977
Assistant Attorney General, 1972-1976

Academic Appointments
Nashville School of Law, Professor of Constitutional Law, 1997-Present
Belmont University College of Law, Adjunct Professor, 2012-2014
Vanderbilt University:
   • Adjunct Legal Writing Instructor, 1988-1995
   • Adjunct Professor in State Constitutional Law, 2013

Professional Memberships & Activities


American Inns of Court:
   • Region 3 Trustee, 2000-2008
   • Secretary, 2004-2008
   • Leadership Council, 2008-2014
   • Vice President, 2014-2018
   • President, 2018-2020
Harry Phillips American Inn of Court:
   • Master of the Bench, 1990-Present
   • President 1990-1994, 1995-2023
Belmont University College of Law American Inn of Court:
   • Master of the Bench, 2011-2015
   • Vice President, 2011-2015
American Bar Association:
   • Member, 1973-Present
   • Appellate Judges Conference, Executive Committee, 2008-2009
Nashville Bar Association:
   • Member, 1973-Present
   • Board of Directors, 2014-2018
Tennessee Judicial Conference:
   • Executive Committee, 1985-1988
   • Secretary, 1997-1998
   • Compensation & Retirement Committee, Chair, 1990-2006
Tennessee Bar Association, 1973-Present
Lawyers Association for Women, 2014-Present
Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, 2014-Present
Napier-Looby Bar Association, 2014-Present
Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2014-Present
Nashville Bar Foundation
Tennessee Bar Foundation
Tennessee Judicial Conference Foundation
American Judicature Society
United States Supreme Court Historical Society
Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society


Tennessee Trial Court Vacancy Commission:
   • Member, 2016-2018
   • Chair, 2018-Present
Tennessee Supreme Court Indigent Representation Task Force, Chair, 2015-2017
Tennessee Supreme Court Advisory Commission on Technology, Co-chair, 1997-2001
Nashville Bar Association, Appellate Practice Committee, 1990 & 1998
Governor’s Cabinet Council on Law Enforcement, Chair, 1981-1984
State Board of Equalization, 1981-1984
Southeast Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact, Delegate, 1982-1984
Tennessee Defense Counsel Commission, 1981-1984
Tennessee Council on Pensions and Insurance, 1979-1981
Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, Trustee, 1979-1981
State Board of Claims, Member, 1979-1981
Governor’s Committee on No-Fault Legislation, Member, 1976
Baptist Hospital Institutional Review Committee, Member, 1991-1994
Baptist Hospital Ethics Committee, Member, 1994-2003

Community Activities and Distinctions

American Inns of Court, A Sherman Christensen Award, 2023
Tennessee Bar Association, Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award, 2019
Nashville Bar Association, Liberty Bell Award, 2018
United Way of Metropolitan Nashville:
   • Board of Trustees, 1980-Present
   • Board Chair-Elect, 2002
   • Board Chair, 2003-2004
   • Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Jr. Excellence in Volunteer Leadership Award, 1999
Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Board of Directors, 2005-Present
Cumberland University, Board of Trustees, 2016-Present
Nashville Conflict Resolution Center, Board of Directors, 2018-Present
Nashville School of Law, Fourth-Year Instructor of the Year, 1998, 1999, 2001
Nashville School of Law, Commencement Speaker, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2010, and 2013
500 Leading Judges in America,, 2006
American Board of Trial Advocates, Tennessee Appellate Judge of the Year, 2002


William C. Koch, Jr., Magna Carta’s Enactment and Due Process-Open Court Provisions/Protection of Rights/Redress for Injuries, Magna Carta: Muse & Mentor, (Randy Holland, ed. 2014)
William C. Koch, Jr., The Warrant Requirement, 1 Encyclopedia for Fourth Amendment Law 18 (2013)
Jeffrey S. Kinsler & William C. Koch, Jr., Rumors of the Legal Profession’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated, Nashville B.J. (Mar. 2011)
William C. Koch, Jr., They Were Tennesseans First, Nashville B.J. (Mar. 2007)
William C. Koch, Jr., Reopening Tennessee’s Open Courts Clause:  A Historical Reconsideration of Article I, Section 17 of the Tennessee Constitution, 27 U. Mem. L. Rev. 333 (1997)
William C. Koch, Jr., Intermediate Appellate Court Consolidation:  A Needed Reform or a Solution in Search of a Problem, Tenn. B.J. (Nov.-Dec. 1995)
Nashville Bar Association, Appellate Practice Committee, Appellate Advocacy:  A Handbook on Appellate Practice in Middle Tennessee (1990) (editor & contributor)

Recent Presentations

Ethical Considerations and Professionalism in Appellate Practice, Tennessee Bar Association, Tort and Appellate Forum, Mar. 29, 2018
The Importance of Indigent Representation, Legal Services of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Mar. 7, 2018
Ethics and Professionalism in Bankruptcy Practice, Honorable Larry E. Kelly American Inn of Court, San Antonio Texas, Jan. 18, 2018
The Rule of Law and Governor Lamar Alexander’s Early Oath of Office, Tennessee Bar Association, Leadership Law Opening Retreat, Jan. 5, 2018
Updates on Court Appointments, Tennessee Bar Association, Criminal Law Forum, Dec. 8, 2017
The Rule of Law and Governor Lamar Alexander’s Early Oath of Office, Martin Methodist College, Sept. 28, 2017
Public Service and Private Practice, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, Sept. 20, 2017
The Drafting of the United States Constitution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Sept. 17, 2017
The United States Constitution, Nashville Sertoma Club, Feb. 28, 2017
The American Inns of Court, Charles Weltner Family Law American Inn of Court, Atlanta, Georgia, Sept. 13, 2016
Best Practices in Written and Oral Appellate Advocacy, Nashville Bar Association, June 28, 2016
Revising Miranda v. Arizona and its Significance, Jackson Bar Association, May 6, 2016
Writing Persuasive Appellate Briefs, Wilson County Bar Association, Apr. 13, 2016
Domestic Litigation and Appeals:  How to Avoid Winning the Battle But Losing the War, Fifteenth Annual Upper Cumberland Family Law Seminar, Oct. 1, 2015
Tennessee’s Attorney General Is the Reporter, Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions, Aug. 7, 2015
The Source of the Strategy for Challenging the Constitutionality of the Death Penalty, Coffee County Bar Association, July 31, 2015
Effective Judicial Writing, Tennessee Division of Workers’ Compensation, New Judges’ College, June 10, 2015
An Historical Summary of the Amendments to the Constitution of Tennessee, Murfreesboro Downtown Rotary Club, Nov. 21, 2014
Amending the Tennessee Constitution’s Judicial Selection Article, Rotary Club of Nashville, Sept. 29, 2014
Cross-Border Constitutional Debate, This House Believes that the Declaration of Independence was an Illegal Document, Gray’s Inn, London England, April 1, 2014