Sewanee welcomes Tennessee Supreme Court justices


The University of the South will welcome three justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court to campus this week. Justices Cornelia A. Clark, Janice M. Holder and Sharon G. Lee will be in Sewanee Thursday and Friday to meet with students and the campus community and participate in a panel discussion.

Justices Clark, Holder, and Lee will give an after-dinner talk Thursday evening to a mix of students, faculty and staff, and will meet Friday morning with junior and senior female students interested in law and policy.

Also on Friday, the justices will discuss issues of gender and policy at a Pinnacle Luncheon with students, faculty and staff. Melody Crowder-Meyer, assistant professor of political science, will facilitate the discussion of questions related to the effect of gender on the justices’ career paths, choices they made that led to their positions, and questions related to recent policy issues and the decision-making process. Friday’s events are sponsored by the Women’s Center Board.

Cornelia A. Clark was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in September 2005 and was elected to a full eight-year term in August 2006. On September 1, 2010, she was sworn in as chief justice, becoming the second woman in Tennessee history to serve in that role. Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Clark served as director of the Administrative Office of the Courts for six years. Previously Clark was circuit court judge of the 21st Judicial District.

Clark earned her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University. Before attending law school, Clark taught high school history and government for four years. Clark received her juris doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where she served as a member of the editorial board for Vanderbilt Law Review.

Janice M. Holder was appointed to the Supreme Court of Tennessee in December 1996 and was elected to eight-year terms in August 1998 and in August 2006. On September 1, 2008, she began a two-year term as the Tennessee Supreme Court's first female chief justice. Before her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Holder was elected to Division II of the Circuit Court of Tennessee for the 30th Judicial District at Memphis, where she served for six years.

Holder is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law.

Sharon G. Lee was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2008. From 2004 to 2008, she served on the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Lee practiced law in her hometown of Madisonville until 2004. She also served as the Madisonville municipal judge from 2002 to 2004.

Lee received both her undergraduate and her law degree from the University of Tennessee.

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