Tennessee college students, except law students, may apply to serve on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission will recommend seven nominees to the Governor of TISL, who will appoint five to the next Court.
Justices may serve up to three one-year terms, and incumbent justices who want to serve another term are automatically among the seven.
How to Apply 2013
Download the application packet [ Click Here ]
The application packet includes:
Deadline: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Suppose the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill prohibiting newspapers and television stations from publishing information about the families of public officials. A newspaper publisher wants to write a story about a judge's wife who was arrested for embezzlement. Two questions:
You will be judged on your research, analysis and writing, not on your conclusion. (Suggested maximum length: 500 words)
Letter of Recommendation
Please submit a letter of recommendation from at least one faculty member in a relevant discipline. Each faculty member should place his/her letter in an envelope, seal it and sign the flap. The professor may return the envelope to you to include with your application package or may mail it directly to TISL (address below).
Each letter should verify that the applicant’s GPA is 3.0 or greater.
Letters of recommendation should also include the faculty member’s opinion of the applicant’s academic ability, ability to work with others, communication skills and critical-thinking skills.
Where to Submit
Put your completed application form, your answers to the essay question and the sealed letter of recommendation in one large envelope and send to:
TISC Nominating Commission
The letter of recommendation may also arrive directly from the writer.
TISL State Office
Who can apply?
Any Tennessee college student with a 3.0 GPA or greater majoring in political science, government, pre-law, philosophy, history or a similar discipline. Students enrolled in law school are excluded.
Judges can serve up to three one-year terms, so freshman and sophomores, especially, have the opportunity for long-term service to provide continuity for the Court.
First-semester freshmen have alternatives to the 3.0 GPA and the letter of recommendation requirement.
Will I receive training?
Yes! You will have a full year to prepare before the General Assembly. Justices appointed this year will be sworn in at the end of November's General Assembly and serve the following year.
The Court has a professional lawyer as an adviser, and it has a retreat during the winter to begin preparing. Often the retreat has included meetings with real judges, including justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
If you think you might go to law school, this is a chance to begin preparing early.
What if my college didn't attend TISL last year?
That's OK, but we certainly hope your college will send a delegation to this year's General Assembly.
Is it OK for candidates to contact members of the Nominating Commission directly?
You may contact the Nominating Commission members individually. You may also contact them as a group by sending email to NominatingCommission<at>TISCourt.org.
What expenses will justices incur?
TISL will pay for each justice's lodging at the TISL General Assembly in November and for mileage to/from the General Assembly under TISL's regular reimbursement policy.
Members of the Court are exempt from TISL fees.
Justices receive a meal stipend and parking reimbursement. They are responsible for their incidental expenses.
How will it affect my college's delegation if I'm a justice?
Your college will gain prestige, of course. Otherwise, your service as a justice doesn't affect your college's delegation to the TISL General Assembly.
Justices are members of the Tennessee Intercollegiate Supreme Court sponsored by TISL, not members of a particular college delegation.
Justices don't pay delegate fees, and most of their expenses are paid by TISL.