Dean William C. Koch Jr. to Receive the 2023 American Inns of Court A. Sherman Christensen Award

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–William C. Koch Jr. has been selected to receive the prestigious 2023 American Inns of Court A. Sherman Christensen Award, which recognizes an Inn member who has provided distinguished, exceptional, and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court movement at the local, state, or national level. Koch, president and dean of the Nashville School of Law, will receive the award in October at the 2023 American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States. 

“Bill Koch deserves credit for Inn expansion throughout this state,” writes Matthew Sweeney, Esquire, of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, who joined Senior Justice Donald Lemons of the Supreme Court of Virginia in nominating Koch for the award. “In 1990, there was one Inn in Tennessee, the Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court, that was founded several years earlier; now there are nine.”

A member of the American Inns of Court since 1990 and president of the organization from 2018 to 2020, Koch first joined the board in 2000. At the local level, he is a founder of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court and has served as the Inn’s president for over three decades. He was an organizing member of the Belmont University College of Law Inn and the Nashville Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Inn.

Koch has been president and dean of the Nashville School of Law since 2014. Koch has also been a professor of constitutional law at the law school since 1997. Earlier in his career, Koch served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Tennessee from 2007 to 2014. He was a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals between 1984 to 2003, serving as the presiding judge of the Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals between 2003 and 2007. Previously he was counsel and legal advisor to Governor Lamar Alexander and deputy attorney general of Tennessee.

Koch has chaired the Tennessee Trial Court Vacancy Commission since 2018. He is also a member of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct.

Koch earned an undergraduate degree in English from Trinity College in 1969. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1972 and earned a master of laws degree in judicial process from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1996.

The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, inspires the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education, and mentoring. The organization’s membership includes nearly 30,000 federal, state, and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in more than 360 chapters nationwide. More information is available at