The Macebearer is the highest faculty honor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, symbolic of the faculty’s commitment of service to students, to scholarship, and to society.
The 2009 Macebearer is John Sobieski, professor of law, who joined the faculty in 1972. Sobieski has served as associate dean for academic affairs for 11 years, and as interim dean for two years. He has been the Lindsay Young Distinguished Professor of Law since 1986.
Sobieski has distinguished himself as one of the college’s truly great teachers, receiving top ratings from students for his effectiveness, knowledge and interest. He teaches civil procedure, civil rights actions, complex litigation, conflict of laws and federal courts. He has received teaching awards from many sources including the Tennessee Bar Association. His dedication to students is also evident through his involvement in the Moot Court Board and student advocacy program. Under his direction, the UT National Moot Court team has won two national championships and six regional championships.
Sobieski also has an impressive research and scholarship record, including extensive publication in the areas of appellate procedure and civil rights actions. In 1983, he co-wrote “Civil Rights Actions,” which remains the leading work in its field. He also helped to draft and continues to be the leading authority on Tennessee rules of appellate procedure.
Sobieski has provided invaluable service to the legal profession on the state and national level through his work with the Association of American Law Schools and on several commissions and in advisory roles for the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Tennessee Bar Association. John Sobieski’s extraordinary combination of teaching, research and service certainly qualify him for the highest faculty award.