Professor Blaze, who received a J.D. summa cum laude degree from Georgetown University, served as Dean of the College of Law from 2008 through June 2015. Professor Blaze joined the faculty in 1993 as Director of Clinical Programs. Professor Blaze presently serves as director of the the new Institute for Professional Leadership at the law school.
Prior to coming to Tennessee, Professor Blaze was on a member of the law faculty at Arizona State University where he helped establish a community-based legal service clinic. He also practiced with the firm of Fennemore Craig in Phoenix, where his practice involved both commercial and tort litigation.
Professor Blaze currently serves as chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, and has served as a member of the commission since 2009. He is also very active on various bar committees including the Tennessee Bar Association Access to Justice Committee and the Knoxville Bar Association Access to Justice Initiative. Professor Blaze is co-author of The Law of Negligence in Arizona. His work has been published in the Arizona State, Georgetown, Tennessee, and William & Mary law reviews. Through the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Professor Blaze conducts trainings in professional skills for law firms and legal service organizations around the country.
Professor Blaze has received numerous honors and awards, including the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Prize from the University of Tennessee. In 2013, he received the Deborah Rhode Award from the Association of American Law Schools for his work in promoting pro bono and greater access to justice. He has also received the Bass, Berry & Sims Award for Outstanding Service to the Bench and Bar, the Harold Warner Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Carden Institutional Service Award. For his efforts to promote equal access to justice in Tennessee, Professor Blaze received the B. Riney Green Award in 2003.
Much as he loves teaching, Professor Blaze would rather be out in the mountains hiking. He hiked the entire Appalachian Trail long when he was much, much younger. Now he is slowly hiking it again in bits and pieces, usually with his family.