About Duncan School of Law
LMU & Knoxville
Although the law school is new to Knoxville, Lincoln Memorial University has had a presence in this city before. In 1905, LMU purchased the Tennessee Medical College (established in 1889) from a group of local physicians. LMU operated the medical school until 1914 when economic difficulties forced closure of the school. LMU continued to operate the accompanying Lincoln Memorial Hospital until 1917. The hospital was sold to the City of Knoxville and added to the Knoxville General Hospital property.
Additionally, this is not the first endeavor into the field of law by Lincoln Memorial University. During the years of 1919-1921 LMU offered courses in law on the main campus in Harrogate. These courses were for the disadvantaged people of the Cumberland Gap region who would not otherwise be able to attend law school.
Now, nearly a century later, LMU will once again open a law school — but this time in downtown Knoxville. Present-day Knoxville is located in the heart of the Tennessee Valley near the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers which form the headwaters of the Tennessee River.
Knoxville is a cultural and educational hub with many museums, theatres, musical venues, historic sites, libraries and educational institutions. For the outdoor enthusiast, Knoxville is a short drive to the Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, seven area lakes, and many parks and greenways.
Knoxville frequently ranks highly in national surveys as a city which offers a quality environment in which to live and work, cited most often for affordable housing, reasonable health care costs, a temperate climate, a low unemployment rate, and a low crime rate. The economy is very diverse which helps to minimize the effects of downturns in the market. Manufacturers in the area produce a wide range of products from medical devices, automobile parts, clothing and apparel, electronics, chemicals and manufactured housing. Some of these firms employ as many as 12,000.
It is estimated that the current population of the City of Knoxville is just over 170,000, and the population of the Knoxville metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is over 700,000. Knoxville is a medium-size city with many of the advantages of much larger cities, and the charm and ease of living found in smaller towns.
The area was settled by European settlers in the 1780’s and was named Knoxville in 1791 in honor of General Henry Knox, President Washington’s first Secretary of War and a hero of the American Revolutionary War. Knoxville served as the capital of the Territory South of the River Ohio, then as the first capital of the State of Tennessee from 1796-1812 and then again from 1817-1818.
During the first half of the 1800’s Knoxville would grow and prosper largely due to river trade, the advent of railroads, and its location. During the Civil War the city, like much of the southern Appalachian region, was divided in its loyalties between the Union and the Confederacy. Like most of eastern Tennessee, Knoxville was predominantly pro-Union. However, confederate forces occupied the city until September 1863. During the war both sides would utilize the current facilities of the LMU Duncan School of Law (the “Old City Hall”) as a hospital.
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s Knoxville would become the center of one of the more prominent “New Deal” programs — the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). By harnessing the flow of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, TVA would create river-generated electricity to power the region.
During World War II, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory played a pivotal role in the enrichment of uranium for the “Manhattan Project.” Oak Ridge, Tennessee is located approximately 20 miles from Knoxville. Many residents of Knoxville helped the war effort by working on this “top secret” project.
In 1982, Knoxville hosted the World’s Fair. The theme of the exposition was, “Energy Turns the World” and is reflective of a city so closely connected with the creation of energy. President Ronald Reagan gave the keynote address at the opening-day ceremonies on May 1, 1982.
We encourage you to visit the Duncan School of Law in Knoxville. We believe that Knoxville is an excellent place in which to live and study law at Lincoln Memorial University!
Lincoln Memorial University-Duncan School of Law
601 W. Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902