Professor McHale Remembered

The Nashville School of Law lost one of its most beloved professors with the passing of Patrick McHale, who taught Conflicts of Law for five years.

McHale, a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, had a distinguished legal career that included his most recent position as Assistant Disciplinary Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct – a position he had held since 2009. He also had worked at Stewart, Estes, & Donnell, and with the Tennessee Department of Labor, where he focused on workers’ compensation.


During a legal career that spanned nearly 40 years, he handled personal injury, real estate, workers’ compensation, and insurance law cases.

But, it was his teaching at NSL and interactions with students that he valued the most.

“He was an entertaining lecturer, a gifted presenter, and very engaging with students,” said Melissa Morris (2015).

McHale started teaching Conflicts of Law at the School in 2012 when his close friend, Judge Steve Daniel, retired from teaching the same class. He previously had filled in as a substitute for Judge Daniel and often gave time to students outside of class for extra instruction and review sessions.

“Like all recent NSL graduates, I met Mr. Patrick McHale when I took his Conflicts class at the Nashville School of Law,” said Wayne Sutter (2014). “It was one of my favorite classes even though the material was complex. Mr. McHale possessed the rare ability to present very complex concepts so they could be understood by persons much less knowledgeable in the law than he.”

McHale was respected by his colleagues as much as he was by the students.

“He loved life, loved his family and friends, and loved NSL and its students,” says Judge Don Ash, who teaches Civil Procedure at the School. “He was a good man who honored his profession.”
McHale died November 20th surrounded by family and friends. A memorial service was held at the School in December.