Joseph J. Martins

Associate Professor of Law
Director of the Constitutional Litigation Clinic

J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law,
magna cum laude
B.A., University of Virginia

Areas of Interest/Teaching:
Civil Procedure I and II, Constitutional Litigation Clinic






Joseph J. Martins, Associate Professor of Law, most recently worked as a solo practitioner in private practice where he provided legal research, briefing and counsel in the areas of constitutional law, family law, criminal law, civil rights, and civil litigation.

As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Martins wasted no time gaining legal experience by working at a public interest law firm in Charlottesville, Virginia from 1994-1997 where he assisted attorneys in protecting clients’ constitutional and civil rights. While still in Charlottesville, Martins served as a teacher for at-risk youth at a therapeutic, residential school.

In 1999, Martins enrolled in law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law. In the summer of 2000, he worked as a law clerk for the United states Department of Justice, assisting the United States Attorney’s office with federal criminal prosecutions. The following summer, he practiced labor and employment law for a large firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Later that year Martins served as a Student Attorney for the University of Tennessee Legal Clinic in Knoxville, representing low-income clients in the Knoxville area.

In 2002, Martins earned his Juris Doctor degree from University of Tennessee College of Law where he graduated magna cum laude. From 2002-2003 Martins clerked on the Supreme Court of Tennessee for Justice E. Riley Anderson. For two years following, he practiced law with a firm based in Asheville, North Carolina where he litigated in the areas of contracts, community associations, real property, intellectual property, business law, criminal law, and personal injury.

Martins served as a Staff Attorney at a public interest law firm in Virginia Beach, Virginia from 2005-2007, where he litigated in defense of religious liberty, traditional family values, and the sanctity of human life.

Martins then spent three years as Litigation Staff Counsel for a public interest law firm in Nashville, Tennessee where he defended the First Amendment rights of students, student organizations, and professors on college and university campuses throughout the country.

Among his publications, Martins has authored Bloody Fight, Washington Times, May 7, 2010, and Bad Blood: San Jose State University’s Ban on Blood Drives Reveals Its True—and Dangerous—Agenda, Townhall, August 2010, at 28.

Martins is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Tennessee, and is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Seventh Circuits, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of North Carolina, the Northern District of Indiana, and the Eastern District of Michigan.