Allison Connelly, a clinical professor of law, joined the faculty in 1996 as the first Director of the College's Legal Clinic. Prior to joining the law school, she spent thirteen years as a state public defender providing direct representation, including death penalty representation, to needy individuals at all levels of the criminal justice system. She rose through the ranks to become the only woman ever named as Kentucky’s Public Advocate, the head of Kentucky's statewide public defender system. Professor Connelly also has numerous published appellate decisions to her credit, including Commonwealth v. Chestnut, 250 S.W.3d 655 (Ky. 2008), a major open records case. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Professor Connelly also teaches litigation skills, criminal procedure, criminal trial process and legal writing, and is the Director of the Kentucky Legal Education Opportunity (KLEO) Summer Institute. She is the founder of the Kentucky Intrastate Mock Trial Competition, and is also the coach of the College’s highly successful trial teams, which include eleven nationally ranked trial teams in the last nineteen years. She has received numerous awards for teaching and public service including the 2016 Duncan Teaching Award, 2016 University of Kentucky’s Lyons Award for Public Service, the 2015 Kentucky Bar Association’s Donated Legal Services Award, the 2011 Kentucky Bar Association’s Service to Young Lawyers Award, and the 2009 UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award.