William "Bill" Brewer
Class Year: 1978
Major at MC: Political Science & Economics
Senior Thesis Topic: “Bakke v California Affirmative Action or Reverse Discrimination"
Current Town/City of Residence: Walland, TN
Occupation: General Session Judge Blount County Tennessee
Family: Wife Megan; 2 sons and daughters-in-law: Trey ('09) and Brett ('10) and the granddaughters Clarke and Blair; and Jared and Olivia
Describe your career path since graduating from MC.
Three weeks after graduating, I started law school at the University of Tennessee in June 1978. I went straight through and graduated in August 1980 with a Juris Doctor degree. The bar examine wasn't offered until February 1981, so I was a paralegal for the Maryville office of the Legal Aid Society. Licensed in April 1981 and began a general practice in Maryville through 1989. Elected to the Blount County Commission, the legislative branch of county government, in 1982 and 1986. Appointed General Sessions Judge 1989; elected 1990, 1998, 2006 and 2014. Hope for another term in 2022.
Describe your typical day in the office.
My dockets are the same each week: Monday civil and criminal, Tuesday domestic relations, Wednesday civil and mental health commitments, Thursday criminal, and Friday domestic relations. That's the only similarity, each case is different and once you think you've heard it all, so to speak, it's Monday again; people can get themselves in all sorts of messes. I've been the presiding Judge since 2006. Also, I supervise the magistrates office, chair the board of directors of the Blount Emergency Communications District (the 911 board), chair the Blount County Records Committee, and sit on the board of the Community Action Agency.
What’s been your most exciting professional experience to date?
It's so very humbling and gratifying that I've been elected by the citizens of Blount County to 2 terms as a county commissioner and 4 terms as a Judge. I get to work with some great people and great judges to serve the citizens of Blount County. It's also pretty neat that my office, since 1981, whether as an attorney or Judge, is less than a quarter mile from campus.
How did your MC experience prepare you for your vocation and/or life?
I believe that I developed good oral and written communication skills, analytical skills, and study habits that helped me get through law school and continue to serve me well today.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do for fun?
I like to travel when I can, have taken up running in the last few years, work out in the yard. It is really satisfying to cut, split and stack firewood: the fireplace is a little warmer when you have the wood that goes into it.
Since graduating from MC, what has made you the most proud?
Two things: A fabulous family and being elected Judge by the people of Blount County.
Complete this sentence: My classmates may be surprised to learn that I _____________.
Along with friend, the late Bob Schmidt ‘78 on weekends in 1981, I worked on a pit crew for a race team in the NASCAR series; going "over the wall" was quite a rush! Also, I have completed a half marathon in each of the past 2 years; it wasn't pretty but I finished!
What’s your best memory from your years as a student at MC?
After 40 plus years, memories fade (probably a good thing to a certain extent), but I do remember many of the people and hanging out with them. There was always something going on to distract you from the "rigors" of academia.