Mary J. Clement, Ph.D, JD/MSW

Mary Clement Law

Nashville, Tennessee 37227


Child Custody, Civil, Contract, Co-Parenting, Creditor's Rights, Divorce, Divorce Modification and Enforcement, Family, Landlord/Tenant, Real Estate, Sexual Harassment

Mary Clement

Source: Richmond Law Fall 1999. Vol. 12, No. 2, P.27 “Alumni Profile”

As a student in the 1960’s, Dr. Mary Hageman Clement, L’90, knew few female attorneys. So despite a lifelong interest in law and career counseling test that listed lawyer as a suggested occupation, the Ohio native focused on her math and science abilities and majored in sociology. After graduation, she earned master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology but never lost her desire to attend law school.

“We use law to correct, control, predict and modify human behavior” says Clement, explaining the natural interrelationship of the two disciplines. While teaching criminology and juvenile delinquency in Washington and Kansas, she began to pursue the law school dream but was stymied when her repeated attempts on the LSAT’s were unsuccessful.

In 1981, Clement accepted a faculty position in the department of criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University. There she taught a variety of courses to undergraduate and graduate students, including women in the criminal justice system and juvenile justice law and process.

Again she picked up her dream of studying law. Once turned down for admission at the University’s T.C. Williams School of Law, her interest in Richmond’s duel-degree with VCU’s School of Social Work led her to re-apply. Already accepted to VCU, Clement was admitted to the law school’s performance program, where she was guaranteed admission upon successful completion of a summer program. Only then did she discover the reason for her difficulty with the LSATs: a previously undiagnosed learning disability.

Throughout her four-year program at Richmond, the associate professor continued to teach full time at VCU. The mother of one son, she also strengthened her interest in juvenile justice, completing field assignments with Child Protective Services, the Department of Youth and Family Services, and the commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.

Clement’s publications focus on juvenile justice and women offenders. Author or editor of nine books, including the recent The Juvenile Justice System:  Law and Process, she also published dozens of journal articles and book chapters. She frequently conducts legal seminars on juvenile justice for Virginia law enforcement officers, and she works pro bono with women in prison through MILK (Mothers/Men Inside Loving Kids).

Although Clement was initially attracted to a legal education as a prespective on social issues, she decided to take the bar exam so she could pursue private practice opportunities during the summer. She sat for the bar exam this summer in Wyoming, where she was allowed to take that state’s two-day exam in two separate sessions to accommodate her learning disability.

Looking back on her law school experience, Clement advocates internship opportunities to help students find their focus early. A Fulbright Scholar, she also insists that law schools should offer more duel-degree programs and encourage students to tailor their work toward their own legal interests.

“My top wish for Richmond is more emphasis on teaching the human developmental stages” she says. “Essential in criminal cases, an understanding of human behavior can help future attorneys by allowing them to appreciate how their clients think.”

In August, Clement retired from VCU and moved to Nashville, TN.


2003, Tennessee


Law School

University of Richmond, School of Law, Richmond, VA (Joint degree in social work.)


Law School Graduation Year




Washington State University, Ph.D., 1977

Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Social Work, 1990

Bowling Green State University, MA in 1966 and BA in 1965



National Certified Domestic Violence Counselor, inactive as of 2009.

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, Certified Trauma Specialist, 1999-2008.

National Association of Forensic Counselors, Diplomate, 2000-2012 and Clinical Certified Forensic Counselors.



Awarded the American Jurisprudence Award for excellent achievement in the study of

Criminal Law at the University of Richmond, School of Law, Summer 1986.

Graduate of Mediation and Dispute Resolution Program, sponsored by the Academy of

Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Bar Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1985.

Basic conflict resolution and mediation training with Nashville Conflict Resolution Center, 2004. Family mediation, 2006

Legal Services

Legal Assistance:

  • Divorce dramatically affects children – do you want the best for your children while going through a divorce?
  • Do you have grandchildren and want to help the parents know how to be better parents during and after a divorce?
  • Do you have grandchildren and want help to have visitation or to be part of their young lives?
  • Do your children as parents neglect your grandchildren and you want to know what to do?
  • Wrongfully accused of a crime?
  • Need an appeal for a new trial?

Legal Services:
We can help take the stress out of legal issues! As a former criminal justice professor, Mary Clement can fight for your rights in juvenile or criminal court and civil court with child custody issues with divorce. She can also appeal your criminal case and argue for a new trial. Besides the typical knowledge of the legal process and the law, Mary Clement can help you avoid costly (time and money) civil litigation and use what many people have found to be a more satisfying experience – MEDIATION, where you help craft the outcome. This dispute resolution settlement is usually better than what a judge can order because of the limitation of the law. Use mediation for most civil complaints and other disputes in families, work place, neighborhoods, schools etc. Ms. Mary offers compassionate lawyering for

  • Defenses to criminal law
  • DUI
  • Family Law
  • Divorce/Child Custody
  • Charges Against Professional Licenses
  • General Public Law

Besides training and experience of working with people, Mary Clement has a gentle, compassionate manner to assist people thru difficult situations. She does not permit either party to be verbally or physically abusive in her presence. She offers two different types of a neutral place to communicate–rural, retreat setting and the conference room of a business establishment. She knows the law and the developmental stages of children so as to help you craft a parenting plan for the best interest of your child(ren). She can help you be creative in settling matters and saying “good-bye” with dignity.

Due to divorce, separation, adoption, death of parent(s) or other reasons, you may need assistance in:


  • Custody court evaluations
  • Family integration and reintegration
  • Parenting post-divorce plan with co-parenting issues
  • Expert witnesses
  • Counseling on psychological and emotional issues while coaching people through the legal system


We follow the guidelines established by the American Psychological Association
Mary Clement, Ph.D., JD/MSW brings a duel degree in law and social work and work experience with victims/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and abuse. She worked with Attorney’s office in the juvenile court for the City of Richmond, Virginia. Her textbook Juvenile Justice System: Law and Process, Second Edition, has been adopted by many criminal justice programs throughout the United States. She has taken training for Rule 31 Listed General Civil mediator and the cross-over training for family mediation in the State of Tennessee.

For practicing lawyers, let us assist you!
For your cases dealing with personal injury, workman’s compensation, disability, domestic relations, and tort claims, we can provide:

Testing, Assessments, Mental Status Evaluations – to verify specific types of trauma such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, sexual abuse of children, and mental illnesses;

Consultation – to assist with the trial theory

Services – to the client to reduce stress, fears, and anxieties for deposition and testimony at trial

Mediation – to resolve the most complex disputes (business, higher education and family matters).


Mary J. Clement, Ph.D., JD/MSW
696-B Northup Rd., Portland, TN 37148

Phone & Fax: (615) 559-5272; 206-1343

Email: [email protected]