Joe Loser, Nashville School of Law dean, dies at 81

28-year leader of NSL was set to retire

Joseph C. Loser Jr., who led the Nashville School of Law for 28 years, died Sunday. He was 81.

Loser was in the last few months of his stint as dean of the law school, an affiliation that began in 1986. He was planning on retiring in July when he would be replaced by former state supreme court justice Bill Koch.

Prior to leading NSL, Loser was a circuit court judge for two decades.

Loser was a graduate of the law school he would later lead, at the time known as the Nashville YMCA Night Law School. When he was named the dean of the school — he had been on faculty, teaching civil procedure since 1979 and would continue teaching that class until 1999 — he led an effort to rename it.

Loser guided the school through its move from the downtown YMCA to 100 Oaks and started the capital campaign that resulted in the school's 33,000-square-foot building on Armory Drive, which opened in 2005.

Loser is survived by his wife, Mildred "Millie" Nichols Loser; son, Joseph C. "Chip" Loser III; sister, Margy Ann Gass; and his extended family Becky Bilbrey, M. Lee Gregory and Lynn McDonald.