U.S. Surpeme Court justices do not regularly swing by Knoxville.

Both undergraduates and law students alike will have the opportunity to see Justice Elena Kagan 1 p.m. on Friday in the Cox Auditorium. She will sit down for a public discussion with Doug Blaze, dean of the law school.

“Rather than giving a formal lecture, Justice Kagan and I will have a conversation and talk about her background, her experience on the Court, and the Court’s operations,” Blaze said in a statement. “We encourage the entire university community to attend.”

Undergraduate students have been asked to take advantage of the rare opportunity.

“It’s not every day that students get to attend a talk by a sitting Supreme Court justice,” John Scheb, head of the political science department, said in a statement. “I would urge all our students, and most especially political science majors, to attend this event.”

Kagan’s visit will contribute to the celebration of a new law school initiative.

“We have recently established the Richard Rose Distinguished Jurist in Residence Program, and she will be our inaugural speaker,” Blaze said. “Rick Rose, a very supportive alum, made a significant gift to endow the program. We asked Justice Kagan to serve as the inaugural speaker because she is the Justice assigned to the Sixth Circuit, which includes Tennessee, and because she has a remarkable background,” he said. “She has been in private practice, a faculty member at both Chicago and Harvard Law schools, Dean of the Harvard Law School and Solicitor General of the United States.”

During her visit, Kagan will have the chance to see UT students display their own prowess both in the courtroom and on the field.

“She will serve as Chief Justice of a panel of distinguished judges presiding over the final round of our Advocate’s Prize Moot Court Competition,” Blaze said. “The other five judges are highly regarded U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges from around the country. She will also meet with a member of the federal and state bench, interact with students and faculty, and — depending on timing — enjoy the Alabama game.”

All members of the UT community are welcome to attend, and law school has also extended the invitation to members of the judiciary. Tickets are not required for entry, but either UT or state identification will be checked at the door for security purposes. Large bags and backpacks are not permitted in the auditorium.

“Everyone at the law school — faculty, staff and especially students — are honored by and very excited about the visit,” Blaze said.