News

Court Launches Help4TNDay Initiative

The Tennessee Supreme Court today made April 1 Help4TNDay, launching the statewide initiative with news conferences in five cities across Tennessee. In Nashville, Chief Justice Jeff Bivins championed the campaign, which will include free legal help online or in person at clinics, as well as a public service campaign that will air on television and radio stations across the state. “We want to ensure all Tennesseans have equal access to legal representation,” Bivins said. “Through the civil legal clinics, the citizens of our state will have a convenient place to go to get answers to their legal questions.”

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Summar to Leave Arts and Business Council

Longtime Executive Director Casey Summar is leaving the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville (ABC), citing a move to California as the reason for the change. Summar was the co-founder of the Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in 2006, which later merged with the ABC in 2009. The ABC board will begin searching for a new Executive Director in the coming weeks. Among other services to the Nashville arts community, the ABC provides pro bono legal help to low-income artists, as well as legal assistance to nonprofit arts organizations.
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Legal Aid Programs in Limbo Under Proposed Trump Budget

The Atlantic asks “What Will Happen to Americans Who Can’t Afford an Attorney?” in a story examining the fate of legal aid organizations if a Trump proposal to eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation wins Congressional support. Gary Housepain, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, was quoted in the article explaining the wide-reaching benefits from having a robust legal aid program, from reduced costs for police, the court system, hospitals and more.
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ABA-Microsoft Launch Fellowship to Improve Legal Services

A new fellowship opportunity for recent law school graduates is now available. The American Bar Association Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen fellow will live for a year in residence at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, helping improve legal services in the United States, focusing primarily on partnership projects between the ABA, Microsoft and the Legal Services Corporation. The fellow will receive a $45,000 salary and benefits. Bar admission is not necessary. The deadline to apply is April 15. Learn more from the ABA Center for Innovation.

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TBA Joins Efforts to Save LSC

Details of the Trump administration budget have generated strong opposition to the proposed elimination of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). The Tennessee Bar Association is mobilizing to save legal aid services by encouraging Tennessee representatives in Congress and the White House to restore LSC funding. Learn more about the threat to LSC and show your support for vital legal aid programs via TBAImpact. National advocacy groups including The Shriver Center, Pro Bono Institute and National Legal Aid & Defender Association have joined in efforts to mobilize support for LSC. The Shriver Center notes historic bipartisan support for LSC, and its role as a “barometer for our country’s commitment to supporting basic fairness and access to equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of one’s income.”

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Responses Needed for Attorney Pro Bono Survey

All attorneys licensed to practice in Tennessee are invited to participate in an American Bar Association statewide survey on pro bono service. Your feedback will help provide a better understanding of legal services provided to persons of limited means. This survey is anonymous, and it closes on March 31. It should only take a few minutes to complete, depending upon the amount of pro bono work done in 2016. Find out more here.
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Responses Needed for Attorney Pro Bono Survey

All attorneys licensed to practice in Tennessee are invited to participate in an American Bar Association statewide survey on pro bono service. Your feedback will help provide a better understanding of legal services provided to persons of limited means. This survey is anonymous, and it closes on March 31. It should only take a few minutes to complete, depending upon the amount of pro bono work done in 2016. Find out more here.
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TBA President Speaks Out Against Elimination of Legal Services Funding

TBA President Jason Long is joining bar leaders from across the country in speaking out against a proposed Trump administration budget that would eliminate funding to the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the largest funder of civil legal aid in the country. “Tennessee lawyers know how vital legal aid programs are to the fabric of our community,” Long said. “We will mobilize our resources and, most importantly, the voices of our members to maintain and indeed expand LSC funding." American Bar Association President Linda Klein said in a statement released today that the ABA was "outraged" at the budget proposal.
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TBA President Speaks Out Against Elimination of Legal Services Funding

TBA President Jason Long is joining bar leaders from across the country in speaking out against a proposed Trump administration budget that would eliminate funding to the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the largest funder of civil legal aid in the country. “Tennessee lawyers know how vital legal aid programs are to the fabric of our community,” Long said. “We will mobilize our resources and, most importantly, the voices of our members to maintain and indeed expand LSC funding." American Bar Association President Linda Klein said in a statement released today that the ABA was "outraged" at the budget proposal.
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TBA President Speaks Out Against Elimination of Legal Services Funding

TBA President Jason Long is joining bar leaders from across the country in speaking out against a proposed Trump administration budget that would eliminate funding to the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the largest funder of civil legal aid in the country. “Tennessee lawyers know how vital legal aid programs are to the fabric of our community,” Long said. “We will mobilize our resources and, most importantly, the voices of our members to maintain and indeed expand LSC funding." American Bar Association President Linda Klein said in a statement released today that the ABA was "outraged" at the budget proposal.
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#Help4TN CLE Planned for Nashville

The Tennessee Supreme Court will host a free pro bono-themed CLE in Nashville in conjunction with #Help4TNDay. This event will provide attorneys with information on points of entry into doing pro bono in the Nashville area. Justice Connie Clark will summarize the ethical rules surrounding pro bono work and highlight the Tennessee Faith & Justice Alliance, an initiative of the Tennessee Access to Justice Commission. Representatives from the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services will cover the opportunities their organizations provide for lawyers to do pro bono work. The event will be held at Nashville School of Law on April 1 from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Register at the Help4TN website.

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#Help4TN CLE Planned for Nashville

The Tennessee Supreme Court will host a free pro bono-themed CLE in Nashville in conjunction with #Help4TNDay. This event will provide attorneys with information on points of entry into doing pro bono in the Nashville area. Justice Connie Clark will summarize the ethical rules surrounding pro bono work and highlight the Tennessee Faith & Justice Alliance, an initiative of the Tennessee Access to Justice Commission. Representatives from the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services will cover the opportunities their organizations provide for lawyers to do pro bono work. The event will be held at Nashville School of Law on April 1 from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Register at the Help4TN website.

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Court to Kick Off #Help4TNDay

The Tennessee Supreme Court will kick off #Help4TNDay on March 21 with five press conferences in five cities across the state. #Help4TNDay, planned for April 1, aims to educate the public about free legal advice events as part of its Access to Justice Initiative, in which Tennesseans are invited to get free civil legal help online or in person at walk-in clinics near them. There will also be educational events across the state where people can learn about their legal rights and how to resolve disputes without going to court. Visit the Help4TN website to learn more about the program, as well as the date, time and place of events.

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Court to Kick Off #Help4TNDay

The Tennessee Supreme Court will kick off #Help4TNDay on March 21 with five press conferences in five cities across the state. #Help4TNDay, planned for April 1, aims to educate the public about free legal advice events as part of its Access to Justice Initiative, in which Tennesseans are invited to get free civil legal help online or in person at walk-in clinics near them. There will also be educational events across the state where people can learn about their legal rights and how to resolve disputes without going to court. Visit the Help4TN website to learn more about the program, as well as the date, time and place of events.

read more »

Court to Kick Off #Help4TNDay

The Tennessee Supreme Court will kick off #Help4TNDay on March 21 with five press conferences in five cities across the state. #Help4TNDay, planned for April 1, aims to educate the public about free legal advice events as part of its Access to Justice Initiative, in which Tennesseans are invited to get free civil legal help online or in person at walk-in clinics near them. There will also be educational events across the state where people can learn about their legal rights and how to resolve disputes without going to court. Visit the Help4TN website to learn more about the program, as well as the date, time and place of events.

read more »

Court to Kick Off #Help4TNDay

The Tennessee Supreme Court will kick off #Help4TNDay on March 21 with five press conferences in five cities across the state. #Help4TNDay, planned for April 1, aims to educate the public about free legal advice events as part of its Access to Justice Initiative, in which Tennesseans are invited to get free civil legal help online or in person at walk-in clinics near them. There will also be educational events across the state where people can learn about their legal rights and how to resolve disputes without going to court. Visit the Help4TN website to learn more about the program, as well as the date, time and place of events.

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More Than 150 Law Firm Leaders Urge Continued LSC Funding

After a proposed Trump administration budget put funding for the Legal Services Corp. (LSC) on the chopping block, more than 150 law firm leaders in all 50 states sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget yesterday to push against the cuts. The American Lawyer reports that the letter references the large amount of pro bono work that firm lawyers are able to do by working alongside legal aid agencies funded by the LSC. Representing Tennessee on the letter are Ben C. Adams of Baker Donelson; Todd J. Rolapp of Bass, Berry and Sims; and Matthew R. Burnstein of Waller Lansden.
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Gatlinburg Wildfire Free Legal Clinic Planned for March 27

Legal Aid of East Tennessee and the Sevier County Bar Association will host a free legal clinic for the survivors of the Gatlinburg wildfires on March 27. Clients are expected to need advice with consumer/debt issues, insurance, tax problems, government benefits and more. The clinic will take place at the conference center of the Greystone Lodge on the River, 559 Parkway, from 1 – 5 p.m. For more information or to sign up to help, contact LAET’s Knoxville office at (865) 637-0484.

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LAS Hosts Campaign Kickoff Luncheon

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands kicked off its 2017 Campaign for Equal Justice with a luncheon today in Nashville. The event celebrated the pro bono work of Tennessee attorneys and previewed what was to come for the year. The keynote speaker was Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins, who talked to the crowd about the importance of humility in a lawyer’s personal and professional life. Citing leaders like famed basketball coach John Wooden, the recently passed Sen. Douglas Henry and the man Bivins called his personal hero, Sen. Howard Baker, Bivins urged members of the legal community to remain humble. “We are never too important to treat every person with dignity,” Bivins said.
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Volunteers Needed for March 14 Legal Clinic in Nashville

The Fred D. Gray Institute for Law, Justice and Society will host a free legal clinic at 6:30 p.m. on March 14 at Schrader Lane Church of Christ, 1234 Schrader Lane in Nashville, and attorneys are needed to volunteer. Those who are available should contact Randy Spivey.

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Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala Highlights Access to Justice Work

Tennessee lawyers helped raise nearly $50,000 to help legal aid programs in the state at the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala Saturday in Nashville. Over the past 11 years, the event has raised more than half a million dollars in support of pro bono efforts that engage in-house and corporate counsel. The program featured remarks from Michael Sposato, deputy general counsel for Caterpillar Inc., Davidson County Chancellor Bill Young and Michele Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, as well as TBA President Jason Long and other leaders from the TBA Access to Justice Committee. This year’s event was hosted by Bass, Berry & Sims and honored outstanding law firm and legal departments. This year, Waller, DeRoyal Industries, Lincoln Memorial University – Duncan School of Law and the City of Knoxville were honored for their efforts. See photos from the event or learn more about the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative.

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Bar Foundation Chooses IOLTA Grant Recipients

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands and the Tennessee Justice Center were among those awarded IOLTA grants by the Tennessee Bar Foundation for 2017. Among the 29 organizations given grant funding this year, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Memphis Area Legal Services and West Tennessee Legal Services were also awarded top grants. The recipients are chosen through a very competitive process, according to Executive Director Barri Bernstein. Proposals are reviewed by a 14-member committee, which makes recommendations to the Foundation’s 12-member Board of Trustees, who make the final call.
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MALS Nets Diversity Award

Memphis Area Legal Services received the AutoZone Excellence in Diversity Award at the Inaugural Unity in Diversity awards banquet, hosted by the Benjamin L. Hooks Chapter of the National Black Law Students Association last Thursday. MALS’ Executive Director Harrison D. McIver III said that diversity “is a part of our fabric – a core value that is viewed as a strength that permeates our culture as reflected in staffing and programming decisions.”
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Law Dean Credits Trump for Growing Respect for Lawyers

Lawyers who jumped into action to help those affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration are rising in popularity, at least among those who oppose the policy, the ABA Journal writes. This growing respect for lawyers has led one law school dean to see opportunity. Brooklyn Law School president and dean Nicholas Allard says law schools can build on recent events and highlight the importance of lawyers “to the defense of our rights, the pursuit of justice, and the preservation of our Republic.” Allard writes, “President Trump has made lawyers the breakout stars in the early days of his new administration.”

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Law Dean Credits Trump for Growing Respect for Lawyers

Lawyers who jumped into action to help those affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration are rising in popularity, at least among those who oppose the policy, the ABA Journal writes. This growing respect for lawyers has led one law school dean to see opportunity. Brooklyn Law School president and dean Nicholas Allard says law schools can build on recent events and highlight the importance of lawyers “to the defense of our rights, the pursuit of justice, and the preservation of our Republic.” Allard writes, “President Trump has made lawyers the breakout stars in the early days of his new administration.”

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