News

Apply for TALS Executive Director Job by Feb. 1

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) is seeking a dedicated, experienced and creative individual to serve as its next executive director. Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume and three references by Feb.1 to Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, Executive Director Search, 50 Vantage Way, Suite 250, Nashville, TN 37228; by fax to (615) 627-0964; or by email to info@tals.org (please list “Executive Director Search” in the subject line). Download the job announcement.

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TBA Joins Forum Focusing on Law Student Pro Bono

Members of the TBA Access to Justice Committee’s Law School Subcommittee will join a group of student leaders and representatives from law schools across the state for the second annual Law School Public Interest Forum this weekend. The event begins Friday at 11 a.m. at the Belmont University College of Law in Nashville. The agenda includes a presentation by Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder, planning for this year’s Alternative Spring Break and a discussion on how best to encourage students to get involved in pro bono activities. For more information about the event contact TBA Access to Justice Coordinator Liz Todaro at (615) 383-7421 or ltodaro@tnbar.org.

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Tate Keynotes Public Service Luncheon

Former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Tate challenged the crowd at the Tennessee Bar Association's Public Service Luncheon in Nashville to keep their work in perspective. Her address followed the recognition of a number of Tennessee lawyers who have performed outstanding public and pro bono service during past year. See photos from the event.

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Public Service Awards Luncheon 2013

Former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Tate told the crowd at the Tennessee Bar Association's Public Service Luncheon in Nashville to keep their work in perspective. "Your family is more important than any case you try," she said, "or even your nonprofit work." Tate was the keynote speaker at the Saturday event held at the Hermitage Hotel where awards were given to the Law Student Volunteer of the Year, the Ashley T.

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Legal Clinic Saturday for Artists

Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts will hold a pro bono legal clinic for artists of every genre this Saturday at the Church of the Redeemer, 920 Caldwell Lane, Nashville 37204. The Nashville Arts & Entertainment Law Clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteer attorneys will answer questions about intellectual property (including copyrights, trademarks and licensing) and entertainment law issues. Prospective clients should sign up for 30-minute appointments by emailing vlpa@abcnashville.org.

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Watch the 2013 TBA Public Service Luncheon

Former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Tate was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Tennessee Bar Association Public Service Luncheon, where awards were given to the Law Student Volunteer of the Year, the Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year and the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year. The video below include's Tate's address and the presentation of these awards.

 

Lawyers To Be Recognized for Service at TBA Event

Tennessee attorneys who generously gave their time and talents in service to others will be recognized this Saturday at the TBA Public Service Luncheon. The event is the centerpiece of this weekend's TBA Leadership Conference, and will feature former FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate as keynote speaker. Honored at the event will be Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteers of the Year Phillip Cramer, Bill Harbison, Elliott Ozment and John Farringer; Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year Jean Crowe; and Law Student Volunteer of the Year Chris Martin. Also meeting this weekend are the TBA House of Delegates, the TBA Board of Governors and a number of TBA committees, sections and divisions.

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MLK Day: A Day On, Not A Day Off

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the National Day of Service, Nashville is holding its first-ever Day of Service Volunteer Fair Saturday at the Center for Nonprofit Management. From 10 a.m. to noon, attendees will have a chance to learn about volunteer opportunities available throughout the year with about 40 nonprofit organizations in Nashville.

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Urness to Chair Legal Aid Fundraising Campaign

A item in Monday's TBA Today omitted a leader in the Legal Aid Society’s 2013 Campaign for Equal Justice and misidentified the campaign chair. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings partner and Nashville Pro Bono Program Chair Thor Urness will serve as the overall campaign chair for the 2013 fundraising effort, while Vic Alexander with KraftCPAs PLLC will serve as community chair.

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Legal Aid Names 2013 Fundraising Team

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings partner and Nashville Pro Bono Program Chair Thor Urness will serve as community chair of the Legal Aid Society’s 2013 Campaign for Equal Justice fundraising effort. Urness has assembled a leadership team for the campaign that includes large firm co-chairs Dan Elrod with Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada and Riney Green with Bass, Berry & Sims; small firm co-chairs Edgar Rothschild with Rothschild & Ausbrooks and Emily Shouse with Waddey & Patterson; government attorneys chair Henry Martin with the federal Public Defender’s Office; judges co-chairs Chancellor Carol McCoy and Judge Dan Eisenstein; corporate attorneys chair Rachel Seifert with Community Health Systems Professional Services Corp.; and Williamson County attorneys chair Tara Swafford with The Swafford Law Firm. The Tennessean reported the appointments.

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New 888 Line Offers Free Legal Information, Referrals

A coalition of Tennessee legal groups, including the Tennessee Bar Association, have announced a new toll-free phone line offering free legal information and referrals to low income Tenneseans. The service, known as aLEGALz, will help callers find resources to deal with civil legal issues. Those who cannot afford a lawyer may call the line at 888-aLEGALz (1-888-253-4259) and leave a message. Calls will be returned by a licensed Tennessee lawyer who will provide referrals to appropriate legal service providers, pro bono assistance programs, free legal clinics and social service providers.

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Station Showcases Nashville Legal Clinics

A story on WZTV Fox 17 in Nashville extols the benefits provided by the Legal Aid Society and the Nashville Bar Association through the groups’ free legal clinics. Clinic volunteer John Farringer, a lawyer with Sherrard and Roe, explains how the clinic works and why lawyers are willing to donate their time and expertise to such endeavors. Learn more here.

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TALS Executive Director to Step Down

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) executive director Erik Cole is leaving the organization at the end of January. Cole, who has served as executive director since 2005, is moving to the Nashville mayor’s office, where he will be working on creating new programs related to financial stability and empowerment for low-income Nashvillians.

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First Corporate Legal Department Named to Pro Bono Hot List

The National Law Journal issues a Pro Bono Hot List each year and this year, a corporate legal department has made the top 10 list for the first time. The magazine reports that it included International Business Machines Corp. in recognition of the company’s work on behalf of Hurricane Sandy victims. It also says that inclusion of the legal department highlights the increasing corporate commitment to pro bono projects. “Legal departments are making it clear that they care and expect their outside counsel to do likewise,” the editors write.

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New TBJ: Innovative Ways to Boost Access Justice

Lawyers in Tennessee are helping those who need it, not only through pro bono representation, but by working to change the structure and services available. The January Tennessee Bar Journal details efforts like new funding and rules for court interpreters and a new legal telephone hotline, 1-888-aLEGALz.

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ABA Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Gideon Decision

The ABA will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright on March 18 with events and public education programs that draw attention to the challenges facing the criminal justice system. The landmark Supreme Court ruling required state courts to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who cannot afford their own. For more information, contact Tori Jo Wible or Karyn Linn.

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TALS Hires New Legal Referral Attorney

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services has hired Tim Hughes to staff a new toll-free legal information and referral line that will be active in mid-January. Hughes formerly worked in private practice and at Memphis Area Legal Services. The new service will allow Tennessee residents to call 24-hours a day, seven days a week to request assistance finding resources to deal with civil legal issues.

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Senate Panel Unveils Disaster Bill with $1M for LSC

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee recently unveiled a $60.4 billion supplemental appropriations bill to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy that also includes $1 million for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). The funding matches the request submitted by the White House. Though the funds are for LSC grantees in areas impacted by the storm, inclusion of the provision marks the first time since 1993 that a supplemental appropriations bill has included funding for the LSC following a disaster. Read more about the provision

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TALS Hires New Policy, Training Director

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) has hired Anne Fox to coordinate legislative activities, develop training curriculum, and oversee seven statewide substantive-law task forces. In addition, she will be the primary coordinator of the 2013 Equal Justice University, which will be held in Nashville at the Millennium Maxwell House Oct. 9-11. Fox previously worked with Clifton Government Relations, handling legislative relations and advocacy for non-profit clients. Read more from the agency

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Pro Bono Program Honors Volunteers at NBA Banquet

The Nashville Pro Bono Program named Perry Happell as its “Volunteer of the Year” and Stites & Harbison PLLC as its “Leadership Award” winner at the Nashville Bar Association's recent annual banquet. “These awards reflect the work done and legal contributions made individually by Perry and collectively by Stites & Harbison to the Nashville Pro Bono Program,” Lucinda Smith, the program's director said. “Their efforts make a world of difference in the free legal help we are able to provide the Nashville community.” Download this press release to learn more.

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New Online Videos Educate Lawyers, Public

The Tennessee Supreme Court and its Access to Justice Commission today launched a new video service to equip lawyers with the skills needed to handle pro bono cases outside their regular practice areas and effectively work with different client groups. Two videos – one on orders of protection and domestic violence issues, and one on providing legal services to persons with disabilities – are available now, with more to come.

A second part of the project will educate the public about the law and how to navigate the court system. In announcing the service, Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary. R. Wade said the initiative is part of the commission’s strategic plan and is “a priority for our judiciary.” He also thanked the Tennessee Bar Association and its Access to Justice Committee, which are promoting the service as well as contributing to the content and production of the videos.

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Wills for Heroes Needs Laptop Donations

The TBA YLD's Wills for Heroes program is in need of either new or used donated laptops. It also is in need of technical assistance to fix a number of laptops that currently are not operational. If your firm is interested in contributing computers or donating the services of an IT professional, please contact Wills for Heroes Committee Chair Brad Carter. This is a great time of year to make a donation and receive a tax deduction! Learn more about the Wills for Heroes program, which provides free wills, powers of attorney and other end-of-life documents for first responders in the state of Tennessee.

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Legal Arts Group Partners with Belmont

The Arts & Business Council, a nonprofit serving Nashville's arts community, and its Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts (VLPA) program, has partnered with Belmont University to be a nonprofit-in-residence. As part of the arrangement, the council will physically move its offices to the university campus. Casey Summar, director of the VLPA, said the partnership will provide marketing, development and technological support that have been a challenge for the small organization. The Nashville Business Journal reports

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TALS Hosts Farewell Reception for Policy Director

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) is hosting a farewell reception for Lisa Primm on Nov. 28 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Primm, who has served as policy and training director for the organization, is leaving at the end of the month to become executive director of the Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee. The reception will be held at the TALS office at 50 Vantage Way, Suite 250, Nashville 37228. Download the invitation

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Legal Aid, Others Snag $500,000 Grant

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands and 19 victim services providers have received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Nashville Post reports. The grant will fund a three-year initiative that will allow Legal Aid Society to help more than 1,320 low-income victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. These cases impact many areas of law and society, such as domestic relations, health, housing, federal taxation, public benefits, employment and education.

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