MBA President: 'Law Rules' Initiative is Vital Civics Lesson

Memphis Bar Association (MBA) President Gary K. Smith writes in the Commercial Appeal this week that too many Americans have lost an appreciation for and proper understanding of the importance of an independent judiciary. He says, "Many seem to think that an independent judiciary means that judges are free to legislate from the bench in accord with their personal whims. But the rule of law does not work that way. All judicial rulings are measured by principles such as adherence to precedent and ultimately by the U.S. Constitution." To improve public understanding of these issues, the MBA is undertaking a major initiative this year called "Law Rules: The Importance of the American Legal System." Read Smith's guest column here

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Law Firm Holds RESPECT Contest for Students

The Nashville law firm of Kinnard Clayton & Beveridge recently announced the results of its annual RESPECT Contest, which asks area fifth-graders to answer two questions through original artwork: "What is respect"? and "Why is it important"? Law firm partner Randy Kinnard recognized contest winners at ceremonies at the Historic Williamson County Courthouse and Montgomery County Courthouse last week. Winners received a U.S. Savings Bond and were able to designate funding for their favorite charity. Read more about the contest and see the winning art entries

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Judges, Attorneys Star in 'GAVELS' Program

A program that sends practicing and retired attorneys and judges into the community to speak to groups is getting some positive attention. The relatively new GAVELS program (Gaining Access to Valuable Education about the Legal System), created by the Tennessee Judicial Conference and Tennessee Bar Association, has already had many requests for speakers. "Folks don’t seem to have a good sense of how the justice system works," says TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur, "and we think that if anyone could explain it, judges and lawyers would be the obvious choice."
The Nashville Ledger has the details.

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Watch Entries from TBA Video Contest

Middle and high school students from across the state submitted original videos exploring the constitutional right to freedom of communication in an annual contest sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association. Winners will be announced on Law Day, May 1. You can see the entries, now available online. First-prize winners from each age category will have their winning videos shown to leaders of the state’s legal community at the 2012 Tennessee Bar Association Convention on June 8 in Memphis.

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KBA Launches Community Newsletter

The Knoxville Bar Association this week launched a new service for members of the public interested in lawyer referral services and public education programs. The newsletter will be published twice a year, in the spring and fall. The inaugural issue includes information on the KBA’s upcoming “Community Law School” – a series of free seminars on legal topics that will begin March 31 with a session on wills and estate planning; links to new resources for the public; and a warning against “do it yourself” legal forms. Download a pdf of the newsletter or subscribe here for future issues.

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YLD Announces 2012 Law Day Art & Essay Contest

The TBA Young Lawyers Division has announced the 2012 Law Day Art & Essay Contest, which gives elementary and high school students the opportunity to express their ideas about living in a society that is governed by the rule of law, and achieve statewide recognition for their work. The 2012 competition theme, "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom," asks students to consider the importance of the courts and their role in ensuring access to justice for all Americans. The art contest is open to students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, while the essay contest is open to students in 9th through 12th grades. Submissions must be received by local contest coordinators by April 13. Learn more about the contest

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New GAVELS Program Offers Help Explaining Court System, Judiciary

Public education

Tennessee judges and attorneys have partnered to create a new program for educating students, community groups and business organizations about the legal system. The Tennessee Judicial Conference (TJC) and Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) developed the GAVELS program, which stands for Gaining Access to Valuable Education about the Legal System, to fill the growing knowledge gap about the legal system and the important role it plays in our government.

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Judges and Attorneys Offer New Legal Education Program

Parternership to bring civics education to schools, community groups

NASHVILLE, Oct. 3, 2011 — Tennessee judges and attorneys have partnered together to create a new program geared to educate students, community groups and business organizations about the legal system.

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TBA Announces 2011 YouTube Video Contest Winners

Tennessee students explore state's unique legal history

NASHVILLE, May 2, 2011 — Students from across Tennessee who were challenged to produce videos on the state's unique history of law and liberty are being honored today by the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) as a part of the national Law Day celebration.

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