Law School Conference Focuses on Pro Bono Issues

TBA Access to Justice Committee Sponsors Event with UT College of Law

TBA President Cindy Wyrick spoke to a group of law students and faculty about the challenges and benefits that come from an intentional commitment to pro bono and public interest work. She encouraged the students to continue to make time for pro bono service and involement with the TBA, even when the pressures of being a new lawyer seem overwhelming. Wyrick reminded the students that they possess both "the power to change the world and the responsibility to do it."

The TBA Access to Justice Committee sponsored this second "Pro Bono and Public Interest Law School Conference" to encourage conversation and planning about the needs, opportunity, challenges and possibilities surrounding pro bono work and related access to justice issues. The two-day conference was hosted in Knoxville by the University of Tennessee College of Law and was attended by representives from all six Tennessee law schools. 

Wyrick was among a group of leaders of the Tennessee Access to Justice community who gathered at the University of Tennessee College of Law to support law students pursuing pro bono opportuinities while in school and as they enter the legal profession. Other participants at the conference included Supreme Court Justices Janice Holder and Sharon Lee, Access to Justice Commission Chair Buck Lewis, Commission Vice Chair and UT Law College Dean Doug Blaze, and three representatives from Legal Aid: Dave Yoder, Deb House and Chay Sengkhounmany. Lewis delivered the keynote address, highlighting the historic collaborations that have produced outstanding developments, while issuing a clear call to action as much work still remains.

The students and other law school representatives shared program ideas, developed plans for alternative spring break projects and learned about the many opportunities for pro bono and public interest service that exist within Tennessee's community of legal aid service providers. 

For more information on this or other related TBA Access to Justice programs, please contact Liz Todaro, Access to Justice/Public Education Coordinator at ltodaro@tnbar.org

ATJ Law School Conference
Students, faculty and staff representing all six Tennessee law schools gathered with leaders of the access to justice community for a two-day conference hosted by the University of Tennessee College of Law. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Conference participants discuss opportunities for collaboration on pro bono projects. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Leaders of the Tennessee ATJ community attended the conference.  From left: UT College of Law ATJ and Mentoring Programs Coordinator Brad Morgan, ATJ Commission Vice Chair and UT College of Law Dean Doug Blaze, Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Janice Holder and Sharon Lee, ATJ Commission Chair Buck Lewis and TBA ATJ Committee Member and Nashville School of Law Professor John Lewis. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Deb House, associate director at Legal Aid of East Tennessee, leads a discussion about opportunities to work with legal aid programs throughout the year. 
ATJ Law School Conference
TBA President Cindy Wyrick spoke to the students about the significance of continuing to prioritize pro bono work as they enter the legal profession. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder welcomes participants to the conference. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Brad Morgan introduces keynote speaker Buck Lewis. 
ATJ Law School Conference
From left: Brad Morgan, Buck Lewis, John Lewis and UT College of Law Professor Joan MacLeod Heminway. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Dean Doug Blaze and Justice Janice Holder during the Conference.
ATJ Law School Conference
AOC Pro Bono Coordinator Palmer Williams (left) and Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society President Joseph WIlliams. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Representatives from Nashville's Shade Tree Clinic discuss medical legal partnerships. From left: Chay Sengkhounmany with Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands and Stephen Dorner and Shannon Jordan from Vanderbilt University. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Dean Doug Blaze answers a question about encouraging and recognizing pro bono work by law students. 
ATJ Law School Conference
TBA President Cindy Wyrick speaks about the challenges and benefits that come from making pro bono and bar service a priority, especially for new attorneys. 
ATJ Law School Conference
TBA ATJ Committee Member John Lewis talks about the pro bono work being done by Nashville School of Law students and faculty. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Keynote speaker Buck Lewis provides an overview of the historic access to justice accomplishments as well as the significant work that remains. 
ATJ Law School Conference
Representatives from all six Tennessee law schools shared updates about their pro bono and public interest policies and programs.