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.

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.

As part of the GAVELS Program, judges and attorneys from across the state have agreed to make presentations about a variety of legal topics to groups that wish to learn more about the Tennessee judicial system.

"The judicial branch of government is often forgotten and misunderstood," said Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth, who chairs the TJC's public confidence in the courts committee. "We hope this program helps demystify the court system and shed some light on the important role the judiciary plays in our democratic society."

"People tend to ignore the importance of the legal system until they are confronted with it — either through jury service or because they have encountered their own legal issue," said TBA President Danny Van Horn. "We want to educate students and the public about how the legal system works and how it impacts their everyday lives."

A list of available judges and attorneys and the topics they are willing to speak about are available online at www.tncourts.gov and www.tba.org. Schools, civic organizations and business groups are welcome to request a speaker by contacting a judge or attorney listed on either website.


The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) is the largest professional association in Tennessee with more than 13,000 members. Founded in 1881, the TBA provides opportunities for continuing legal education, professional development and public service. The TBA’s dedication to serving the state’s legal community is evidenced by its membership roll, which represents the entire spectrum of legal practice: plaintiff and defense lawyers, corporate counsel, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, government lawyers and legal services attorneys.

For More Information

Stacey Shrader Joslin
Tennessee Bar Association
(615)277-3218
221 Fourth Ave. N., Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

Additional Contacts

Laura Click
TN Area Office of the Courts
(615)532-6047
Nashville, TN