John Adams’ Legacy Is Subject of Law Day Contests - Articles

All Content

Posted by: Journal News on Sep 6, 2011

Journal Issue Date: Jul 2011

Journal Name: July 2011 - Vol. 47, No. 7

Lawyers’ roles in defending the rights of the accused

The Tennessee Bar Association awarded the winners of the 2011 Tennessee Law Day Art and Essay Competitions. The theme of this year’s contest was “The Legacy of John Adams: From Boston to Guantanamo.” It was designed to educate students about Adams’ role in defending British soldiers arrested in what would come to be known as the Boston Massacre. Students were asked to explore the historical and contemporary role of lawyers in defending the rights of the accused — even those that are unpopular — and depict those concepts in their work.

The first-place winner in the art competition is Kylie Mackenzie Bowman, a fifth grade student at Cedar Bluff Elementary in Knoxville. The first-place essay contest winner is Ashton Banta, a senior at Red Bank High School in Chattanooga. Students received cash prizes and their work was displayed at the TBA Convention in Chattanooga in June.

Jackson lawyer Michelle Sellers with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC served as chair of this year's state competition.

See the list of all winners and the winning entries at


Western District federal courts part of camera pilot program
The federal courts of the Western District of Tennessee have been selected to experiment with cameras in civil proceedings, one of 14 districts around the country chosen to take part in the three-year pilot program, the Judicial Conference of the United States in Washington announced in June. Cameras will be limited to civil proceedings in which all parties have consented to their presence. The decision of the five active and one senior status judge to participate in the pilot program was not unanimous, so there may be a judge or judges who elect not to participate, Clerk Thomas M. Gould said. The rules for the program include that the cameras must be under the complete control of the court, either owned by the court or a contractor with the court, and no photos of jurors, jury voir dire, or sidebar conferences will be permitted. Also, the presiding judge must have the ability to switch off the coverage at any time.

TBA earns top national award for webcasting
The Tennessee Bar Association was recognized in May as the national winner for associations in the Rich Media Impact Awards competition. The award recognized the TBA’s efforts in providing timely educational programming following the 2010 flood that devastated much of Tennessee. Since the launch of the TBA webcasting program three years ago this month, about 4,000 lawyers have registered for nearly 9,000 hours of CLE programming on the web. Almost all of the 200-plus webcasts produced by the TBA have featured Tennessee attorneys who volunteered their time and talents to make the educational programs possible.

Chattanooga Bar starts public ed outreach with Legal Services
The Chattanooga Bar Association and Southeast Tennessee Legal Services kicked off a public education outreach yesterday for defendants in Sessions Court civil cases. CBA President Ira Long said the bar plans to have staff at the second floor of the courthouse outside Sessions Court each Monday at 11 a.m. to help explain procedures to defendants and their options.

Lawyer numbers at big firms down overall, minorities up
The percentage of minority lawyers at large firms has edged up, erasing the decline reported by last year’s American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard. This year, even though overall attorney head count continued to drop slightly, the number of minority lawyers rose. Cumulatively, the firms that responded to the survey this year saw their collective U.S. head count fall by 359; yet they increased their minority head count in U.S. offices by 136.

Deadline for October event extended to July 11

Job Fair Great Chance for Firms and Job Seekers

Legal employers in Tennessee will have a unique opportunity to interview diverse 2L and 3L law students from 19 law schools in October — but you need to connect with the Tennessee Bar Association by July 11. The first annual TBA Diversity Job Fair is set for Oct. 21-22 in Nashville.

All legal employers in Tennessee —  employers of all sizes, from both the public and private sectors — are invited to participate. Participating employers are asked to consider candidates for summer associate positions, clerkships during the acdemic year, and associate attorney positions.

For online registration or for more information visit the TBA Diversity Job Fair web site at  or contact Lynn Pointer at

The Diversity Job Fair is an initiative of the TBA Committee on Racial & Ethnic Diversity (CRED).  All activities for the fair will be held at the Tennessee Bar Center, 221 Fourth Ave. North, in Nashville.