The Justice Joseph W. Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing, established in 1981, is given each year to the lawyer “who writes the most outstanding article that is published in the ... Tennessee Bar Journal for the preceding year. The purpose of the award is to encourage practicing Tennessee lawyers to write scholarly yet practical articles that will be of maximum benefit to the members of our bar.”

The Joe Henry Award is always chosen by a committee unrelated to the staff and editorial board of the Journal: the chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court or his designee, deans of some of the state’s law schools — on a rotating basis — and the president of the Tennessee Bar Association.

The winning article is chosen from all the articles published in the Journal in the preceding year that were written by TBA members who were actively practicing law. Along with the honor of receiving the Joe Henry Award, the author is awarded a check for $500.

Below is a list of previous winners: 

1981-82 Joe B. Jones
1982-83 David Raybin
1983-84 Jack W. Robinson
1984-85 William L. Harbison
1985-86 James F. Eggleston
1986-87 John B. Phillips Jr.
1987 Lewis L. Laska (presented in 1988)
1988 William D. Evans Jr. (presented in 1989)
1989 Donald F. Paine (presented in 1990)
1990 Robert L. McMurray (presented in 1991)
1991 Marshall L. Davidson III (presented in 1992)
1992 Lucian T. Pera (presented in 1993)
1993 D. Alexander Fardon (presented in 1994)
1994 Shelby R. Grubbs (presented in 1995)
1995 David A. Burkhalter (presented in 1996)
1996 Monica L. Allie (presented in 1997)
1997 Donald F. Paine (presented in 1998)
1998 Robert W. Ritchie (presented in 1999)
1999 Timothy S. Bland and Thomas J. Walsh (presented in 2000)
2000 Frank Watson III (presented in 2001)
2001 Dan W. Holbrook (presented in 2002)
2002 Bob Lype (presented in 2003)
2003 John P. Williams (presented in 2004)
2004 Charles Young and David Raybin (presented in 2005)
2005 Richard Spore (presented in 2006)
2006 Monica J. Franklin (presented in 2007)
2007 Darsi Newman Sirknen (presented in 2008)
2008 J. Ross Pepper (presented in 2009)
2009 Spencer Elg (presented in 2010)
2010 Taylor Berger (presented in 2011)
2011 Andrée Blumstein and Scott Griswold (presented in 2012)
2012 Daniel Headrick (presented in 2013)
2013 Kimberly Stagg and John E. Anderson Sr. (presented in 2014)
2013 Donald F. Paine awarded the first Joe Henry Outstanding Legal Writing Lifetime Achievement Award (presented posthumously)
2014 Jennifer Lacey and John Williams (presented in 2015)
2015 Andrée Blumstein (presented in 2016)
2016 Jeff Levy and Amy Amundsen (presented in 2017); 
Ben Raybin (presented in 2017)
2017 Bob Lype (presented in 2018)
2018 Stuart Burkhalter (presented in 2019)
2019 Alexander Hall (presented in 2020)