TBA Law Blog


Posted by: Brittany Sims on Feb 12, 2015

In honor of Black History Month, the Tennessean remembers Adolpho A. Birch Jr., the first black chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Birch graduated from Howard University and came to Nashville to teach medical law at Meharry Medical College. He also taught at Fisk University and what is now Tennessee State University. He was appointed assistant district attorney for Davidson County in 1966 and named a General Sessions court judge in 1969, becoming the first black Tennessean to serve in a countywide office. He also became the first person to serve at every judicial level in Tennessee. Upon Birch’s retirement in 2006, Davidson County dedicated its new criminal court building, the Justice A.A. Birch building, in his honor.