Tuesday, March 9, 2021
"Effectively serving clients during COVID-19 has required nearly all attorneys to make shifts in how they work, and legal services organizations are no different," Elizabeth Slagle Todaro writes in this month's TBJ cover story. "However, given the vulnerable, low-income and isolated client populations legal service organizations are serving, some of the barriers are more formidable." The March-April Tennessee Bar Journal is filled with articles about how the legal community has pressed on during this pandemic year. Read "Access to Justice in the Time of COVID-19." Also in this special Access to Justice Issue, the Journal looks at many of the challenges, including a focus on evictions, work by Disability Rights Tennessee, the Tennessee Justice Center and other timely topics.
"In March 2020, Gov. Lee declared attorneys essential workers, and Tennessee attorneys have lived up to that title," TBA President Michelle Greenway Sellers writes in her column. "Attorneys not only continued to work, but they found creative and innovative ways to serve their clients. Despite the many challenges, attorneys pushed forward. Although some attorneys could continue their practice remotely via Zoom meetings and telephonic communication, others could not. Many attorneys had no choice but to continue working in person, including court administrators, district attorneys, public defenders, guardians ad litem, appointed attorneys, attorneys handling juvenile emergencies, conservatorships involving abuse, protective orders, restraining orders, family law matters, criminal matters and many more. In reality, many attorneys faced considerable risks while serving their clients."
"You have done something very good and generous and ... brave about something very personal that's widespread, insufficiently discussed and important," a law school professor wrote to Kent Halkett, who authored the January/February Tennessee Bar Journal’s cover story, “Mental Health in the Legal Profession: A Crisis, a Case Study and a Call to Action.” The professor continued: "I have no doubt — none — that this will save some lives and it may help to make a dent on real plagues in our profession. … Depression and related maladies of the mind are still a dark corner that few much care to discuss." Many more readers responded to that article, the most letters ever received about a single TBJ article.
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