Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 1, 2021

Journal Issue Date: July/August 2021

Journal Name: Vol. 56 No. 4

Members of the TBA Young Lawyers Division Fellows celebrated the group’s 30th anniversary during the 2021 TBA Convention with a reception and dinner in Memphis. Founded in 1991, the Fellows was established to promote the objectives of the Young Lawyers Division, encourage young lawyers to be active in the TBA and provide an opportunity for those active in the YLD to maintain friendships once they were no longer members of the division.

The first meeting of the TBA YLD Fellows, 1991. Front row, from left: David Harris,
Charlotte Knight Griffin, Sarah Y. Sheppeard, Justice Frank Drowota, Pamela L. Reeves, Bill Haltom, Jonathan Reed, Jim Bland, Judge Ronald Gilman. Back row, from left: Tom Dyer, Ed Townsend, John Lyell, Allan Ramsaur, Charles Swanson, Paul Campbell III, Gary Fox, Randy Noel, John Tarpley.

The charter members named Knoxville lawyer Howard Vogel as the first president of the group. Of the 39 founding members, 12 went on to serve as president of the TBA, two served on the Tennessee Supreme Court, five served as lower court judges, two were elected to the General Assembly and one was named state attorney general. Quite an impressive group!

The Fellows has now grown to 198 members. New fellows are selected based on their strong record of participation with, and commitment to, the TBA YLD.

This year, the following members were inducted: former TBA Middle Tennessee Governor Jamie Durrett; former Diversity Leadership Institute Chair Amber Floyd; former Mock Trial Committee chairs Josh Dougan and Rob Sands; former delegates to the TBA House of Delegates Nina Kumar and Bryce McKenzie; and former district representatives Curt Collins, JoAnn Coston Holloway, Tessa Lawson, Jack Lowery, Adam Moore, Ross Smith and Alicia Teubert.

Among its activities, the Fellows organization presents the William M. Leech Jr. Public Service Award each June to a Tennessee lawyer who has been of outstanding service to the profession, legal system and the community. The award is given each year at the Lawyer’s Luncheon during the TBA Convention. This year, the award went to AC and Ruby Wharton for their service to the Memphis legal profession. Read more about them on page 10 of this issue.

Past recipients can be seen at www.tba.org/leech_award_recipients. 

— Stacey Shrader Joslin