Pikeville Event for Seniors Wednesday

An education and outreach program will be offered for seniors at noon Wednesday in Pikeville. The event will be sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of East Tennessee. For details, contact Charlie McDaniel. See all the events planned for Celebrate Pro Bono Month

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Legal Clinic at Martha O'Bryan Center on Wednesday

The Nashville Pro Bono Program, with lawyers from Walker, Tipps & Malone PLC, will provide advice and referral to people with low incomes at a Wednesday legal clinic at the Martha O'Bryan Center, 711 South 7th St., in Nashville. The event is 9 a.m. to noon. For more information contact Lucinda Smith at the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands.

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LSC Group Recommends New Ways to Enhance Pro Bono

A task force charged with finding innovative ways to enhance pro bono service in the face of decreasing legal aid funding is presenting the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) with a list of proposals that include: forming a professional association of pro bono coordinators at LSC-funded organizations; asking Congress to create a new Pro Bono Innovation/Incubation Fund; and developing a fellowship program for new graduates and emeritus lawyers designed to build support for civil legal services and pro bono within firms, law schools and the legal profession. The task force also recommends asking bar leaders, the judiciary, and others to permit judges to recruit and recognize pro bono attorneys, consistent with their ethical obligations; allow lawyers to take on limited-representation matters or unbundle services; and allowing lawyers to take on pro bono matters in jurisdictions other than those in which they are licensed to practice. Learn more from the LSC

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EJU Presents Awards, Provides Education

More than 150 lawyers and advocates involved in providing civil legal assistance across Tennessee gathered last week at Paris Landing State Park for Equal Justice University, an annual educational program sponsored by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) and the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA). The event also celebrated two individuals dedicated to providing access to justice in Tennessee -- Nashville lawyer Margaret L. Behm and Adrienne Kittos from Justice for Our Neighbors.

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Equal Justice University 2012

TALS & TBA co-sponsor annual event promoting & celebrating access to justice.

On Sept. 26 - 27, 2012, more than 150 lawyers, advocates and students involved in providing civil legal assistance across Tennessee gathered at Paris Landing State Park for Equal Justice University, an annual educational program sponsored by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) and the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA). 

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'Celebrate Pro Month' to Offer More Than 50 Events

Today kicks off Celebrate Pro Bono Month in Tennessee. In its fourth year, the initiative brings together bar associations, law schools, law firms, legal services providers and individual lawyers to offer free services to those unable to afford a lawyer. This year, more than 300 volunteers -- including lawyers, law students, paralegals and language interpreters -- are expected to participate in dozens of events and activities across the state. Here is what's on tap for Tuesday:

• Legal Aid of East Tennessee hosts a Seniors Education and Outreach Program at noon at 535 Chestnut St., in Chattanooga. Contact Charlie McDaniel for more information.

• The Nashville Pro Bono Program and lawyers from Waller will staff an Assisted Pro Se Divorce Clinic at the Nashville office of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands. Clients should arrive at 4:30 p.m. for the clinic that runs 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, contact Lucinda Smith.

• The Nashville Bar Association hosts its monthly Dial-A-Lawyer program, where volunteer lawyers answer questions from anyone calling (615) 242-9272 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information contact Wendy Cozby.

• The Nashville Pro Bono Program, with lawyers from Community Health Systems and the Williamson County Bar Assocation, will provide advice/counsel and referral to people with low incomes at the Williamson County Public Library, 1314 Columbia Ave., Franklin. Clients should arrive at 5:30 p.m. for the event that runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Lucinda Smith.

See more than 50 events planned for the month here.

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Pro Bono Month: State's Lawyers Step Up to Help

Tennessee lawyers will offer free legal services to those unable to afford a lawyer throughout the month of October as part of the national Celebrate Pro Bono initiative. Activities will include legal advice clinics, education programs, public presentations and other events. The initiative kicks off with four legal clinics on Oct. 2, with more than 40 events planned across the state during the month. Last year more than 350 volunteers assisted more than 1,100 clients. "Though the legal community generously donates pro bono services year-round, this special focus is designed to ensure that those in our communities who need free legal help know where to find it,” TBA President Jackie Dixon said.

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TBA Announces Fourth Annual Celebrate Pro Bono Month

Tennessee lawyers to offer free legal services across the state in October

NASHVILLE, Sept. 27, 2012 — Tennessee lawyers will offer free legal services to those unable to afford a lawyer throughout the month of October as part of the national Celebrate Pro Bono initiative. Activities will include legal advice clinics, education programs, public presentations and other events. The initiative kicks off with four legal clinics on Oct. 2, with more than 40 events planned across the state during the month.

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IJM's Haugen: In Some Places 'People Die if Lawyers Don't Show Up'

The Belmont University College of Law presented its second Champions for Justice Award Wednesday to Gary Haugen, the president and CEO of International Justice Mission (IJM), an organization that secures justice for victims of slavery and sexual exploitation. “Make your work in the law connect to things that matter to the satisfaction of your own soul,” Haugen told the students. “There are places in the world where people die if the lawyers don’t show up. In such desperate places, it turns out that lawyers desperately matter.” Haugen’s appearance at Belmont came the day after he joined President Barack Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative event in New York, where the president announced that he had signed an executive order to stem the crime of human trafficking, a major focus of IJM’s work.

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LSC to Give $3.4 Million in Grants

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has announced new technology grants to increase access to Web-based resources, enhance pro bono, expand websites for veterans and disaster recovery, and -- a new category this year -- improve data collection and analysis. Through its Technology Initiative Grants program, LSC plans to award 43 grants in 2012, totaling more than $3.4 million. The grants will fund LSC grantee programs in 25 states and the territory of Guam. Learn more

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5K to Support Public Interest Law

The Bly Roll Race for Justice will take place Friday on the campus of University of Tennessee Knoxville and will support students pursuing work in public interest law. The 5k event is named in memory of Roll, a member of the 2012 College of Law class. Read more or register for the event at The Informant.

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Behm, Kittos to Receive Equal Justice Awards

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services will present awards to Margaret L. Behm and Adrienne Kittos on Wednesday at the annual Equal Justice University. The 2012 B. Riney Green Award will be presented to Behm, who was the first chair of the Tennessee Access to Justice Commission. The 2012 New Advocate of the Year Award will be presented to Kittos from Justice for Our Neighbors-Tennessee. Equal Justice University, co-sponsored by the Tennessee Alliance of Legal Services and the Tennessee Bar Association, is the annual gathering of about 250 lawyers, advocates, professionals and pro bono attorneys involved in providing civil legal assistance across Tennessee. The event is at at Paris Landing State Park through Friday. Learn more about the awards

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CLE Grants to Fund Access to Justice Initiatives

The Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization has awarded funds from its reserves for projects supporting the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Initiative and the creation of two new positions for attorneys. First, the grant will fund a new statewide toll-free number the public can call for legal information. It will be staffed by an attorney housed at the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Service. Learn more about the position. Second, the grant will pay to staff an initiative to develop new pro bono projects to help low-income Tennesseans get free legal advice. The position will focus on creating projects in areas of the state that do not currently have free legal resources for low-income individuals. Learn more about the AOC's pro bono coordinator position.

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New York Law Requires Pro Bono

The state of New York will require applicants to the state bar to complete 50 hours of pro bono work in order to practice law starting in 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports. Although 21 law schools have pro bono requirements for graduation, the law will be the first of its kind among the states.

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Legal Aid Announces Hall of Fame Inductees

Legal Aid of East Tennessee has inducted four people into its Pro Bono Hall of Fame, the Chattanoogan reports. The attorneys were chosen based on their commitment to pro bono, access to justice and the Legal Aid mission. This year's honorees are Richard D. Crotteau with Miller & Martin; Sam Elliott with Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon; Joseph C. Simpson with Husch Blackwell; and Glenn C. Stophel with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel. 

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Fellowship Promotes Public Interest Law

The Ford Foundation is funding a special public interest fellowship at four law schools, the ABA Journal reports. First and second year students at Harvard, NYU, Stanford, and Yale will be eligible to apply for a 10-week summer program. Stanford fellowships will offer a focus on international as well as domestic public interest practice.

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Feds Closing 6 Courthouses in South; More Cuts Likely

The federal judiciary says it will close six courthouses in the South because of inadequate funding from Congress and the prospect of more cuts to come. Locations include Gadsen, Ala.; Pikeville, Ky.; Meridian, Miss.; Wilkesboro, N.C.; Beaufort, S.C.; and Amarillo, Texas, News Channel 5 reports. In addition to announcing the closings, the Judicial Conference asked all district courts to adopt shared administrative services and curb printing and mailing costs, according to the ABA Journal.

In related news, David Sentelle, chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, this week warned that federal civil jury trials in the United States likely would have to be suspended if Congress fails to reach a budget deal next year. As reported by the Associated Press, he also said that the nation’s probation system and payment for defense lawyers could be thrown into disarray. If Congress does not reach a budget deal by year’s end, some $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases automatically will kick in. According to Sentelle, the federal judiciary's share of the cuts would be more than $500 million.

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Public Defender Likely to Take Role in Memphis Juvenile Court

The office of the Public Defender will likely represent minors who cannot afford legal counsel in Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court proceedings, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell told the Memphis Daily News last week, but that funding issues are still being worked out. Appearing on Behind the Headlines, Luttrell said he believes it is a necessary and beneficial change and that staffing and funding issues can be overcome.

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TBA President to Speak at Equal Justice University

The 2012 Equal Justice University will feature a host of speakers and more than 40 educational sessions Sept. 26-29 at Paris Landing State Park. Among the speakers will be TBA President Jackie Dixon, who will address attendees at the Leadership Luncheon on Thursday and lead a CLE on domestic relations basics. For the first time, the conference also will offer a leadership/management track that includes four courses designed to improve leadership skills. They include Quality Supervision; Generational Issues in Supervision; Understanding and Analyzing Financial Statements of Nonprofits; and Supervision of New Attorneys, Law Students and Advocates. Check out all the offerings

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Concert to Raise Funds for Law School Scholarship

Nashville artists and members of the legal community are uniting for an evening of music, dinner, drinks and a silent auction on Sept. 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at 3rd and Lindsley. All proceeds will benefit the Robert L. Sullivan Scholarship at Vanderbilt Law School, which honors the late attorney’s commitment to legal aid. Learn more about the event or get tickets

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Services Set for LAET Attorney

Laura Rule, who managed the Blount County office of Legal Aid of East Tennessee, died this morning (Aug. 31). She was 65. Ms. Rule was a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she was a member of the nationally ranked Labor Law Moot Court Team. After completing a judicial clerkship for the Hon. Samuel L. Lewis on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, she became an associate at Reid & Priest in Manhattan. In 1993, she returned to Tennessee to work with the Blount County Public Defender. She joined Legal Aid in 2001. The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday at McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home, 220 W. Broadway Ave. in Maryville. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 858 Louisville Road in Alcoa. Burial will follow at Grandview Cemetary, 2304 Tuckaleechee Pike in Maryville. LAET’s Knoxville and Maryville offices will be closed on Tuesday. Memorial donations may be made to the LAET Blount County Office, 307 Ellis Ave., Maryville, TN 37801.

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Memphis Law Launches Curriculum Changes

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law has been making changes to its curriculum that it hopes will better prepare students for the changing nature of the legal profession. One such change is a new pro bono requirement that will require students entering the school this fall to complete 40 hours of supervised pro bono work before they graduate. Also starting this fall, students will have more flexibility in classes they take earlier in their education. The Memphis Daily News has more

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Todaro Joins TBA Staff, Will Handle Public Ed, Access to Justice

Elizabeth “Liz” Slagle Todaro joined the TBA staff this week to begin training as the new Access to Justice and Public Education Coordinator. She will take over later this fall when Sarah Hayman, who currently fills those roles, departs to have her first child. Todaro, a graduate of the City University of New York Law School, most recently led Nashville Debate – a comprehensive debate program for high school students. She also has served in a consulting role with the YWCA as a community educator and outreach coordinator for the agency’s Domestic Violence Center, and as program director for the Family and Children’s Service Crisis Center. A native of Nashville, Todaro graduated from Hume-Fogg High School. She earned her undergraduate degree from Emory University and worked in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., prior to attending law school.

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Lawyers Take Cases Pro Bono To Keep Steelman's Court Moving

A group of Chattanooga attorneys volunteered to take cases pro bono today in Judge Barry Steelman's Criminal Courtroom so that a backlog would not increase further until multiple recusal motions by Public Defender Ardena Garth are dealt with. Garth was in the courtroom continuing to step aside on all new cases, saying in an earlier motion that Judge Steelman has been "venomous" toward her office. Steelman has set a hearing for Monday afternoon on the recusal motions. The Chattanoogan has the update

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Legal Clinic Partnership Set in Chattanooga

Legal Aid of East Tennessee has partnered with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and the law firm Miller & Martin to offer a free legal advice clinic on Sept.13, at 2 p.m., at the downtown office of BlueCross Blueshield, 1 Cameron Hill Circle, Chattanooga 37402. Individuals interested in meeting with a lawyer for free legal advice at this clinic should call Legal Aid of East Tennessee at 423 756-4013.

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