Links for December 2017

TBA to Launch New Adoption Law Section in 2018

November 13, 2017

The Tennessee Bar Association will launch a new section next year devoted to the practice of Adoption Law. The move was requested by the Adoption Policy Working Group and was approved unanimously by the TBA Board of Governors during its fall meeting Saturday in Memphis. In a letter requesting the creation, TBA Immediate Past President Jason Long and Chattanooga attorney Michael S. Jennings wrote that adoption law is a discrete area of practice and that “there is a need for a dedicated section to assist with ongoing legislative efforts in this area and to educate members on a complex and highly structured area of the law.”

Tennessee Considers Major Change to Bar Exam

November 9, 2017

The Tennessee Bar Association is launching an ad hoc committee that will study a proposal to employ the Uniform Bar Examination for candidates who want to enter the profession in Tennessee. The proposal comes from the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (TBLE). “Lawyers are more mobile than they once were,” TBLE President Jeffrey Ward said in a news release announcing the proposal. “No longer do lawyers settle in one state and practice in that state until retirement. Multi-jurisdictional, or cross-border, practice is more common, particularly in Tennessee, where we border more states than any other state in the union." Comments or concerns may be sent to TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson .

Supreme Court Seeking Comments on Bar Exam Proposal

October 23, 2017

The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (TBLE) is seeking to amend Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7 by adopting the Uniform Bar Examination as the standard for applicants for licensing and admission in the state. The court is soliciting written comments from judges, lawyers and others on the proposed changes. The deadline for submitting comments in Jan. 5, 2018. Comments should be submitted via email to appellatecourtclerk@tncourts.gov or mailed to James M. Hivner, Clerk, Re: Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7, Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, Tenn. 37219-1407.

Ceremonies Welcome New Attorneys to Practice of Law

November 7, 2017

Nearly 200 new attorneys were welcomed to the practice of law during Supreme Court ceremonies today at the Music City Center in Nashville. Other ceremonies are being held in Knoxville, Memphis and Jackson. See photos from the morning session , the afternoon session or individual portraits of the new admittees and their families.

Nearly Half of Tennessee Attorneys Report Pro Bono Service

November 8, 2017

Nearly half of Tennessee attorneys reported doing some pro bono work in 2015, totalling 591,064 hours of pro bono service or an average of 72.7 hours for each attorney. That data comes from the just released 2016 Pro Bono Report, which is compiled by the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission. The report shows that the number of attorneys who reported pro bono and the number of hours of pro bono work performed both increased from the prior year. The report also describes the significant work being done by bar associations, law schools, legal aid organizations and faith-based communities across Tennessee to increase opportunities for pro bono service.

Tennessee Considers Major Change to Bar Exam

November 9, 2017

The Tennessee Bar Association is launching an ad hoc committee that will study a proposal to employ the Uniform Bar Examination for candidates who want to enter the profession in Tennessee. The proposal comes from the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (TBLE). “Lawyers are more mobile than they once were,” TBLE President Jeffrey Ward said in a news release announcing the proposal . “No longer do lawyers settle in one state and practice in that state until retirement. Multi-jurisdictional, or cross-border, practice is more common, particularly in Tennessee, where we border more states than any other state in the union." Comments or concerns may be sent to TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson .

Legal Services Corp. Announces Award Grants, Nearly $8 Million Headed to Tennessee

October 31, 2017

Last week the Legal Services Corp. announced a series of grants awarded to organizations that “provide effective and economical delivery of high quality civil legal services to eligible low-income individuals,” and some of that money will be granted to Tennessee-based organizations. The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands will receive over $3 million, Memphis Area Legal Services will see just north of $1.5 million, West Tennessee Legal Services will receive nearly $700,000 and Legal Aid of East Tennessee will be awarded almost $2.5 million. Interested parties have 30 days to comment on the proposed grants.

YLD Work in Expungement Clinic Recognized by House Speaker

October 27, 2017

The TBA Young Lawyers Division work in hosting expungement clinics across Tennessee has been recognized by an official proclamation from Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell. In particular, the proclamation praises the efforts of the YLD in sponsoring the Non-Conviction Expungement Clinic at Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church in Memphis. “The Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division exemplifies the spirit of community and leadership that is characteristic of true Tennesseans, and it should be specially recognized,” the proclamation reads in part.

Pera Discusses Indigent Representation, Evolving Legal Market in Interview

October 13, 2017

TBA President Lucian Pera offers his thoughts on the legal profession, the importance of bar work and more in a series of web video interviews. The second video in the four-part series premiered today on YouTube. In the video, Pera discusses his goals for the TBA, as well as challenges and trends he sees emerging in the profession. Pera also highlights the “once in a lifetime opportunity” the legal community has this year to improve indigent representation. Stay tuned later this week for part three, in which Pera talks about lawyers becoming leaders in their own communities.

Pera Talks Role of TBA, Lawyers as Leaders

October 25, 2017

TBA President Lucian Pera offers his thoughts on the legal profession, the importance of bar work and more in a series of web video interviews. The third video in the four-part series premiered today on YouTube. In this installment, Pera considers the role of the TBA in the legal community and what value it provides to members, as well as the role of lawyers as leaders in their communities. He also discusses his hopes that Tennessee lawyers will take up more local leadership positions in roles such as public office. Stay tuned for the fourth and final video in the series, in which Pera answers the TBA’s “lightening round” questions.

Bar Leaders From Across South Gather at Memphis Event

October 18, 2017

Bar leaders from across the South are arriving in Memphis today for the annual Southern Conference of Bar Presidents (SCBP), which is hosted this year by the Tennessee Bar Association. While in Memphis, the group of about 200 bar presidents, executive directors, past presidents and presidents-elect from 17 states will visit local attractions and take in programming on Friday and Saturday, ranging from a look at "Civil Rights in the 21st Century" to "Elvis and His Impact on the Law." Follow the event on Twitter at #SCBP2017.

Memphis Program a Hit with Southern Bar Leaders

October 25, 2017

Tennessee lawyers hosted more than 200 bar leaders and their guests during the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents gathering last week in Memphis. Programming for the executive directors and volunteer bar leaders in 17 Southern states ranged from "Civil Rights in the 21st Century" to "Elvis and His Impact on the Law." See photos from the programming and activities.

Lawyers Get No Mental Health Boost from Big Bucks, Study Shows

October 24, 2017

The mental health boost that usually comes with higher incomes is not making its way to lawyers in the U.S. and Canada, a new study finds. The ABA Journal reports that the study shows higher-status lawyers in both countries have more symptoms of depression than peers in the public sector and are no better off in terms of health. The study found that the larger the firm and the more high-paying the job, the more likely a lawyer was to have depressive symptoms. Overwork and work-life conflict were cited as reasons.

Legal Aid to Leave Downtown Nashville for Airport Area Location

October 24, 2017

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands is moving from downtown Nashville to space at Airport Executive Plaza, the Nashville Post reports . The agency will leave its home for the past 15 years at Public Square Garage for about 12,000 square feet of space in the building at 1321 Murfreesboro Pike, about five miles southeast of downtown.

Spring Start Likely for Federal Courthouse in Nashville

October 23, 2017

Long-gestating plans for a new U.S. courthouse in Nashville will finally come to fruition in spring 2018, the Nashville Post reports . Groundbreaking on the courthouse, which will be named for the late U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, is planned for spring of next year, with demolition of a remaining building on the site planned for November. The courthouse is expected to cost $194.5 million to build and will sit on a plot of land downtown on Church Street.

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