TBA Leadership Academy: Skills Crucial for Today’s Lawyer

Leadership skills are critical for every lawyer, regardless of career path, position or level of experience. Brought to you by Buck Lewis, Douglas Blaze and Bill Lockett, the TBA Leadership Academy offers an interactive curriculum designed to develop leadership skills, build characteristics of effective leadership and identify strategies to overcome challenges. Join them in Nashville on Dec. 9 and make this investment in your future! Earn up to 5.75 dual CLE hours.

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Memphis Bar Association Elects 2022 President

Tannera Gibson, a member at the Memphis law firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson, was recently elected secretary and treasurer of the Memphis Bar Association. The selection puts her in line to become president of the association in 2022. Gibson focuses her practice on employment law, municipal law, health care liability, and commercial and business litigation. She was a member of the TBA’s 2019 Leadership Law class and was selected as this year’s recipient of the Larry Dean Wilkes Award.

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Odubeko Receives Firm’s Diversity Award

Junaid Odubeko, a partner in the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, has received the firm’s 2019 Diversity Leadership Award, which recognizes a partner who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to promoting and advancing diversity within the firm. Odubeko, a member of the firm’s recruiting committee and chair of the Lawyers of Color Resource Group, is also a graduate of the TBA's Leadership Law program. He focuses his practice on complex commercial and business disputes and real estate litigation as well as regulatory and political matters. Outside the office, Odubeko serves as legal counsel to the Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus and as an adjunct professor of campaign finance and elections law at Vanderbilt University Law School.

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TBA Public Service Academy Now Taking Applications

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2019 Public Service Academy, the TBA's bipartisan training program for attorneys who wish to seek local public office in their communities. The TBA once again seeks to train 25-30 attorneys to run for city council, school board, county commission and other local offices over two weekends in the fall. Graduates from last year's class are already running this year, so what are you waiting for? Find out more and apply at
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Leadership Development for Lawyers is Focus of UT Law Conference

Law school deans and students from across the country will be in Knoxville this weekend for the inaugural conference on Leadership Development for Lawyers. Former UT Law Dean Doug Blaze is chairing the event, which will feature keynote addresses from ABA President Robert Carlson and North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a UT Law grad who is the state's first African-American women to serve in that post. Workshops will address integrating well-being into legal leadership curricula, how to develop effective leadership skills and how to best assess those leadership development efforts.
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Learn Leadership Skills, Plus Get 5.75 Hours of Dual Credit

The Leadership Academy is full of opportunities for lawyers to gain effective leadership skills and strategies while earning ethics hours. Leadership is explored through an interactive curriculum examining the challenging characteristics needed in today’s leaders. On Nov. 19, learn from today’s leaders how to develop these skills, build characteristics of effective leadership and identify strategies to overcome challenges. 
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State’s First Law Incubator Launched in Knoxville

A new, American Bar Association-recognized law incubator — the first of its kind in the state — has launched in Knoxville this year. Called the Tennessee Law Lab Inc., the non-profit organization aims to provide a “solid foundation for new attorneys, solo practitioners and small firms.” The Law Lab is membership-based, and provides workspace and other offices services like parking, receptionist services and conference rooms. Contact Michael J. Stanuszek at (865) 766-4171 for more information.
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TBA Section Chair Recognized as Emerging Leader

Nashville attorney David Wicker of Stites & Harbison was recognized as an Emerging Leader in Legal Services by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville during an event Thursday at Lipscomb University, the Nashville Post reports. Wicker, who currently chairs the TBA Real Estate Section, is also active in community organizations, ranging from the Rotary Club to the Tomato Art Fest.

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Bellamy Named 2018 Wilks Award Winner

Nashville lawyer Raquel Bellamy was selected as the recipient of this year’s Larry Dean Wilks Leadership Award. Bellamy was chosen for the award by fellow members of the Tennessee Bar Association’s 2018 Leadership Law (TBALL) class and was honored during the group’s graduation ceremonies in Memphis last week. The award is named for former President Larry D. Wilks and recognizes a TBALL class member with exceptional leadership qualities. She is the seventh recipient of the award.
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TBALL Class Meets with Judges in Jackson Program

The TBA Leadership Law class today started its Issues in the Courts programming in Jackson. Along with a session with Supreme Court justices, the class also heard from Judge Brandon Gibson, Judge Steven Stafford, Chancellor Carma McGee and Judge Tu Pham on the paths they followed to the bench. Tomorrow the programming will continue with sessions on Human Trafficking, the Drug Court and TLAP.

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Nashville Lawyers Honored in 40 Under 40

Several attorneys were honored in the Nashville Business Journal’s annual 40 Under 40, released this week. Lillian Blackshear of Bass, Berry & Sims, Kristin Kenney of HCA Healthcare, Lauren Kilgore of Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, Whitney Kimerling of Lewis Thomason, Alex Little of Bone McAllester Norton, Russell Taber of Riley Warnock & Jacobson, and Gulam Zade of LogicForce were among those selected for the recognition.
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Knoxville Attorney Announces Run for Senate District 7

An attorney from Baker Donelson’s Knoxville office, Jamie Ballinger, announced yesterday that she is running for Tennessee Senate District 7, Humphrey on the Hill reports. Ballinger, who will run as a Democrat, challenges incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Briggs, who has held the seat since 2014. District 7 comprises parts of Knox County, including Farragut and portions of downtown Knoxville.
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TBALL Class Kicks Off 15th Year with Opening Retreat

The TBA Leadership Law class of 2018 kicked off Thursday at Montgomery Bell State Park near Nashville. Now in its 15th year, the six-month program is designed to equip participants with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in the profession and in the community as a whole. The select group of 28 lawyers come from across the state, representing diverse practice areas and backgrounds.

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TBA Names 2018 Leadership Law Class

The TBA announced today that 30 attorneys from across the state have been selected for its 2018 Leadership Law program. Now in its 15th year, Leadership Law is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities. The class will meet for its first session in January, and then spend the next six months learning about leadership in the legal profession, issues in the courts, policymaking in state government and the importance of community service. Learn more about the program.
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Dalton Named Presiding Judge of Nashville General Sessions Court

The judges of the Metro Nashville-Davidson County General Sessions Court have elected Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton to preside over the court, effective tomorrow, the Nashville Post reports. The previous presiding judge was Casey Moreland, who stepped down in March and is awaiting trial on corruption charges. Dalton has served as judge of the court’s Division III and was first elected to the bench in 2006. She serves on the Tennessee Domestic Violence State Coordinating Council, the Tennessee Bar Association Task Force on the Rules of Judicial Conduct, and is a 2007 graduate of the TBA’s Leadership Law program.
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What Do You Do to Recharge?

I recharge my batteries by exercising, listening to music, and working for charities in my community. - Jay Ingrum (2016)
Because staying in the flow does not come naturally to me, I have learned to make it a daily habit. Every morning, I spend the first 30 minutes in some kind of spiritual practice -- whether it's reading spiritual books, listening to spiritual talks, meditating, or journaling, my morning starts with reflection. When I'm having a really stressful day or notice I'm getting stuck in my head, I also take a quick 10-15 minute break and meditate. It immediately helps get me recentered and regain perspective. – Heather Hubbard (2012)
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Four Ways to Improve Your Resiliency

By Leslie Beale (2012)

Leslie L. Beale, JD, is a success coach who helps professionals develop strategies to thrive at work and beyond. After spending fifteen years as a lawyer and executive, Leslie founded Profusion Strategies, where she offers individual and group coaching, consulting, and training programs on a variety of topics. To find out more, visit her website at

The law is a tough business. As lawyers, we have many demands on our time and attention. No matter how we try to juggle them, once in a while, we will fail in some way. We’ll fall short of the lofty goals we set for ourselves. We’ll zig when we should zag. We’ll flat out miss things and fall on our faces. Failure is one of life’s great certainties.
Have you ever wondered, however, why some people seem to glide through adversity with grace and ease, while others of us struggle? Why do some of us dwell on a setback while others are on to the next challenge without ever looking back? 
The secret is resiliency. Resiliency is a key skill for managing the many obstacles we encounter in our lives and careers. Practicing resiliency can leave us feeling more in control, and help us move beyond our failures with grace. Here are four ways to get started:
1. Frame setbacks as a challenge instead of a problem.
How you respond to a setback has a lot to do with how you think about it. If you allow yourself to see every bump in the road as an obstacle that can’t be overcome, you’re likely to feel frustrated and defeated. Making small failures into catastrophes only serves to rob you of your energy and keep you from moving forward.
On the other hand, if you frame a difficulty as a new puzzle to be solved, your brain will begin to work on finding a solution. New and creative possibilities will present themselves, and you’ll be able to operate in a way that seemed impossible before. Adopting the attitude of an investigator, being curious as to what happened and how it could have gone differently, can also help keep your mindset flexible and open to new solutions.
2. Commit to your vision of success.
Your vision of success is especially important when you’re faced with failures. If you don’t have a clear idea of where you’re going and what it will take to get there, a misstep can be devastating. You can end up feeling lost and rudderless, and waste time casting about for the next opportunity. 
If you’re clear on your vision of success, however, you will be able to keep going in the face of adversity. You’ll know the next step you need to take. If a setback leads you to decide that step needs to be modified, you’ll be in a better position to fine tune your approach. 
3. Take action toward your goals.
One of the best ways to strengthen resiliency is to take action toward your goals continually, even in the face of failures. Imagine an athlete who, after losing a game, decided to give up on practice and training. We would be shocked. Yet, too often, this is exactly what we do in our own lives. We suffer a loss, and decide to give up on everything we previously believed would lead to our success.
The best athletes, and most successful people, take the opposite approach in the face of failure. They double down. They go back to what they know works, and they focus and recommit. They consistently work on the basics they believe will help them achieve their goal.
The next time you stumble, don’t give up. Redouble your efforts. Focus on the few things you know will help you achieve your goals and keep moving.
4. Focus on what you can control.
When we’re dealt a losing hand, it can be tempting to wallow in self-pity or anger. Resilient people, however, know this is a waste of time. We will never be able to control the circumstances around us, no matter how hard we may try.
We can change the impact of those circumstances, however, by focusing on what we can control – our responses. We can spend our time determining how we could have approached the situation differently. We can improve our understanding of the people around us. We can reassess our approach to a project. These things are within our control, and focusing on them in the midst of adversity can help us regain our confidence and get back on track.

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Alumni Happenings

The Tennessee Bar Association has named Nashville lawyer Joycelyn Stevenson (2008) as its new executive director. A shareholder with Littler Mendelson PC with a practice focused on labor and employment law, Stevenson has been a leader in the Tennessee legal community, serving as president of both the Nashville Bar Association and the Lawyers’ Association for Women ‐ Marion Griffin Chapter. She is the first African‐American woman to lead both organizations and will be the first African-American woman to direct the TBA.
Attorney Caren Nichol (2004) is the first woman to be appointed president at Evans Petree PC in Memphis. Nichol, only the second female attorney ever hired at Evans Petree, started at the law firm 24 years ago after graduating from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. Evans Petree has 84 employees, including those in Oxford, Mississippi as well as Franklin and Jackson, Tennessee. The firm currently employs nine female attorneys.
Nichol has served as shareholder, partner, secretary of the board of directors and chairman of the litigant practice group. Her practice areas are commercial litigation, family law and appellate practice.
Bridget J. Willhite (2010) was appointed by Chief Justice Page to serve as a Board Member of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.  The Board considers and votes on disciplinary actions against attorneys and issues ethics opinions interpreting the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Amelia Rose Egle was born August 28, 2016.  Big sister Ava Caroline, along with Mommy Shannon Coleman Egle (2011), Daddy (Brian Egle) and fur-brother (Mr. Banks) were thrilled!  
Troy Weston (2016) was elected vice president of the TBA Young Lawyers Division, and will automatically serve as president of the YLD in the 2019–2020 bar year. I was also recently made a fellow in the American Bar Foundation.
Jay Ingrum (2016) graduated from Leadership Middle Tennessee in May 2017. He was also named Best Attorney in Sumner County in the Main Street Media Awards. The Main Street Media Awards are voted on by the public in the local city newspapers throughout Sumner County. 
Jamie Ballinger-Holden (2015) was one of 24 women selected statewide for the inaugural class of Emerge Tennessee. Tennessee is the 17th state to institute the Emerge America program. The Emerge Program is designed to train Democratic women to run for and win elected office. Jamie is an attorney in the Knoxville office of Baker Donelson. Jamie hopes to pass on what she learns in Emerge Tennessee to her colleagues in KBA, TBA, ABA, ETLAW, TLAW, and any other woman interested in being politically active. She has not yet decided what office she will seek. 
Costin Shamble (2016) was appointed University Attorney at Austin Peay State University on March 1. Costin provides legal counsel to each of the institution’s organizational units and conducts policy review and monitors the University’s compliance with legal requirements. Costin also oversees investigations alleging harassment or discrimination based on legally protected class status. In addition, Costin serves as the University Campus Accessibility Chair has oversight of policies related to accessibility and identifies potential problem areas or barriers to full participation in programs, activities and facilities protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Timothy A. Housholder (2010) is now a Partner at Hagood, Moody, and Hodge. 
Sonya S. Wright (2014) was elected as the Legal Advisor for Rutherford CABLE for 2017-2018.
John T. Winemiller (2006) was recently elected Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation. John was appointed to the KCDC Board in 2014 by Knoxville’s mayor, Madeline Rogero.
DarKenya W. Waller (2011) became a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association in the last 6-8 months.  
Jessica Farris Salonus (2015), has recently opened her own firm, The Salonus Firm, PLC, in Jackson, Tennessee. Ms. Salonus focuses her practice on special education and employment law matters and serves clients throughout Middle and West Tennessee. She can be reached at or at 731-300-0970.  
Tracy Kane (2014) joined long-time client, LeanKit, Inc. as their General Counsel. LeanKit is an innovative global technology company based in Franklin, TN, whose mission is to help teams across an enterprise actively work together to deliver customer value faster — building business fitness and strength from within. LeanKit gives your enterprise the tools to visualize your work, optimize your flow and continuously improve your business performance. In addition to the transition to in-house counsel, over the past six months Tracy and her husband, Jeremy Kane, have been renovating their 117 year old Sylvan Park home and are now expecting the birth of their second child in early Fall. 
Heather Hubbard (2012) recently launched a podcast for lawyers -- Hustle & Flow with Heather Hubbard. iTunes featured it as a Top 100 Business podcast in May. Each week she addresses a topic related to “hustle” (such as marketing, business development, confidence, leadership, negotiations) or “flow” (such as mindfulness, balance, motivation, meditation, well-being, happiness). You can listen for free on iTunes or at the podcast website.
Susan T. Jones (2015) received her Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Mediator Listing and was named to the Nashville Business Journal’s 2017 Best of the Bar
Also named to the Nashville Business Journal’s 2017 Best of the Bar are Matt Potempa (2013), Jackie Dixon (2004), Lynne Ingram (2014), Bernadette Welch (2007), Mark Ison (2013), and Kim Looney (2004).
Alumni members chosen as finalists for the Memphis Bar Association’s 2017 Best of the Bar are Annie Christoff (2014), Edd Peyton (2016) and Melanie Murry (2004).
Kinika Young (2013) has been hired by the Tennessee Justice Center as their Director of Children’s Health to protect and strengthen children’s health safety net.  
Updated Contact Information:
After three and a half years wonderful years at Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, Liz Sitgreaves (2016) has joined the Law Offices of John Day. Her new email address is 
James Mackler (2014)
The Mackler Law Firm, PLLC
718 Thompson Lane
Suite 108-438

Nashville, TN 37204

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Memphis Firm Selects First Female President

The Memphis law firm of Evans Petree has named Caren Nichol as its first female president, the Memphis Business Journal reports. Nichol focuses her practice on family law, litigation/dispute resolution, and private client services. She earned her law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1993 and was a member of the TBA’s inaugural Leadership Law class in 2004. She replaces E. Woods Weathersby, who has led the firm for 15 years and returns to full-time practice. The firm has more on Nichol and other new leaders.

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TBA Names 2017 Leadership Law Class

The TBA announced today that 36 attorneys from across the state have been selected for its 2017 Leadership Law program. Now in its 14th year, Leadership Law is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities. The class will meet for its first session in January, and then spend the next six months learning about leadership in the legal profession, issues in the courts, policymaking in state government and the importance of community service. Learn more about the program.

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Alumni Happenings, October 2016

Alumni Happenings

Amanda Busby (2014) was nominated in August 2016 by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and appointed by the Knoxville City Council to serve on the Civil Service Merit Board for the City of Knoxville.

Jeremy Cothern (2015) welcomed a new baby girl, McLean, in June 2016. Cothern also joined Patrick, Beard, Schulman & Jacoway, P.C. in May 2016.

Sherie Edwards (2010) is set to begin her year as Vice-Chairman of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Small Law Department committee in October 2016 and will become Chair in October 2017. The SLD committee is an international committee of approximately 6700 members, comprised of in-house counsel who work in law departments of 5 attorneys or less. Edwards is also in her last year of serving as the TBA’s Treasurer. Assistant Treasurer, Mary Dohner Smith (2009), will become Treasurer in June 2017.

Shannon Coleman Egle (2011), her husband Brian and daughter Ava are over the moon about their newest addition, Amelia Rose Egle, born on August 28, 2016.

Daniel Ellis (2016) and wife Beth G. Ellis are happy to announce that they are expecting their first child due Spring 2017.

Amy J. Everhart (2008) recently moved her law firm, Everhart Law Firm PLC, just off the square in downtown Franklin. She welcomes all TBALL’ers who happen to be visiting the Williamson County courthouse to stop by and check out her new digs. Everhart Law Firm handles trademark, copyright, entertainment and technology transactional and litigation matters in the Middle Tennessee area. Everhart has also been recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2017 Trademark Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Nashville.

Brian Faughnan (2005) received the Best Lawyers 2017 Appellate Practice “Lawyer of the Year” award in Memphis. He was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers for a two-year term ending in 2018.

Rob Frost (2009) has become the minority owner of the Forest City Owls baseball club. The Owls are a member of the 16-team Coastal Plain League in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. You can find more on the Owls here

Chasity Grice (2014) has been elected as a fellow by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) for the 2016-17 bar year. This honor comes just as Grice is finishing her fellowship as ABA Real Property Trust and Estate Section fellow (2014-2016).

Mary Beth Hagan (2013) has expanded her firm to include a fourth attorney, Jared Lynd, who is a graduate of UT Law. Hagan Law Group, PLLC focuses on construction, business and probate issues and is based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Jay Ingrum (2016) was selected as a member of the 2017 Leadership Middle Tennessee, a regional leadership program founded to engage community and business leaders in the 10 county region of Middle Tennessee. The program began in September 2016 and comes to a close with a commencement celebration in May 2017.

Angela B. Rauber (2013) and husband have welcomed a son, Mateo, into their family. Mateo was born in February 2016 and placed with Angela and her husband for adoption in late March. Angela adds that Mateo is an amazing teacher—mere months into his immersion training, Angela’s diaper changing and bottle preparing efficiency ratings have improved tremendously. Rauber also joined Strategic Property Partners (SPP) as Vice President, Planning & Zoning Counsel. SPP is a real estate development joint venture between Cascade Investment, LLC and Jeff Vinik. SPP.

Gabe Roberts (2016) and his wife Ashleigh Roberts (2014), along with their daughter Seeley, welcomed the birth of their quadruplets on Ashleigh’s birthday, September 6, 2016: Colette Carmen Roberts, Wade Gabriel Roberts, Helen Bird Roberts and Rivers Alexander Roberts. In addition to their new arrivals, Gabe was also promoted from TennCare General Counsel to Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer in July 2016 and was the recipient of the 2016 Nashville Chamber of Commerce Nashville Emerging Leader Award in the Legal Services Industry.

Rachel Rosenblatt (2016) and her husband, Josh, are happy to announce that Rachel is expecting a baby girl due in January 2017.

Chay Sengkhounmany (2009) welcomed a new baby girl over the summer. Emilia Manivong Sengkhounmany was born in May 2016 and weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 inches long. Her brother Eli and sister Elle are thrilled to have her join their family.

Caitlin Doty Smith (2013) gave birth to her first child in July 2016. Cory William Smith weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces and measured 20.75 inches long.

Shea Sisk Wellford (2006) has had the pleasure of serving the attorneys of Shelby County as the President of the Memphis Bar Association this year.

TBALL Alumni Association Fall Receptions

The annual TBALL Fall Receptions saw a rise in attendance this year. Held during the month of September in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville, the events brought out a total of 122 TBALL alumni and new nominees, an increase of 29 guests from 2015. Special thanks to the gracious reception hosts: 

• Memphis: Baker Donelson and alumnae Whitney Harmon (2016) 
• Nashville: Wiseman Ashworth Law Group and Gail Ashworth (Steering Committee) 
• Chattanooga: Chambliss Bahner & Stophel and alumnus Jeffrey Maddux (2016) 
• Knoxville: Robertson Overbey and alumnae Stephanie Coleman (2014)

TBALL Class of 2017

Nearly 200 attorneys from across the state were nominated for the upcoming TBALL Class of 2017. The new class will be chosen during the first week of November. 

The 2017 session dates and locaitons are as follows:

• January 5-7: Opening Retreat, Montgomery Bell State Park
• February 14: Issues in Politics & Policy, Nashville
• March 9-10: Issues in Community Leadership, Memphis
• April 5-6: Issues in the Courts, Chattanooga
• May 9: Leadership in Action
• June 15-17: TBA Annual Convention & Commencement Ceremony, Kingsport

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Memphis Lawyers Make 40 Under 40 Listing

The Memphis Business Journal has released its 2016 Top 40 under 40 awards. Among the 41 honorees are several attorneys, including Alena Allen, associate law professor at the University of Memphis School of Law, Annie Christoff with Bass, Berry & Sims, Tennessee Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, Tanya Holmes in the legal department of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Paul Sciubba, litigation director at Autozone and Matthew White with Baker Donelson. An awards ceremony will take place Nov. 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Memphis. For more information on the event, contact Sarah Butts, 901-259-1713.

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Deadline Friday for TBALL Applications

The deadline for applying for the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law 2017 class has been extended to the end of the day Friday. Email applications to TBALL Coordinator Kate Prince or submit them online. Contact Prince at 615-383-7421 with any questions about the program or application process.

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Leadership Law Applications Due Oct. 7

Applications are now being accepted for the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law (TBALL) Class of 2017. Please e-mail your application to Kate Prince or submit your application online by the end of day on Oct. 7. Going into its 14th year, Leadership Law is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities. Over the course of six months, class members learn about leadership in the legal profession, issues in the courts, policymaking in state government and the importance of community service.

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Leadership Middle Tennessee Names New Class

Leadership Middle Tennessee has announced the members of its 2017 class. Among the group are Jay Ingrum, an attorney with Phillips & Ingrum Attorneys at Law in Gallatin, and Brenda Gadd, public policy coordinator at the TBA. The 10-month program, now operated through Cumberland University, features business, community and nonprofit leaders from 10 counties in the Nashville area. See the full list of class members in the Nashville Business Journal.

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