Holly Kirby

Supreme Court Justice

Year Elected/Appointed


Prior Judicial Experience

Judicial law clerk to Honorable Harry W. Wellford, Sixth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, 1982-83.

Appointed in 1995 as the first woman to serve on the Court of Appeals. Won statewide retention elections in 1996, 1998, and 2006
Appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court effective September 1, 2014.

Previous Employment

Upon completing her judicial clerkship in 1983, Judge Kirby joined the Memphis law firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson, where she specialized in employment litigation. In 1990, she was elected a partner, the firm's first female partner. She remained at Burch, Porter & Johnson until her appointment to the bench.


University of Memphis School of Law, 1982; Graduated third in class, Herff Scholar, Law Review Notes Editor
B.S. in Engineering, University of Memphis, 1979; Graduated first in College of Engineering class, Herff Scholar, Honors Alumni Scholar, Speaker of the student senate


Outstanding Young Alumna, The University of Memphis

Outstanding Alumna, The University of Memphis College of Engineering

Fellow, Memphis and Shelby County Bar Association


Board of Judicial Conduct, 2012-2014

Court of the Judiciary, member of independent ethics panel, 1998-2012

Council of State Governments, Interbranch Committee

Tennessee Judicial Conference, Executive Committee

Tennessee Appellate Court Nominating Commission, 1989-94, chair, 1994

Leo Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court, 1995-98

Tennessee Bar Association

Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women

Memphis and Shelby County Bar Association

Shelby County Association for Women Attorneys

  • 901-543-6910 (P)


100 Peabody Place Memphis, TN 38103