TLAP Recognizes William E. Robilio as Tennessee Volunteer Attorney of the Year

April 9, 2012

The lawyers of the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office spend most of their days helping others. But the challenges of the judicial system can be daunting. Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression and more likely to abuse alcohol than those in other occupations. That’s why the Tennessee Lawyer’s Assistance Program (TLAP) was established - for attorneys to mentor colleagues through difficult times.

Each year, TLAP recognizes one lawyer for outstanding service to his peers. Assistant Shelby County Public Defender William E. Robilio has been chosen as the state’s volunteer attorney of the year.

A 10-year employee of our office, Bill has been a volunteer for his colleagues in crisis since the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) was established in 1999. Before that, he was involved with Lawyers Helping Lawyers, a project of the Memphis Bar Association.

On March 31st, Robilio was honored with the Stephenson Todd Volunteer Attorney of the Year Award at TLAP’s annual conference at Montgomery Bell State Park. Robilio was unanimously chosen as this year’s recipient.

Judge Robert Childers has worked closely with Robilio in this program: “Bill certainly deserves the award. He has been involved with the Lawyers Helping Lawyers for many years, and he has volunteered hundreds of hours of his time in assisting lawyers and judges who are struggling with impairment issues. He has been a leader in TLAP's efforts to educate and assist members of our profession.”

Chief Public Defender Stephen Bush added, “Bill is one of the most compassionate and empathetic lawyers I’ve ever worked with. Bill is most deserving of this honor, but it is telling of his selfless character that he will deflect every bit of attention he deserves for winning it.”

For More Information Contact: Josh Spickler, Shelby County Public Defender’s Office at

For more information on TLAP, visit