Supreme Court Pro Bono Recognition Program

Attorney Recognition

In an effort to increase the number of attorneys and law offices providing pro bono services to those who cannot afford legal costs, the Tennessee Supreme Court is launching an extensive recognition program.  The Court will honor all attorneys providing at least 50 hours of service annually, with a goal of increasing statewide pro bono work to 50 percent participation.

In the program, attorneys meeting the Court’s minimum goal of 50 pro bono hours annually will be named “Attorneys for Justice” by the Tennessee Supreme Court.  The program is entirely voluntary and based on self-reporting.  You will be considered for recognition should you voluntarily report the pro bono work you do in 2013 when you renew your legal license in 2014 with the Board of Professional Responsibility.  To be considered for the program, all service must have been provided under the provisions of Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Responsibility, which includes delivery of a substantial portion of legal services without fee or expectation of fee and delivery of legal services at no fee or at a substantially reduced fee to recognized groups and individuals.

Attorneys who wish to apply for recognition before the month their BPR renewal is due or attorneys who have already renewed with the BPR but did not voluntarily report their 2013 pro bono hours may submit an application to be recognized.  The attorney application is available here.

Law Offices Recognition

Law offices located in Tennessee may also submit applications for the honor. The application for law offices to use to seek recognition is available here.  The application deadline is June 30, 2014.

Law Student Recognition

The Court will recognize law students for their demonstrated commitment to providing legal services to those in need.  The program seeks to acknowledge any student at a Tennessee law school who performs 50 or more hours of pro bono work during their law school career as a “Law Student for Justice.” The program is similar to the attorney recognition program.

To be considered for the program, all service must have been provided under the provisions of Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Responsibility, which includes delivery of a substantial portion of legal services without fee or expectation of fee and delivery of legal services at no fee or at a substantially reduced fee to recognized groups and individuals. The deadline for students graduating in 2014 to apply for recognition is April 1 (November 1 for fall graduates). Each school is responsible for verifying students’ participation in the pro bono activities and reporting it to the Access to Justice Coordinator at the Administrative Office of the Courts for consideration.

Supreme Court Pro Bono Recognition Events

Attorney, law office, and law student recipients will be honored in regional events throughout the state. Each honoree’s name will be included in an Honor Roll published on the Court’s website, and recipients also will be able to download a seal indicating the honor, which may be used on firm websites or marketing materials.

The schedule for the events is as follows:

  • Monday, October 20, 2014 - Memphis, TN
  • Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - Nashville, TN
  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Knoxville, TN

The program is the result of a recommendation by the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, which is tasked with making such recommendations to the Supreme Court of projects and programs necessary for enhancing access to justice.  For additional information or if you have any questions, please contact Anne-Louise Wirthlin, Access to Justice Coordinator at the Administrative Office of the Courts, at anne.louise.wirthlin@tncourts.gov or 615-741-2687.