The Tennessee Supreme Court has launched two in a series of online videos for the public and lawyers as part of its Access to Justice Initiative.
The two videos are designed to provide pro bono lawyers with the necessary skills to take on cases that may be outside of their day-to-day practice area.
“The Commission believes it’s important for lawyers to feel prepared to handle pro bono or reduced-fee cases,” said George T. “Buck” Lewis, Chair of the Access to Justice Commission. “Our hope is that lawyers will watch the videos and learn more about the high needs areas of law, and how to help Tennesseans with these specific types of legal issues.”
The Court’s Access to Justice Commission has developed a video on the basics of orders of protection and domestic violence issues. The commission identified domestic violence and other family law issues as a high need area of law because there are many low income Tennesseans who need legal help in this area. The video gives lawyers the basics of the law and the forms needed to seek orders of protection.
Also available is a training video designed to help attorneys and legal agencies that work with people with disabilities. The video, Providing Legal Services to Persons with Disabilities, was created to raise awareness and reduce the barriers persons with disabilities face when seeking legal services. The Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center assisted in the development of this tool.
“Offering resources that can lead to improved access to our justice system is a priority for our judiciary and many in the legal profession, “said Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary. R. Wade. “I applaud the efforts put forth by volunteers of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Access to Justice Commission in making these videos available to the public.”
The Commission also is developing free online videos for the public on the law and how to navigate the court system. These videos will be available in the near future.
The Tennessee Supreme Court announced its Access to Justice campaign in December 2008 in response to a growing legal needs gap in Tennessee. Indigent and working-poor families face more legal problems caused by unemployment, predatory loans, uninsured medical bills, domestic violence, evictions and foreclosures. As part of the campaign, the Court created the Tennessee Access to Justice Commission, which is made up of ten members from across the state.
To view the videos, visit the Court’s Access to Justice website, http://www.justiceforalltn.com/videos
.For more information on the Access to Justice campaign, visit http://www.tncourts.gov/programs/access-justice.