Access to Justice

Contrary to popular belief, people are not guaranteed access to an attorney when they encounter civil legal issues. As a result, people who cannot afford an attorney are left to handle a variety of legal issues on their own.

In response to this growing problem, the Tennessee Supreme Court made access to justice its number one strategic priority and formally announced their Access to Justice Initiative in December 2008.

In April 2009, the Supreme Court formed the 10-member Access to Justice Commission.

2013 Pro Bono Report
2012 Pro Bono Report

2014 Strategic Plan
2012 Strategic Plan
 2010 Strategic Plan

March 31, 2015
The Tennessee Supreme Court will add a voluntary funding mechanism for attorneys to contribute to access to justice programs, but will not require attorneys to report pro bono hours under changes...
March 12, 2015
The Access to Justice Commission and The Faith & Justice Alliance are hosting a volunteer attorney training on Monday, April 27, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. at Lipscomb University’s Shamblin...
November 25, 2014
A study commissioned by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice (ATJ) Commission and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) with the support of the Tennessee Bar Association has found...
November 19, 2014
The Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to support Access to Justice initiatives in the state.The grants will extend by one...
October 23, 2014
Members of the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Access to Justice Commission honored attorneys across the state this week in ceremonies recognizing the pro bono work of attorneys, law students, and...
August 13, 2014
Memphis Attorney George T. "Buck" Lewis will receive the first-ever Justice Janice M. Holder Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the cause of expanding...
July 2, 2014
The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services has introduced the Janice M. Holder Award to recognize an individual who has made significant contributions to expanding Access to Justice in Tennessee.The...
May 20, 2014
The five members of the Tennessee Supreme Court recognized the volunteer work of attorneys in the northeast Tennessee region at the annual Dinner With the Supreme Court.The event pays tribute to...
April 25, 2014
The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission has released its annual report showing that attorneys in Tennessee have increased dramatically the number of hours of free and reduced-rate...
April 17, 2014
The statewide courtroom interpreter program was ranked sixth in the country by a national agency for work in offering language assistance to those that are unable to speak and understand English.The...

Justice for All Website

As part of the Supreme Court's Access to Justice initiative, the Court has launched a website with forms, information and other resources for people who need legal assistance and attorneys and community members who wish to volunteer. Click the button above or visit

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For more information about the Acess to Justice program, please contact:

Anne-Louise Wirthlin
Access to Justice Coordinator