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.

2014 Pro Bono Report
2013 Pro Bono Report
2012 Pro Bono Report

2014 Strategic Plan
2012 Strategic Plan
 2010 Strategic Plan

July 25, 2016
Tennessee ranks ninth in United States for providing access to its courts, according to the 2016 Justice Index, a nationwide study that ranks states according to their adoption of selected best...
June 1, 2016
George T. “Buck” Lewis III was awarded the William Reece Smith, Jr. Special Services to Pro Bono Award last month at the American Bar Association Equal Justice Conference. Lewis, a lawyer at Baker...
May 2, 2016
Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Lee said Monday she could sum up the state of the judiciary in one word: Great.Of course, she went on to use a few more words to give details to several...
April 27, 2016
The location for the first stop of the Indigent Representation Task Force statewide listening tour has been moved to the Vasco Smith Building in Memphis. It previously was scheduled to be in the...
April 20, 2016
The Indigent Representation Task Force has announced a series of statewide listening tours to hear from those interested in sharing their thoughts on indigent defense in Tennessee. The first two...
April 12, 2016
Sen. Steven Dickerson (R-Nashville) and Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr. (D-Nashville), along with leaders in the judicial and legal communities announced an initiative today to improve awareness of and...
March 2, 2016
The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Initiative focuses on creating channels of free legal support for low income Tennesseans. On Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.- 4:15 p.m., the...
February 19, 2016
The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Initiative focuses on creating channels of free legal support for low income Tennesseans. On Monday, March 14, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.- 4:15 p.m., the TFJA...
September 21, 2015
The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission has released its annual report showing that attorneys in Tennessee have increased the number of hours of free and reduced-rate legal...
August 5, 2015
Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is currently soliciting 2016 proposals for competitive grant funds under the Veterans Pro Bono Program.LSC seeks proposals from:Non-profit organizations that provide...

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