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.

2016 Pro Bono Report
2015 Pro Bono Report

2014 Pro Bono Report

2013 Pro Bono Report
2012 Pro Bono Report

2016 Strategic Plan
2014 Strategic Plan
2012 Strategic Plan
 2010 Strategic Plan


Pro Bono Attorneys Provide Free Legal Advice to Victims of East Tennessee Wildfires
December 20, 2016

Supreme Court Honors Attorneys and Firms for Pro Bono Service
December 13, 2016

Nehemiah Missionary Baptist Church TFJA Expungement Clinic
November 22, 2016

Justice Janice Holder and Access to Justice Commission Member Sean Hunt share information with Memphis-area television viewers
August 23, 2016

Former Access to Justice Chair Lewis Receives National Pro Bono Award
June1, 2016

Legislators, Courts, Legal Community Join to Promote Availability of Expungements
April 12, 2016

Tennessee Attorney Pro Bono Hours Increase, Report Shows
September 21, 2015

Legal Community Mourns Loss of Francis Guess
July 25, 2015

ABA Profile Features Supreme Court Justice Holder
May 22, 2013

Margaret Behm, Former Chairperson of the Access to Justice Commission, Receives Award from the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS)
September 26, 2012

Supreme Court Awards Pro Bono Emeritus Status to Two Attorneys
March 1, 2012

Universally Accepted Court Forms for Use in Certain Divorce Cases Now Available
September 1, 2011

Supreme Court Adopts Universally Accepted Forms for Use in Certain Divorce Cases
July 27, 2011

Chattanooga Attorney Becomes First Pro Bono Emeritus Attorney in State
February 8, 2011

Supreme Court Hosts First Statewide Pro Bono Summit
January 25, 2011


Supreme Court Establishes Pro Bono Emeritus Program

September 8, 2010

Supreme Court Announces Access to Justice Goals and Unveils Plans for Pro Bono Summit, Access to Justice Website
June 22, 2010

Supreme Court Amends Rule 43 to Require Participation in Tennessee IOLTA Program
July 8, 2009

Tennessee Supreme Court Creates Access to Justice Commission
April 3, 2009

Tennessee Supreme Court Adopts Rule Changes to Encourage More Pro Bono Work
April 3, 2009

Access to Justice Announcement
December 8, 2008

November 8, 2017
Lawyers across the Volunteer State donated more than $118 million worth of free pro bono legal services to Tennesseans in 2015, according to an annual report issued by the Tennessee Supreme Court’s...
October 25, 2017
The Tennessee Supreme Court recently recognized attorneys and law students who performed over 50 hours of pro bono service in the previous calendar year as 2017 Attorneys for Justice. The ceremony...
October 18, 2017
The Supreme Court of Tennessee’s Access to Justice (ATJ) program recently joined forces with Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) to honor attorneys who earned the Court’s prestigious “Attorney for...
October 17, 2017
The Tennessee Faith and Justice Alliance, a project of the Tennessee Supreme Court, will be hosting the first annual statewide Pro Bono & Faith Days (#pbfdays) from Oct. 21 to Oct. 29. All houses...
August 23, 2017
The 2017 edition of the Criminal Justice Handbook is now available from the Administrative Office of the Courts. The handbook contains more than 600 pages of Tennessee criminal statutes and court...
July 14, 2017
Source:  Hamilton County HeraldLegal Aid of East Tennessee, Tennessee Faith and Justice Alliance, the Christian Legal Society and the Chattanooga Gospel Justice Initiative are working together...
July 6, 2017
A ceremony and reception will be held Saturday, July 8, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2nd Saturday Legal Aid Clinic, or 2SLAC, serving the Memphis community.The event will be from 1 p.m....
May 15, 2017
On Saturday, April 8, volunteers came together for a free legal clinic at Campbell Chapel Baptist Church to help members of the public in Bolivar, Tennessee, get their criminal records expunged....
April 12, 2017
Justice Cornelia Clark kicked off the first Music City Legal Hackers’ Hackathon for Justice at Vanderbilt University Law School on April 8, 2017. Speaking to a group of lawyers, law students, coders...
April 3, 2017
April 1 was HELP4TNDAY in Tennessee. Legal clinics, expungement clinics, continuing legal education and other events occurred across the state. The day was to raise awareness of the Tennessee Supreme...

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