Davidson County judges hosted a luncheon Friday to celebrate volunteer attorneys who have “stepped up to the plate” to provide legal assistance to people in need. More than 200 attorneys attended the event at the Metro Courthouse.
At the event, seven attorneys and one law firm was recognized as “homerun hitters” for their efforts to improve access to justice. Each honoree received a baseball signed by the members of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark was on hand to present the award to each award recipient.
The award recipients are:
Healthcare Corporation of America
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Corley Henard Lyle Levy & Langford PLC
Baker, Donelson, Bearman Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC
Community Health Systems
Callahan Witherington PLC
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
As a result of the Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Summit in January, six of the largest law firms in Nashville created a coalition of representatives from each firm to engage their 600 attorneys in more pro bono work. At the event, the coalition announced that each law firm has made a commitment to train their staff on a specific area of need – unemployment compensation appeals, TennCare or health appeals, family law, debt and consumer issues and private landlord-tenant cases.
This coalition includes Baker, Donelson, Bearman Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC, Bass Berry & Sims, PLC, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP; Miller & Martin PLLC, Stites & Harbison PLLC and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP.
During the event, the judges also recognized the efforts of the Nashville Bar Association’s Modest Means Initiative and the Nashville Pro Bono Program, a joint venture of the Nashville Bar Association and Legal Aid Society.
Throughout 2010, volunteer attorneys in Davidson County opened 2,477 cases, plus 555 cases for families affected by the May flood. Pro bono attorneys assisted 1,433 clients at 79 pro bono clinics that were held in 2010—a seven percent increase from 2009. The free legal advice and representation received by clients translates to a market value and taxpayer savings of nearly $1.6 million.