Supreme Court Honors Attorneys and Firms for Pro Bono Service

December 13, 2016

The Supreme Court honored Attorneys for Justice in the Tri-Cities and Memphis this week as part of its pro bono recognition program.  Attorneys from East Tennessee were recognized by Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins as part of Legal Aid of East Tennessee’s (LAET) “Celebrate Pro Bono Dinner” on Monday, December 5.  Honorees were presented with certificates of recognition by Chief Justice Bivins.  The Dinner was held at the Carnegie Hotel in Johnson City.  Over fifty local judges and attorneys attended the event.

LAET also distributed awards to area attorneys who gave exemplary voluntary service to LAET’s Pro Bono Project.  LAET’s Pro Bono Project relies heavily on the private attorneys who voluntarily give of their time and expertise to help those who otherwise could not afford legal assistance.

In addition, the Memphis Bar Association joined the Supreme Court in honoring Attorney for Justice recipients at its annual meeting on Thursday, December 8th. Over one hundred Memphis attorneys received the honor for 2016, with over twenty accepting the award in person at the meeting.

Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins delivered remarks and thanked the honorees for their pro bono legal service. Justice Holly Kirby announced the names of Attorneys for Justice who were in attendance. Certificates of recognition were distributed, and recipients took photos with the Justices.

In an effort to increase the number of attorneys and law offices providing pro bono services to those who cannot afford legal costs, the Tennessee Supreme Court has an extensive recognition program. The recognition program arose from a recommendation by the Access to Justice Commission.  The Court honors all attorneys providing at least 50 hours of service annually, with a goal of increasing statewide pro bono work to 50 percent participation. The program is entirely voluntary and based on self-reporting. For more information about the Pro Bono Recognition Program for Attorneys and Law Students, please visit here.

Attorneys who were recognized for pro bono work include Tony Seaton, Brent Young, Lawrence Scott Shults, Elizabeth McClellan, and Karen Turnage Boyd

Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins and Justice Holly Kirby with Pro Bono Honoree Shea Wellford, at the Memphis Pro Bono Recognition Event.