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

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...
April 8, 2014
A first-of-its-kind statewide gathering of faith and legal professionals brought together more than 100 religious leaders and attorneys at Lipscomb University in Nashville Monday.The Tennessee Faith...
April 1, 2014
The National Judicial College presented Advancement of Justice Awards to several individuals and entities Monday in Nashville for their efforts to improve access to justice in the state of Tennessee....
February 25, 2014
The first-ever statewide gathering of faith-based organization and pro bono lawyers will bring together individuals and groups with a common interest in assisting Tennesseans with civil legal...
February 24, 2014
The Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission is hosting a Pro Bono Legal Clinic Conference on Monday, March 10, 2014, in Nashville, TN.  The Conference will be a combination of...
September 9, 2013
Leaders from the access to justice community met in Knoxville last week with representatives from the six law schools in Tennessee to learn about the state of pro bono in Tennessee.About 40 people...

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