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

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...
July 25, 2015
Francis Guess, a Nashville community leader who served the legal profession in many ways, died Friday in Nashville.Mr. Guess served both the Access to Justice Commission and the Board of Professional...
June 11, 2015
The Tennessee Supreme Court has added another path for attorneys to become part of the “Attorneys for Justice” program via the Court’s yearly Access to Justice annual pro bono recognitions.Each year...
May 15, 2015
Each fall, the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) presents the Access to Justice Awards to recognize individuals who have contributed to Tennessee's equal justice community.TALS is now...
April 10, 2015
The Access to Justice Commission and The Faith & Justice Alliance are hosting a volunteer attorney training on Monday, April 27, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. at Lipscomb University’s Shamblin...
April 6, 2015
The University of Pittsburgh honored retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice M. Holder, of Memphis, with the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award for her...
March 31, 2015
The Tennessee Supreme Court will add a voluntary funding mechanism for attorneys to contribute to access to justice programs, but will not require attorneys to report pro bono hours under changes...
November 25, 2014
A study commissioned by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice (ATJ) Commission and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) with the support of the Tennessee Bar Association has found...
November 19, 2014
The Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to support Access to Justice initiatives in the state.The grants will extend by one...

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