Coley Named New Chair of Access to Justice Commission

December 2, 2019

The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed J. William “Bill” Coley to serve as the next Chair of its Access to Justice Commission. Coley joined the Commission in 2016 and has led the Commission’s Faith-Based Initiatives Committee over the past four years. Under his leadership, the Tennessee Faith and Justice Alliance has grown into one of the Commission’s most impactful initiatives. 

“The Tennessee Supreme Court is confident that Bill will successfully lead the Access to Justice Commission into its second decade,” said Justice Cornelia Clark, Supreme Court Liaison to the Access to Justice Commission. “Bill demonstrates his commitment to pro bono work and helping his fellow Tennesseans daily, and the Commission will thrive under his leadership.”

Bill Coley is a member of Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC, in Knoxville. He received his law degree with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1985. He has served as the Past-President of the Knoxville Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyer Division. 

Coley has been a long-time advocate for legal services and access to justice. Prior to joining the ATJ Commission, Coley served as the Chair for Legal Aid of East Tennessee’s Campaign for Equal Justice from 2006-2007. He has been a member of the KBA Access to Justice Committee for many years. He helped the Commission expand its faith-based initiative into East Tennessee by coordinating his home church as the venue for a Tennessee Faith & Justice faith leader training in 2014. 

“I am honored to be selected to chair the Access to Justice Commission,” Coley stated. “The members of this Commission and its Committee members never cease to amaze me with their creativity and dedication to improving and finding new ways to serve Tennesseans. I’m excited about the opportunities over the next two years.”

Coley will serve a two-year term, beginning on April 1, 2020. The Access to Justice Commission will develop an updated strategic plan over the first quarter of 2020, which will guide and prioritize its work through 2020 and 2021.

The Access to Justice Commission is an initiative of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Its mission is to provide collaborative leadership to create solutions and resources that address and eliminate barriers to access to justice for all. For more information, go to or call 615-741-2687.