Stacy Lynch joins the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts as its new Court Improvement Program (CIP) Director. Lynch comes to the AOC from the Juvenile Court of Rutherford County, where she was a partner in the law office of Hull, Ray, Rieder, Ewell, Lane & Lynch, PC in Tullahoma and a part-time Magistrate for the Juvenile Court of Rutherford County, presiding over the Family Preservation Initiative (FPI).
“I am so excited about the opportunity to be working as the new Director of the Court Improvement Program and to work with the AOC,” Lynch said. “Over the last several years during my work with the treatment courts, I had the pleasure of working with Leslie Kinkead, Michelle Consiglio-Young, Stephanie Etheridge and Juvenile Court Judges throughout the State. I always found each of them to be knowledgeable, helpful and welcoming. It was not until I learned of Leslie’s retirement and this opportunity that I realized the extent of assistance that the CIP provided to juvenile courts, attorneys, judges and the child welfare system as a whole.”
As CIP Director, Lynch will continue to focus the CIP team goals of improving quality court hearings, improving quality legal representation, improving the entry and analysis of juvenile court data, and collaborating with Department of Children’s Services (DCS) to improve the well-being of children in care. She will oversee the CIP grant budget and application process, answer questions concerning juvenile laws and procedures, and monitor statutory changes affecting youth and families.
“My passion is working with families and youth, and I believe alternative approaches to the serious issues these most vulnerable members of our communities face in our current judicial system must be utilized,” Lynch said. “This position gives me the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge and effect real change.”
The goal of the Court Improvement Program is to equip and empower Tennessee child welfare stakeholders, including youth and families with lived experiences, attorneys, judges and the child welfare agency; and to improve systems and processes that support the safety, well-being and permanency of Tennessee children and families with, or at risk for, child welfare involvement. Lynch has even more specific goals in mind, including increasing the communication between herself as a representative of the CIP and each of the juvenile courts throughout the state; increasing the awareness of the resources, trainings and programs offered by the CIP; updating the CIP website; researching and utilizing best practices of other state Court Improvement Programs; building positive relationships with DCS to continue collaboration between CIP and DCS for the benefit of youth and families involved in the child welfare system; updating the attorney and judge training curriculum, content and survey process; and creating consistency among each of the juvenile courts throughout the state (clerks, court staff, detention centers, etc.) for the entry and analysis of data.
“Stacy comes to the AOC with a breadth of knowledge about and on-the-ground experience in juvenile law,” said Michelle Consiglio-Young, Director and Counsel, Intergovernmental Affairs Division at the AOC. “Her prior experience as a Magistrate for both the Coffee County and Rutherford County Juvenile Courts gives her a unique understanding of the needs of the juvenile system. This background allows her to jump right into the position and start working on the goals and impact of Tennessee's CIP, which include assessing and improving current processes that support the well-being and permanency of children involved in the child welfare system. I have every confidence that she will implement her ideas and energy to improve current programs and create new ones. We are grateful to have her join the team at the AOC.”
Lynch received her Bachelor of Science in Anthropology with a specialty in Biological Anthropology from Vanderbilt University. She received her Juris Doctor from the Nashville School of Law. While attending law school at night, she worked for the law offices of Ray, Jackson & Lane, PC in Tullahoma.
Lynch worked in the staffing industry for 15 years, as a staffing consultant, securing jobs for temporary employees (sales), recruiting and hiring. She moved on to Regional Management for the Nashville area before moving to Amsterdam and Atlanta to work on international software implementation projects. After returning to Nashville, Lynch moved into the role of Director of Training, developing trainings for internal employees and clients. She also worked with her company’s corporate attorney to develop their standard operating manual. That’s when she decided she wanted to pursue a career in law.
While attending law school at night, she worked for a law firm, handling real estate closings during the day. After graduation, she started her general practice with the same firm in Tullahoma, focusing on real estate, family/juvenile, criminal defense, wills/estates and personal injury law. In 2013, Lynch became a partner in this law firm, the Law Offices of Hull, Ray, Rieder, Ewell, Lane & Lynch, PC.
In July 2018, Lynch was appointed by the late Judge Tim Brock as the part-time Magistrate of the Juvenile Court of Coffee County to develop and preside over the Family Treatment Court (FTC) and Safe Baby Court (SBC). She developed the procedures for the FTC and SBC. Over the three years she presided over these courts, they held five graduations, reunited several families and assured permanency for numerous children.
In December 2020, Lynch was appointed by Judge Donna Davenport as the Magistrate of the Juvenile Court of Rutherford County to create and preside over the Family Preservation Initiative (FPI). The FPI is one of the first of its kind in the country.
Lynch was admitted to the Tennessee and Federal Bar. She is a Member, and former President and Vice-President of the Coffee County Bar Association; Member, Tennessee Bar Association; Member, Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; Licensed Title Insurance Agent; Member/Board of Directors, Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce; Board Member, Tullahoma Day Care and Preschool; Member, Coffee County Power of 100 Women; Treasurer, Tullahoma Middle School Lady Cats Booster Club; Member, Tullahoma First United Methodist Church; Member, Vanderbilt Alumni Association; and Member, Alpha Delta Pi Alumni Association.
Lynch lives in Tullahoma with her husband, Dan; her two daughters, Abby and Maggie; and 3 dogs, Presley, May and new puppy, Finn. Her husband is an Algebra teacher at Tullahoma High School and coaches the Tullahoma Lady Cats Volleyball Team.
About the Court Improvement Program
The Court Improvement Program (CIP) is funded by a federal grant program provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and aimed at improving juvenile court response to children who are dependent, delinquent or unruly and are at risk of, or are placed in foster care. The Tennessee Supreme Court received its initial Court Improvement grant in 1995. Tennessee receives three grants to fund the CIP - Basic Grant, Training Grant and Data Collection and Analysis Grant.
The Court Improvement Program Work Group is a statewide multi-disciplinary group appointed by the Supreme Court to review and address issues of safety, permanency and well-being for children and families in the child welfare system. A sub-committee of the Work Group, the Law Committee, meets to review state laws, rules and policies affecting children and families.