The Access to Justice Commission collaborated with the Tennessee State Supreme Court to recognize the outstanding service of 17 lawyers by granting them the 2020 Attorneys for Justice award, which is given yearly in Rutherford County to inspire lawyers who reside in the state to give their time away to those in need. The award requires at least 50 hours of legal service to qualify.
Director of Access to Justice Initiative Anne-Louise Wirthlin said, “The passion and commitment that comes with doing pro bono service are what we needed in the difficult and uncertain times of 2020. The attorneys being recognized as Attorneys for Justice helped their community connect with much-needed resources. Their dedication to serving Tennesseans in need is remarkable.”
The names of the attorneys who received the award are as follows: Tracy Church, Darwin Colston, Brittany Dinaso, Chase Doscher, Amy Farrar, Ted Goodman, Mitzi Hall, Katja Hedding, rad Hornsby, Scott Kimberly, Rebecca Lashbrook, Cherie Meece, Jimmy Richardson, Monika Ridley, Stacey Terral, Enoch Wilhoite, and Sonya Smith Wright.
The Tennessee State Supreme Court conceived the Access to Justice Commission in order to provide these services to those living in poverty. The commission also serves to increase public education and foster communication between lawyers and laymen, identify legal priorities of the state, and provide project recommendations for the state Supreme Court.
Pro bono services have been in the spotlight because of the recent collaboration between Microsoft and Davis Wright Tremaine, which drafted supportive policies to help local journalists protect their First Amendment rights. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will address the community’s need for legal support to expand pro bono programs and off pre-publication legal review, public access to old news records, and bolster subpoena defenses. These programs help local journalism remain strong in the face of adversity.