On Tuesday, October 25, the Tennessee Supreme Court hosted an event at the Belmont College of Law to recognize attorneys in front of their families and colleagues who performed over 50 hours of pro bono service in the previous calendar year.
Over 40 attorneys from the Nashville area were recognized as 2016 Attorneys for Justice. The Court also recognized May 2016 law school graduates who performed 50 or more hours during their law school career as 2016 Law Students for Justice. Dodson, Parker, Behm and Capparella was also recognized as 2016 Attorneys for Justice as the firm performed an average of 50 or more hours of pro bono service per attorney.
David Esquivel, Member of the Access to Justice Commission, welcomed the crowd and thanked Dean Alberto Gonzales of the Belmont College of Law for its continued support of access to justice and the Court’s pro bono recognition program. This year marks the third year that the Court has partnered with the law school to host this event.
Chief Justice Jeff Bivins congratulated the recipients for their achievement and encouraged them to continue to donate their talent and time to help low income Tennesseans. He was assisted by Justice Cornelia Clark in presenting each recipient with a certificate signed by all five members of the Court.
Two other organizations were recognized for their steadfast support of the Court’s access to justice initiative. Justice Clark presented the Board of Professional Responsibility and the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization with certificates acknowledging their instrumental roles in providing access to justice to all Tennesseans.
The pro bono recognition program was created by the Access to Justice Commission.
Attorneys may report their pro bono work for the prior calendar year when they renew their license with the Board of Professional Responsibility. They may also apply for recognition using the application available on the Administrative Office of the Courts website. Law firms who perform on average of 50 or more hours per attorney may apply for recognition using the application. Law schools are responsible for reporting the names of law students who qualify for recognition.