Justice Connie Clark Honored for Access to Justice Leadership

September 8, 2020

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) will honor Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Cornelia A. Clark with the prestigious Janice M. Holder Award for Justice Clark’s leadership in advancing the quality of justice statewide to ensure the legal system is open and available to all. The award was created in honor of former Chief Justice Janice Holder, the first female chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, who spearheaded the creation of Tennessee’s Access to Justice Commission during her tenure as chief justice. Through Justice Clark’s leadership, Tennessee has developed one of the most successful Access to Justice initiatives in the country.

“Justice Clark is a passionate leader in Tennessee’s Access to Justice Initiative, a courageous champion of the rights of the historically marginalized and a dedicated servant to the people of this state,” said Ann Pruitt, executive director of Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services.

Justice Clark was instrumental in developing the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission’s Faith and Justice Alliance (TFJA) project. It is an alliance of faith-based groups in Tennessee who commit to providing legal resources to their congregations and communities. TFJA was created to align needs seen at the local house of worship level with possible legal resources that are nearby. The notion is to connect people in need within a place they already go to seek help with a problem. That place is quite often a place of worship.

“I am delighted that Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services is honoring Justice Connie Clark with the Janice M. Holder Award,” said Chief Justice Jeff Bivins. “Justice Clark has made extraordinary contributions to advancing the Court’s priority of ensuring every Tennessean has meaningful access to justice, and we congratulate her on receiving this well-deserved honor.”

To watch the entire award presentation, please click the video below.