Supreme Court Pro Bono Recognition Program

Attorneys for Justice

2020 marks the seventh year that the Tennessee Supreme Court has recognized Attorneys and Law Students for Justice.  In an effort to increase the number of attorneys and law offices providing pro bono services to those who cannot afford legal costs, the Tennessee Supreme Court has an extensive recognition program. The Court honors all attorneys providing at least 50 hours of service annually, with a goal of increasing statewide pro bono work to 50 percent participation.

In the program, attorneys meeting the Court’s minimum goal of 50 pro bono hours annually will be named “Attorneys for Justice” by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The program is entirely voluntary and based on self-reporting. You will be considered for recognition should you voluntarily report the pro bono work you did the previous calendar year when you renew your legal license with the Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR). To be considered for the program, all service must have been provided under the provisions of Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Responsibility, which includes delivery of a substantial portion of legal services without fee or expectation of fee and delivery of legal services at no fee or at a substantially reduced fee to recognized groups and individuals.

Attorneys who have already renewed their legal license with the BPR but did not report their pro bono work may submit an application for recognition directly to the AOC.

Attorneys who wish to apply for recognition for 2020 should complete the application here. Applications for 2021 will be released in late Spring 2021.

Law offices are eligible to be recognized for pro bono work done by their attorneys by submitting an application for recognition directly to the AOC. The 2020 law office application is available here. Applications for 2021 will be released in late Spring 2021.

2020 Attorneys for Justice Pro Bono Honor Roll

The 2020 Attorneys for Justice Honor Roll is available here.

Law Students for Justice

The Court will recognize law students for their demonstrated commitment to providing legal services to those in need.  The program seeks to acknowledge any student at a Tennessee law school who performs 50 or more hours of pro bono work during their law school career as a “Law Student for Justice.” The program is similar to the attorney recognition program.

To be considered for the program, all service must have been provided under the provisions of Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Responsibility, which includes delivery of a substantial portion of legal services without fee or expectation of fee and delivery of legal services at no fee or at a substantially reduced fee to recognized groups and individuals.  Clinic work and other experiential learning courses where students receive course credit will not count towards pro bono work for recognition purposes.

Each school is responsible for verifying students’ participation in the pro bono activities and reporting it to the Administrative Office of the Courts for consideration. Law School Administrators should send the full name, e-mail address, and mailing address for eligible graduates to ATJInfo@tncourts.gov.

2020 Law Students for Justice Pro Bono Honor Roll

The 2020 Law Students for Justice Honor Roll is available here.

Supreme Court Pro Bono Recognition Events

The Supreme Court did hold public recognition events in 2020 due to COVID-19. Attorneys and Law Students being recognized as 2020 Attorneys for Justice and 2020 Law Students for Justice are invited to submit information, a photo, and a story of their pro bono work to be recognized virtually in the upcoming months.

Click here to submit information and a story of pro bono.

Click here to upload a photo.

The program is the result of a recommendation by the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, which is tasked with making such recommendations to the Supreme Court of projects and programs necessary for enhancing access to justice.  For additional information or if you have any questions, please contact Anne-Louise Wirthlin, Director of Access to Justice, at the Administrative Office of the Courts, at ATJInfo@tncourts.gov or 615-741-2687.