Distinguished Jurists and Business Leaders Join Legal Aid Community for Legal Services Corporation’s Access to Justice Forum

January 18, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN – Business leaders, distinguished jurists, and members of the legal community will gather on Monday, January 22, to discuss ways to expand access to justice for low-income Americans. The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is hosting the event in conjunction with its Board of Directors’ quarterly meeting.

Chief Justice Jeffrey S. Bivens, Tennessee Supreme Court, and LSC Chair John G. Levi will deliver opening remarks. Two panel discussions will follow, focusing on ways of increasing the availability of civil legal assistance to low-income Americans and the challenges of expanding access to justice nationwide. Dean Chris Guthrie, Vanderbilt University Law School, will join Dean William C. Koch Jr., Nashville School of Law and a former justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, to offer additional remarks.

The first panel, “The Importance of Access to Justice to the Judiciary,” will feature Judge Melissa Blackburn, Davidson County General Sessions Court; Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Tennessee Supreme Court; Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee; and Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. LSC President James J. Sandman will moderate the discussion.

The second panel, “The Role of Corporate Counsel in Expanding Access to Justice,” will include Andrew C. Branham, Executive Director of Business Development in the Memphis office of Counsel On Call; Justin Pitt, Senior Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel, Community Health Systems, Inc.; and Sharon R. Ryan, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, International Paper Company. The discussion will be moderated by LSC Vice Chair Martha Minow, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence and former dean of Harvard Law School. Ann Pruitt, Executive Director of the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, will deliver closing remarks.

The panels will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Nashville Downtown, 121 4th Avenue S. Members of the press are invited to attend.

The event will also be livestreamed via Facebook Live. To view it, visit LSC’s Facebook page

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.