Faith-Based Initiative

Program Overview

The Tennessee Faith & Justice Alliance (TFJA)

The TJFA is a project of the Access to Justice Commission.  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, perhaps even within the same congregation.  The notion is to connect with people in need in a place they already go to seek help with a problem. That place is quite often their place of worship.  It operates on a referral model that is designed to pair volunteer lawyers with congregants in need.

Other projects range from traditional free legal clinics to community education workshops. 

TFJA Resources

The ATJ Commission staff developed an Implentation Manual for those interested in adopting the Referral Model.  The Implementation Manual has samples of training materials, information on applicable court rules, and forms needed to successfully adopt the Referral Model.  ATJ Commission staff and members of the ATJ Commission Faith-Based Initiatives Advisory Committee are available to help religious organizations implement the Referral Model.  The Implentation Manual is available here.

The ATJ Commission has developed materials for those interested in launching a pro bono civil legal advice clinic.  The Pro Bono Clinic in a Box kit contains all of the forms and information needed to start and maintain a clinic.  ATJ Commission staff and members of ATJ Commission Advisory Committees are also available to help those who want to launch a clinic to serve their religious organization or community.  The Pro Bono Clinic in a Box kit is available here.

Staff has also developed resource manuals for volunteer lawyers of faith-based groups that are members of the TFJA.  These resource manuals are divided by Grand Divsion and include information on the TFJA, legal service organizations, mediation centers, and frequent legal topics and potential solutions.  The manuals also include information on area social service providers.  A list of legal clinics in the Division and resources for self-represented litigants are also provided in the manuals. They are available below.

TFJA Reporting Forms

The ATJ Commission publishes an annual Pro Bono Report, containing information and statistics collected from all the pro bono projects across the state.  TFJA members are asked to complete and return short forms on their projects to the ATJ Coordinator at ATJinfo@tncourts.gov. 

Forms for the Referral Model are here.  These forms are also in the Implementation Manual. 

Forms for pro bono clinics are here.  Please note that TFJA clinic providers must also return the Attorney Volunteer Sign-in Sheet.  These forms are also in the Pro Bono Clinic in a Box kit. 

TFJA Contact Information

Any group interested in developing a faith-based legal project may contact the Pro Bono Coordinator for help in developing a plan and resources for their faith communities.

Pro Bono Coordinator ATJInfo@tncourts.gov
(615) 741-2687

To read the press release launching the TFJA, click here.