Access to Justice Commission

People with civil legal problems (ones that do not involve a crime) do not have a right to a free lawyer.  Sometimes people who cannot afford a lawyer have to handle their own legal case.

In response to this problem, the Tennessee Supreme Court made access to justice its number one priority.  The Court announced their Access to Justice Initiative in December 2008.

In April 2009, the Supreme Court formed the Access to Justice Commission under Supreme Court Rule 50.   The Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission provides collaborative leadership to create solutions and resources that address and eliminate barriers to justice for all.

The Commission operates under a strategic plan that it must update every two years.

The members of the Access to Justice Commission are:

Gail Vaughn Ashworth
Nashville, TN

J. William Coley
Knoxville, TN

John L. Farringer, IV
Nashville, TN

Michael L. Forrester
Kingsport, TN

Sean Hunt
Memphis, TN

Hon. Alexander McVeagh
Chattanooga, TN

Mary Jo Middlebrooks
Jackson, TN

Ann J. Pruitt
Nashville, TN

Sharon R. Ryan
Memphis, TN

Beverly Watts
Nashville, TN

Justice Cornelia A. Clark serves as the Supreme Court Liaison.

AOC Staff:

Anne-Louise Wirthlin
Access to Justice Director

Kimi deMent
Pro Bono Coordinator

You can find more information on the ATJ Commission on the Administrative Office of the Courts website or by contacting Anne-Louise Wirthlin at or (615) 741-2687.