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Legal Aid Society launches annual campaign for equal justice

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 17, 2018 at 4:00 PM

NASHVILLE – The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands launched its 2018 campaign for equal justice with a kick-off luncheon March 7 at the Nashville City Club.

Scott Hickman with Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison was named the chair for this year’s campaign, which has a fundraising goal of $826,000.

The campaign for equal justice is held annually since 1987 to support the Legal Aid Society – Tennessee’s largest nonprofit law firm – in its mission to provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals throughout Middle Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau.

William C. Koch Jr., dean of the Nashville School of Law, gave the keynote address at the kick-off luncheon, which was sponsored by Pinnacle Financial Partners. Koch emphasized Legal Aid Society’s importance to Tennesseans living at or near the poverty level.

“More people are practicing law today than ever before, yet tens of millions of Americans do not have access to legal representation when they need it, and this gap is growing. We must train and empower more lawyers to meet the needs of the average, everyday Americans – not just the elite – and Legal Aid Society plays a key role in carrying out this important mission,” he said.

The 2018 campaign committee brings together attorneys and community partners from Nashville and the surrounding area. This year’s campaign committee members will include:

• Hickman will serve as chair.

• Bob Boston with Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis and Wendy Longmire with Ortale Kelley are large firm co-chairs.

• Jerry Martin with Barrett Johnston Martin and Garrison is the small firm chair.

• Judge Barbara Holmes is the judges chair.

• Martesha Johnson with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Defender’s Office will serve as government attorneys chair.

• Sherie Edwards with State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Co. is the corporate attorneys chair.

The 2018 leadership cabinet is made up of 35 law firms and in-house legal departments, each of which commits a $400 donation per attorney to Legal Aid Society.

“For nearly 50 years, we have been and will always be about finding solutions for low-income Tennesseans – strengthening families, strengthening communities,” said Gary Housepian, executive director of Legal Aid Society. “The funds raised in this campaign enable us to continue reaching into the 48 counties of our service area across Middle Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau to give our fellow Tennesseans equal justice, fairness and better lives. We’re deeply grateful to our donors who help us every year as we work toward this goal.”

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands advocates for fairness and justice under the law. The nonprofit law firm offers free civil legal representation and educational programs to help people in its region receive justice, protect their well being and support opportunities to overcome poverty. It serves 48 counties from offices in Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Oak Ridge and Tullahoma. Legal Aid Society is funded in part by United Way. Learn more at las.org or by following the firm on Facebook.

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