LASMTC Attorney One of Four Recipients of 2011 ARC of Anderson County Dove Award

Theresa-Vay Smith ImageOAK RIDGE, Tenn. June 7, 2011 -- The ARC of Anderson County, a United Way agency, recently honored Theresa-Vay Smith as one of four recipients of its 2011 Dove Award. Smith is an attorney with the Oak Ridge office of the LASMTC.

The annual award recognizes individuals in the community who have gone above and beyond in their assistance to children or adults with cognitive or developmental disabilities.

Smith represents multiple service recipients of the Emory Valley Center in Anderson County, which nominated her for the Dove award. The Emory Valley Center nomination described Smith as "an extremely dedicated advocate for our service recipients."

The testimonial continued, "Her persistence in finding a way to prove the service recipient needs a specific level of care is unparalleled. Her tireless efforts in obtaining and providing the necessary documentation to prove that the service recipients' needs are met by the service provider are exceptional. Theresa-Vay is passionate in her pursuit of justice and she is greatly appreciated by the community she serves."

Smith joined the LASMTC in 1997, and has worked to help children and adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities receive assistance from service providers.

"She is a state leader in advocacy that helps people receive and resist cuts to home-based services," said Neil McBride, general counsel for the LASMTC and managing attorney of the Oak Ridge office. "There is no better advocate for this cause."

A Knoxville native, Smith graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law and Tennessee College of Business MBA program in 1996. Upon graduation, she served as a volunteer attorney with Legal Aid of East Tennessee in Knoxville before joining the LASMTC Oak Ridge office.

Smith is past president of the board of directors of Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Tennessee Heartland, current chair of one panel the Foster Care Review Board for Anderson County and past president of Community Mediation Services of Anderson County.

She is a 2005 graduate of the Tennessee Bar Association's (TBA) Leadership Law Program for outstanding young lawyers, and was appointed to the TBA's 2009 and 2010 Leadership Law Steering Committee.

ARC presented the award to Smith at its annual awards program on May 23, 2011.

The LASMTC gives free civil legal aid to people who have nowhere else to turn. It has 34 attorneys working out of eight offices in Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Oak Ridge, and Tullahoma. The LASMTC is funded in part by United Way.

Posted: June 8, 2011