TALS hosts ATJ Representative from Connecticut Learning about Online TN Justice
The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) hosted Krista Hess, who represented Connecticut's Access to Justice Commission's Pro Bono Subcommittee. Mrs. Hess, Program Manager for the Connecticut Superior Court, received a grant from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to travel Tennessee to learn more about the virtual legal clinic Online Tennessee Justice (www.onlinetnjustice.org). The website allows Tennesseans who make 250% or less of the federal established poverty guidelines to ask a civil legal question to a registered volunteer attorney. In many cases, advice from an Online TN Justice attorney may be the only personalized legal advice a user receives.
During her visit, Mrs. Hess met with members from the Online TN Justice Team including: the Tennessee Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission Chairman, Buck Lewis, Tennessee Bar Association's Access to Justice Coordinator Liz Todaro, Tennessee Administrative Office of the Court's Access to Justice Coordinator Anne-Louise Wirthlin and Pro Bono Coordinator Christina Magrans and Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services Operations Director Samantha Sanchez and Executive Director Ann Pruitt. Each team member shared their role in supporting and promoting Online TN Justice, which has grown to over 300 licensed Tennessee attorneys signed-up to volunteer on the site and over 5800 user accounts established since its launch in 2011.
Connecticut is one of many states interested in launching a virtual legal clinic in their state. Indiana and South Carolina have launched their own versions of the online justice site, using the Online TN Justice software which is donated by the law firm Baker Donelson. In addition to Connecticut, four other states have indicated their intent to launch.
For more information about Online TN Justice, please contact Samantha Sanchez at the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services.