Janice M. Holder Award: Access to Justice Award


The Janice M. Holder Award seeks to recognize a professional whose work in private practice, corporate practice, public service or other social service has made significant contributions in advancing the quality of justice statewide by ensuring the legal system is open and available to all. This award is intended for professionals not focused on daily legal aid advocacy. 


This Access to Justice Award is named in honor of retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice M. Holder who personifies the qualities that this Award recognizes.  She served as the first female chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, is a passionate leader in Tennessee’s Access to Justice initiative, a courageous champion of the rights of the historically marginalized, and a dedicated servant to the people of this state. In 2008, the Tennessee Supreme Court launched its Access to Justice Initiative. Under her leadership, the court hired a full-time access to justice coordinator, created the website - www.justiceforalltn.com, and created the Access to Justice Commission. She is the 2014 winner of the William M. Leech Jr. Public Service Award and continues to support access to justice causes in her retirement.


Nominations are currently closed. The 2024 nomination cycle will begin in June.


2023                 Judge Suzanne Bauknight


2022                 J. Houston Gordon and Zulfat Suara


2021                 Judge Rachel Bell


2020                 Justice Cornelia A. Clark


2019                 Deborah Taylor Tate


2018                 Former Justice Frank F. Drowota, III & Amber Floyd


2017                 Larry Bridgesmith & Cat Moon


2016                 Jim Barry & Sharon Ryan


2015                 David R. Yoder


2014                 George T. “Buck” Lewis (inaugural winner)


Return to the Access to Justice Awards page.

Return to the Equal Justice University homepage.




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