TALS' Equal Justice University Conference

About EJU

Equal Justice University (EJU) is the annual gathering of approximately 300 lawyers, advocates, social worker professionals, and pro bono attorneys involved in providing civil legal assistance across Tennessee. EJU provides a unique opportunity for this community to gain up to 14 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit (CLEs/CEUs) as well as networking opportunities. EJU also provides dynamic speakers that express the value in being a part of the access to justice community. The EJU experience not only renews the civil legal service community’s commitment to equal access to justice in Tennessee; it also introduces new pro bono lawyers, community advocates, and law students to this important mission.

Access to Justice Awards

Each fall, TALS presents the Access to Justice Awards to recognize individuals who have contributed to Tennessee's equal justice community. The nomination cycle for 2021 has closed.

Hold the Date: September 21 - 23, 2021

Even though EJU will be virtual this year, we will continue to offer great substantive law and professional training in addition to having lots of exciting networking opportunities. Use the links below to check our exciting agenda and the speaker and presenter bios. This year's theme is Transforming Legal Services Together: A Recipe for Recovery. Our opening plenary speaker is "Chef Jeff" Henderson who went from serving 10-years in prison for drug dealing to become an executive chef at Bellagio and Caesars Palace and having his own televised cooking show. He has a powerful message illustrating the false narratives society tells about people who are disadvantaged and especially those coming out of prison. Our closing planary speaker is Edward L. Palmer Sr, a Certified Diversity Trainer, based in Louisville, Kentucky, who works to address racial and ethnic disparities by improving outcomes for minorities through institutionalizing systemic change. As a result of his collaboration with the Kentucky Court of Justice's Administrative Office of the Courts, Palmer co-authored the 2020 publication, "Kentucky Court of Justice Response: A Guide for Identifying, Addressing and Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities".

Click here to upload your favairite recipe for the EJU 2021 Cookbook

Click here to see the 2021 agenda

Click here to see the 2021 Speaker and Presenter Bios

Many thanks to our Sponsors!


Tennessee Bar Association

Lunch & Learn

Mutual of America Financial Group

Closing Plenary

Tennessee Human Rights Commission

Session Sponsors

First Horizons

Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law

Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

Vanderbilt University


Chazin & Company

Disability Rights Tennessee



Cherry-Bekaert LLP

2021 Conference Planning Committee

Chair: DarKenya Waller, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands



Zach Arnold, Legal Aid of East Tennessee

Kevin Balkwill

Craig Barnes - Memphis Area Legal Services

Cathy Clayton, West Tennessee Legal Services

Ben Danford, Legal Aid of East Tennessee

Cindy Ettingoff, Memphis Area Legal Services

Charles Ferguson, Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability

Rita Gibson

Nicole Grida, International Paper

Ashley Holliday, West Tennessee Legal Services

Deb House, Legal Aid of East Tennessee

Patricia Jones, Legal Aid Society of Middle TN & the Cumberlands

Milandria King

Jeannie Kosciolek

David Kozlowski, Legal Aid Society of Middle TN & the Cumberlands

Quiteka Moten, Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability

Lisa Primm, Disability Rights Tennessee

Nicole Smith, Memphis Area Legal Services

Nikki Smith-Bartley, Asurion

Liz Todaro, Tennessee Bar Association

Anne-Louise Wirthlin, Administrative Office of the Courts

Deb Yeomans-Barton, Legal Aid of East Tennessee


Photos from Virtual EJU 2020


Photos from EJU 2019


Photos from EJU 2018

Posted: June 11, 2018