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Official News From the Office of Communications

College of Law Alumna Presents at Lawyers Association for Women Luncheon

Michele Johnson, Tennessee Justice Center’s executive director and co-founder and Shelby Dodson, Belmont College of Law class of 2016 and the firm’s newest attorney, presented at the Lawyers Association for Women’s January Membership Luncheon. During the presentation, they introduced the audience to TJC’s past and present. 

TJC was made necessary after the 1996 congressional restrictions on Legal Services Corporation funding would have forced Middle Tennessee’s Legal Aid office to abandon clients who still needed help. Johnson and co-founder Gordon Bonnyman refused to quit advocacy for these clients and set out on their own. 

The LAW presentation tracked the 21-year history of TJC, continuing through today’s efforts. In 2017, TJC retains its client-centered character, serving nearly 1000 individual clients last year while sustaining systemic advocacy through federal class action and grassroots organizing.

Dodson’s role at TJC is as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Elder Justice Fellow. She provides general civil representation to seniors who have experienced or are at risk for abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

To learn more about the Tennessee Justice Center, visit their website at tnjustice.org or stop by their new downtown office for an open house February 13 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. RSVP to dwhaley@tnjustice.org.